October 29, 2014//
Meet Molly Zunker. This senior anthropology major is also a world champion power-lifter out to prove that women can lift just as well, if not better, than the boys.
I'm here to show the world that women powerlifters aren't to be taken lightly.”
– Molly ZunkerUTSA Powerlifting Team President
A native of Thrall, Texas, Zunker is the president and a coach of the UTSA Powerlifting Team, which recently won the National Championship Title at the 2014 USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals.
Since joining the club in 2010, Zunker has been an instrumental part of the getting the Powerlifting Club to where it is today, 44 members strong and nationally recognized. As president and coach, she has helped lead the club to individual national championships for five years running.
Zunker has won nine national titles and one world championship title for her impressive powerlifting acumen.
She began her career in powerlifting during her sophomore year of high school. Already a star long-distance runner on her school's track team, she was convinced to join the school's burgeoning powerlifting team by her close friend at the time.
"I can still remember the first time I was asked to do a proper squat; I was awful!" Zunker said. "But I also immediately fell in love with the feeling that you get once past your current weight threshold. It is such a rush to know your hard work is paying off. It's what I hope to instill in the rest of the UTSA Powerlifting Team."
After years of training, Zunker can squat 336 lbs, roughly three times her own body weight, bench press 165 lbs and deadlift an impressive 352 lbs of weight. But those numbers aren't enough for this ambitious power-lifter. She trains between 12 and 15 hours a week to keep her body in peak physical condition, adding weight to her training regime in increments.
"Weightlifting can be tough, no doubt about it," said Zunker. "It's also a great way to transform your body, if you know what you're doing. Even on my worst training session, I always feel good, alert and strong."
After she graduates at spring 2015 commencement, Zunker, also a licensed massage therapist, hopes to open up her own massage business. She said she feels that her experience with Powerlifting has made her more in tune with how the body's muscles work and how best to relieve tension.
Zunker doesn't think she'll ever quit powerlifting, pushing her body to the limits of her strength and then pushing past that. Her ultimate goal is to one day compete in powerlifting for the U.S. team at the World Games, an international multi-sport event that happens every four years.
"I'm here to show the world that women powerlifters aren't to be taken lightly," said Zunker. "We are strong. We can lift just as well as men. I hope one day that I can inspire even more women to try their hand at the sport. It's well worth it."
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.