By: JOHN CANNON
(DONNA) – Donna High Senior powerlifter Leena Salinas has been selected as the RedskinSports.us Player of the Week for the Week of March 13th through March 17th.
Salinas had a weekend she will never forget at the 2017 THSWPA State Powerlifting Meet in Waco as she ended up taking eighth in the 114-pound weight class by hitting a total weight of 710 pounds.
The most impressive part of the weekend was that Salinas was selected to the Academic All-State Elite Team.
Salinas sat down with RedskinSports.us Sports Editor John Cannon for a question and answer session.
JC: Congratulations on being named the RedskinSports.us Player of the Week. You competed at the State Meet this past weekend. Was this your first time?
LS: Yes it was.
JC: What was it like when you walked into the arena and saw the atmosphere for the very first time?
LS: It was more overwhelming then exciting at first. I didn’t know what to think because I was so nervous and was very anxious for the meet to start. There weren’t a lot of girls in the beginning because we got there at 6 a.m. Everyone was coming in kind of late and once they started to get there I was like oh my gosh, that’s my competition. The whole arena was huge and I have never been in something like that because it’s always been high school gyms where we would compete at. There was so much pressure.
JC: When did you finally get into your comfort zone?
LS: After the first squat, that’s when I broke into what I needed to go and got into my whole routine.
JC: You ended up placing seventh. Were you satisfied with that?
LS: I was not satisfied at all. I was very upset and have not talked about it since then. I was actually tied for sixth place, but there was a girl that weighed less than I did and she ended up getting a higher rank. My last dead lift was 315 and if I would have pulled that, then I would have gotten fifth place.
JC: Even though you were upset with your finish, you were rewarded with a huge honor. Talk to me about that?
LS: I was selected to the Academic All-State Elite Team and have to admit it kind of lessened the burden. I was still a little disappointed that I didn’t finish higher than I did. But I know that this was a bigger award for me because I put so much pressure on myself for my education and winning this award showed that all the hard work paid off.
JC: I understand you won an Academic All-State award in two sports. Tell me about that?
LS: Besides winning the award in powerlifting, I also won it in volleyball. To me, I think it’s kind of nice to be recognized for something that you have worked so hard for each and every day. It was great to be recognized for balancing both sports and academics.
JC: How do you balance both academics and sports?
LS: It’s very stressful and it fluctuates because for powerlifting we have to be at school at 6:15 to 6:30 a.m. which meant I couldn’t stay up late. I had to have my eight hours of sleep so I would stay up until about 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. doing homework. If I wasn’t able to get it done then I would have to do it after practice or before class started. Or I would have to do it right after Track practice as well. But every time during lunch I am doing homework and if I had time during practice, I was doing homework as well. It never stops.
JC: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
LS: I hope to be a manager of a business. I do still want to work out on the side and hopefully I will still be fit and in shape. I do see myself being very successful.