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Pasco Tribune

River Ridge's Molina finds outlet for 'anger'

Special correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 05:25 PM

Katie Molina has her own approach to "anger management."

The River Ridge High senior pumps some iron. The 17-year-old native of Clearwater finds anger actually helps her.

"I have a lot of anger," she said. "If I'm having a bad day, it shows up when I lift. My coach, Mike DeGennaro, once asked if I was having a bad day. I said I was and that I was angry. He said that I lift better when I'm angry."

Last February, Molina lifted at the Florida High School Athletic Association Girls Weightlifting State High School Meet at Kissimmee. Competing in the 101-pound class, she had a personal-record bench press of 100 pounds and a clean and jerk of 105 pounds. Lifting at a tri-meet at Hudson High, Molina had a bench press of 110 pounds and a clean and jerk of 120 pounds.

Molina is hoping to medal at the next state meet, partly as a reward for three years of pumping iron at River Ridge. At first glance, however, Molina doesn't show off muscles.

"It's funny when I tell people that I lift," she said.

She is petite and has lots of lean muscle, but it helps that she loves the weight room.

"I live in the weight room," she said.

Two years ago, she competed in a national weightlifting contest in Georgia with friend Alexis LiCalsi. LiCalsi won the first of her two national titles, while Molina found out she really enjoyed this sport.

She is grateful for DeGennaro, whom she describes as her "weight-room dad."

"He teaches me," she said. "He gets on me. He is one of the best coaches around."

DeGennaro is more than happy to be her lifting parent.

"She is fun to have around," he said. "She works really hard and loves the sport. She is very coachable."

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