ABERDEEN, Miss. (WTVA) -- In Aberdeen today, powerlifter Taniya Morris got ready to drive down to Jackson to compete in the powerlifting state championships, the first girl in school history to do so.
The school held a full on "carcade" for Taniya and her powerlifting teammates. They went from the high school, through downtown Aberdeen, past the elementary schools in a big loop of cheers and sirens. A pretty big deal for the senior who said after the parade, it made her want to cry.
It’s been an emotional journey for Taniya, she couldn’t participate last year because she chose to go full virtual due to Coronavirus concerns. This year was her last shot and she made it.
"I was really screaming inside, I was really excited, and I’m glad I made my coach excited and proud," Morris said. "I was really excited that I made my family proud."
Speaking of proud, her coach, Elizabeth Oliver, started the girls powerlifting team four years ago and Taniya was one of her first athletes.
"I’m not sure I’m going to sleep tonight," Oliver said. "Just super proud, that she is doing something that no girl at Aberdeen High School has ever done before."
Taniya may be the first, but she doesn’t want to be the last. She hopes she can leave a lasting legacy for future girl powerlifters in Aberdeen.
"A lot of females feel like you know, well this a man’s sport or they you know don’t think they can do it," Morris said. "But I feel like if you put your mind to anything you can do whatever you want to do."
Taniya will compete in three lifts, the bench, deadlift, and squat against the strongest girls Mississippi high schools have to offer on Friday.