Beyond the Jersey: Abbeville powerlifter Lainey Trahan almost quit the sport before shattering a record


Lainey Trahan of Abbeville High School benched 310 pounds on February 22 right here in Lafayette at the Blackham Coliseum.

That is the most any girl has ever benched in the state of Louisiana in the history of power-lifting.

She started powerlifting her freshman year of high school to continue a tradition her older sister started. 

But there were many moments she didn’t feel like carrying on that tradition. That’s why when she etched her name into the record books, she was a little surprised with herself. 

“I didn’t believe it,” Trahan said. “Whenever I first started it, I really liked it, but I wasn’t passionate about it. I didn’t work out. I didn’t go full force into the sport.”

The thought of stepping away from the sport completely crossed her mind quite often. 

“I probably quit like 5 times,” Trahan said. “I would be like ‘I’m done. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Her coach, Travis Werner, started to take notice of his team captain’s doubts. 

“In the first few months of her senior year, or it was actually the end of her eleventh grade year, her training wasn’t hard at all,” Werner said. “And I took the captain-ship away from her.”

That move by Coach Werner actually propelled Trahan to take powerlifting more seriously. She came back to the team that needed her leadership.

“When I realized that my girls team really needed me, I started putting in the effort and started putting in the work,” Trahan said. “We pulled through.”

“She did everything a captain would do anyway without the honors,” Werner said. “She never had a bad workout again. She trained like I always wanted her to. And she accomplished great things.”

Not only did Trahan break the bench press state all-time record at 303 pounds, but she bettered her own record by seven more pounds at 310 pounds. 

“When people see me, they know me by the weights that I lifted, the powerlifting, and the achievements that I had,” Trahan said. “It’s pretty great.”

“The insecure Lainey that we saw as a freshman that I didn’t even know her personality was at the end of her freshman year, to the Lainey that was leading this girls team at the end of this year is tremendous,” Werner said.

So what kept Trahan motivated through all of the ups and the downs?

“My future,” Trahan said. “As much as I love it here, I really want to get out of here.”

Trahan will attend Southeastern University in the fall for athletic training. Her achievements in the weight room pale in comparison to her achievements in the classroom. Her academic achievements earned her five different scholarships for college. 

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