Anna powerlifter sets national records after four months

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by TED MADDEN

WFAA

Posted on May 1, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 2 at 3:13 AM

ANNA  - Most athletes go their whole lives without winning a national championship.

Danielle Gonzales needed only four months to get hers.

"Phenomenal. Unheard of," said Thance Springer, Danielle's powerlifting coach. "I've been doing this nearly two decades, and never seen it."

Danielle is a sophomore at Anna, a class 3A high school about 15 miles north of McKinney.

She joined the powerlifting team in January, became a state champion in March, then set four national records at a meet in April.

"I heard like six times, 'You got first again, didn't you?'" Gonzales said. "[They said] 'Are you going to get a new medal every week?'

"And it's like, yeah," she continued. "Hopefully."

Her support group extends throughout Anna.

At the Sonic, her name is on the marquee, which reads "Congrats! Danielle Gonzales State & National Champion." Just down the street is where she visits her chiropractor, Dr. Cameron Roe. A few weeks ago, she went to see him daily as she tried to recover from an injury.

Danielle and her family also received financial support from people around town so they could make the trip to Oklahoma City to compete in the national tournament.

"And that's the thing; it's an individual sport, 'cause you lift the weight yourself," Gonzales said. "But you couldn't do it without your teammates there."

All of the recent success in power lifting has given Gonzales a confidence that she didn't have before, and that has extended from the weight room into the classroom.

She said she used to get 'B's' and 'C's,' but her most recent report card was all 'A's' and 'B's.'

"This mental thing has came in my brain where I can do anything," Gonzales said. "Where I'm like, 'Okay, now that this is so easy, why can't anything else be easy?' So I kind of go through the day and I'm like, 'I got this.'"

After only four months as a powerlifter, she's already won eight medals. And this really is just the beginning.

E-mail tmadden@wfaa.com

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