Local Teenage Girls Lifting Their Way to the Top

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TWIN FALLS • Three 16-year-old girls, Mackenzie Molesworth and twins Grace and Megan Kelley, aren’t the least bit bothered by the bald-headed Siberian man dead-lifting over 600 pounds.


They have to max, too.


In fact, they encourage him to lift more, just as he does them. They’re Facebook friends of course.


The three high school girls — Molesworth attends Canyon Ridge while the twins went to Lighthouse Christian last year — will aim for national and world powerlifting records at the Magic Valley Powerlifting Challenge on June 28. They’ll compete along with the other members of the Excel gym, which includes current and future local college football players.


“I’m a four-time world record holder, world champion, I have six American records and I’m only 16,” said Molesworth.


Mackenzie Molesworth, who plays track and basketball with the Riverhawks, was the first female member of her father Derek’s gym.


Maddy was the second girl to join, followed by her twin Grace early last year.


Incredibly, just months into Derek Molesworth’s program, both can deadlift 305 pounds, a solid number for most local high school weight rooms.


“I like that I’m good at it,” Maddy Kelley said. “With the dead lift, you use your whole body. Usually I don’t find out how much weight I’ve lifted until I’ve lifted it.”


It’s Maddy who lifts the bags of frozen fruit at her work, not the boys.


And it’s her sister — once a cheerleader like Maddy — that figured what she was doing with all the other athletes at Excel was pretty cool and wanted in.


“There are not many girls who weight lift, I think it’s a unique, really cool thing,” Grace Kelley said.


Even the twins are likely to break age records at the meet, though their coach won’t reveal what they could be.


“I’m trying to keep them motivated,” Derek Molesworth said.


The three girls believe more young females are on their way to Excel. At Lighthouse Christian, the twins felt like their hobby was accepted in the hallways. Other Lions boys also work out at Excel, including Division I prospect Adam Taylor.


“They think it’s really pretty cool, some of the guys are pretty proud of me,” Grace Kelley said.


At Canyon Ridge, some still give Mackenzie Molesworth an odd eye.


“I still get weird looks at school and stuff,” Mackenzie Molesworth said.


But inside the Excel gym, where team Lady Strong prepares to break world records, it’s a circle of trust.


“We are a big family, team excel lady strong, it’s not like you’re singled out if you’re weaker than someone else,” Mackenzie Molesworth said. “Everyone encourages and helps everyone out, there are so many positive vibes.”


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