Morgan Drummond is not your typical high school girls weightlifter. After all, she enjoys drag racing.
The Ridgewood senior also is eyeing a trip to Kissimmee in February for the FHSAA state weightlifting meet.
The 110-pound class lifter has a best bench press of 120 pounds and a clean-and-jerk of 140 pounds. First-year Rams lifting coach J.D. Baker is glad she's doing the team's heavy lifting.
"She's the animal of the team," Baker said. "She's a hard worker. She goes at it hard.
"She's on a mission this year. She's in 110-pound class. It's a tough class. She is a good athlete and great kid to have on the team."
The Drummond family is helpful not only to Morgan, but to the entire team. Her brother, John, is a volunteer assistant, while her dad, Rick, also helps out.
Drummond has a 3.39 GPA and plans to attend Hillsborough Community College, later transferring to the University of South Florida.
"I actually stopped dancing to start drag racing," she said. "I still do that. I have been to Georgia and a few different places. I have taken first in a lot of races. I have been to a state meet in racing. I ended in second place in the state. I go there on my weekends.
"When I was about 9, me and my Dad used to go to the Gatornationals in Gainesville. That was so cool. I said I want to do this.
"We went to the track in St. Pete and saw that they have junior dragsters. We went to Bradenton MotorSports and hooked with coach Bill Lee. We bought a car from him and he showed me how to start and shut it off. I named it 'Pretty in Pink.' One-fourth of any money I won goes to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer fund."
Now 18, she is temporarily out of racing, but will probably get back into it.
"I kind of got too big," she said. "I got sponsored by Nelco Advantage Co. in Bradenton. I bought a new car. I raced in that car a few years.
"When I turned 18, my last season was this year. For my senior project, I will learn how to race a fuel dragster. I am working my way to race a fuel dragster. I haven't raced in a few months. It's a lifetime for me without racing.''
Drummond already has the next few years figured out. She plans to study social work and eventually work with non-profit organizations.
Pushing that weightlifting bar, like racing a car, does the trick for this teen.
"I like to think I'm an adrenaline junkie," she said. "I think what a rush I get when I have had a hard workout. It is always a close call.
"The adrenaline rush is so cool to me."
Weightlifting has also helped her grow close to her dad.
"The other thing is me and my Dad have become 10 times closer because of weightlifting," she said. "We have country music blaring. We have bonding that most teens don't have with their parents. I have my whole family there. I have my boyfriend, Cody Drapeau, in the stands. The ultimate rush is getting that bling at state. That's what we are hoping for."