Estep puts in the work to win power lifting title

by Peter Jakey-Managing Editor

Onaway High School (OHS) has another power lifting state champ. 

SENIOR EMILY Estep, who poses with coach Earl Flynn, won a state power lifting championship in the 132 pound division. The finals were held at Traverse City West High School. (Courtesy photo)

Super-athlete Emily Estep, who has excelled at every sport she has tried at OHS, won a state power lifting championship, March 9. 

She was determined to improve on her sixth place showing as a junior. Her total last year was 570 pounds, but she improved on that by lifting 635 this year. It is the same total as the state champs from 2012 and ‘11.

“If you want to win at the 132 pound weight division, you have to lift 635 pounds,” said a gleeful Estep. 

“That is outstanding,” said coach Earl Flynn. “It just  goes to show, like I have told her before, hard work does pay off.  You won’t find a kid that is more hard working than her.”

It was Estep’s third trip to state. She earned third place as a sophomore.

The wait may have been more difficult to deal with than the weight.

Flynn did not want Emily to see the other lifters, so he made her take a walk and not watch when it came for them to lift. Once they were done, it was another three hours before the results were in.

“I had an idea that I was going to win, but they would not tell me,” said Estep. “I was on the edge of my seat for three hours, waiting.”

As a junior, she went back to state trying to win it, and when she finished sixth, it was disappointing to not make the top five, and the podium.

“I think that is what fueled me for this year, because I was able to realize that you have to work really hard to be a state champion,” said Estep, whose parents are Dean and Joey Estep of Onaway. 

The lifting categories are squat, bench and dead lift. She prepared some over the summer and had a goal in mind. 

She’s also a student of the popular OHS class, high-intensity, taught by Flynn. 

“Every day we are working on new things, and building muscle,” Estep said of the class. “We knew the area we had to improve on was dead lift.”

“She overcame a lot of her fears, where she only got 230 in the dead lift at state last year,” said Flynn. She improved that to 275 this year.

Estep is an all-state athlete in softball and volleyball, but also participated in basketball, cross country and track and field. She will continue her softball career at Lake Superior State University. She is one of OHS’ four valedictorians from the Class of 2013.