WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Paige Simmons has a busy schedule as a senior in high school and a thrower for Maize South’s track and field team. But she’s putting in overtime to hit some weights after hours, training for Strongman competitions.
“Training for strongman is so hard. It’s cardio, its heavy weights, it’s everything put together in one,” explains Simmons.
Her dedication shows every time she competes. After just two Strongwoman competitions, she’s already earned pro status. It is something not many teens have achieved.
“She’s 17, so her ceiling is so tall. As long as she keeps herself together, she has so much to accomplish,” said Emma Etherton, Simmons’ teammate.
In April, the high schooler clenched the title of Kansas Strongest Woman 2023.
“I had won the competition that I didn’t even think I was going to place in, and it had all just sunk in and was probably the best feeling I’d ever had because I’d worked for months and just hoped and dreamed of accomplishing this and I did,” said Simmons.
“She is such an impressive athlete, especially competing with girls that are 15-20 years older than she is. And she’s dominating,” said coach Mai Mijares, owner of Top Crop Barbel.
Simmons says a large part of her success is because of the team she trains with. They constantly challenge each other in practice and competition.
“We all motivate and push each other, and so as long as someone is excelling in the middle of a lift or an event, we’re all cheering each other on,” says team member Callie Glaves.
While she is only two years into her lifting career, Simmons has big aspirations for her future as a competitor.
“I’m hoping I can compete in Internationals, and if I win, I will be one of the first-ever pro-contracted teens, which means I will get paid every month,” she explained.
“At this age, it’s so hard for girls, you know, being in school being bullied. I think we should put value on intelligence and strength, and she’s a good example of that,” said Mijares.
Simmons says lifting has taught her that the best things in life sometimes come from being uncomfortable. It’s a message she hopes to share as she continues to set the bar.