Kloie Doublin has never left the United States before, but in June she’ll stamp her passport for the first time.
Doublin, a junior at Franklin Community High School, joined Jennica Baldridge, a senior, in Atlanta last weekend for the USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals, and both emerged victorious in their respective age and weight classes.
By virtue of winning the title, Doublin punched her ticket to the World Classic Powerlifting Championships, which will be conducted in June in Minsk, Belarus.
“I haven’t been outside of the country,” she said. “I’m really excited.”
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Baldridge, meanwhile, will be turning 19 before Worlds. So while she did win her division at nationals, she just missed qualifying for the higher 19 to 23 age group that she would be in next summer.
Both did earn another pretty rare opportunity, however, in qualifying for the Arnold Classic. That event, which will take place in March in Ohio, does not break competitors up by age — and only a handful of teenage powerlifters make the cut each year.
Baldridge and Doublin are both excited to test themselves against older, more seasoned competition.
“I’m mainly just excited,” Baldridge said, “and a little bit intimidated since they’ve all been a lot more experienced than I have.”
“I’m excited about that and just want to see where I’m at,” Doublin said, “and compete with people who are the best of the best, and have fun doing it.”
If their performances last weekend are any indication, the two Grizzly Cubs should be just fine.
Baldridge, weighing in at 136 pounds, set an American record in the bench press at 168 pounds, and her deadlift of 366 pounds not only set a new national mark but also is an unofficial world record.
(To be official, the record lift would have to come at a competition with an international panel of judges — which the Arnold Classic will have.)
“The bench record, I had planned on setting that and been about there,” Baldridge said, “but then I actually went a little bit heavier on my deadlift than we were expecting.”
For good measure, Baldridge squatted 286 pounds.
Doublin, weighing 149 pounds and competing in the 72-kilogram (about 158.7 pounds) weight class, also set American records in the bench (198 pounds) and deadlift (388). She squatted 314 pounds.
Like Baldridge, she’ll take aim at a world record in the deadlift in March.
The competitive season is pretty much over for the two until the Arnold, but they’ll be continuing to train under the watchful eye of Franklin strength and conditioning coach Jeremy Hartman, who has been working with both girls since they were freshmen.
After the Arnold, the two will compete at the world bench press championship in April in Killeen, Texas — and then, for Doublin, it’s off to Europe.
It’ll be her first time, but she hopes it’s not her last.
“My goals are to put up a good fight in the open once I get (to the Arnold),” Doublin said, “and just keep going to as many worlds as I can and see what I can do.”