Jianna Andrews Lifts Her Way To World Ranking- 12-Year Old Setting Records
MADISON- Twelve-year old Jianna Andrews is becoming a world-wide star, thus earning the nickname of “Stargirl” given to her by her personal coach Ryan Kuhlmann of Awakening Strength located on Highway 72 in Madison. Andrews is currently ranked tied for fifth in the world in powerlifting and is just 42 points away from the No. 1 world ranking.
“I want this really bad as I can push myself to make the lifts,” said Jianna.
Standing a mere 4-foot-11 and weighing in at just 87 pounds, this mighty-might athlete has taken the sport of powerlifting by storm as in just a year’s time she has either tied or broke state and national records including the deadlift where she lifted 226 pounds, which is nearly three times her body weight. Her other personal marks include 182 pounds in the squat, 88.2 pounds on the bench press and, along with the dead lift, a combined total of 496.12 pounds, which tied the national record. Her squat is a new national record while all four marks are new Alabama state records.
The daughter of Jason and Amanda Andrews and sibling to an older brother and sister, Jianna began powerlifting after seeing her mother do the same as Amanda is current Alabama state record holder in all four events within the sub-master’s division. Jianna said, “I just wanted to be with her and seeing what she goes through in workouts and at competitions made me want to get into the sport and I love it. I had my doubts of my talents, but mom told me I’m a natural.”
Same can be said for Kuhlmann who noticed the natural skills the young girl he nicknamed after the DC Comics and TV series Stargirl. From the very first time in the gym growing through workouts five days a week Jianna caught the attention of most everyone around as she sets new personal best marks in her lifting almost every day as her overall lifts have improved through hard work and making substantial corrections in her techniques. She soon made her way into competitions where she has made her mark on stage even in her first meet last November.
She lifts for in the USA Powerlifting (USAPL) and in her first USAPL meet in May she broke all the Alabama state records and thus qualified for the Nationals held Aug. 5 in Scottsdale Ar. At the Nationals, Jianna set the tone for what could be an outstanding future in the sport competing in the female youth division of ages 5-13. In fact, a college coach approached her family and told them a college scholarship was awaiting her should she continue to excel.
“When I make a good lift, it feels so great,” said Jianna. “At the Nationals when I did my record setting squat lift, I had a big smile and I immediately looked at my mom as she’s always there with support. I pray sometimes when I have doubt in myself. I pray I get the lift and not get hurt. It’s really up to the Lord.”
Jianna is in the seventh grade and attends Athens Renaissance School, which is a virtual public school based in Limestone County. She also plays travel softball for the 12U Remix where she pitches and plays second base. “We told her she could compete in both sports as she gave up gymnastics to concentrate on her current love for her two athletic endeavors,” said Jason Andrews.
Jianna continues to push herself in the gym and recently completed a leg press at an almost heard of 360-pounds. To look ahead in the sport, a good athlete will push themselves beyond what many think they can’t. Usually an inspiration will help carry them to more success. For Jianna, she said her great grandfather told her to never give up and the desire to succeed is always within her.
Jianna added, “It’s a fun sport. It’s an individual sport. It’s you versus you. I know when I step on the platform, it’s just me and the crowd. I mentally prepare for a lift.”
As her nickname indicates, Stargirl stands mightily against any challenges and faces any adversity thrown her way to make a good lift and let the world know she’s ready to be number one.
A complete look at Jianna and Amanda will be available in the October issue of the Madison Record’s monthly magazine Madison Living.