After a year-and-a-half lifting weights, Melissa Fuquay broke the state record for her 240-pound dead lift at the Ohio Police and Fire Games.
Fuquay is the first female firefighter for the Wellington squad.
When she joined the village crew last September, she knew she would have to prove herself in a male-dominated environment.
She said she wanted to hold her own and not rely on anyone else. Fuquay said lifting gave her confidence to wear heavy gear and maneuver large tools.
Not only did Fuquay break the state record in June but also her personal best of 225 pounds.
Fuquay was the smallest lifter in her division. She said she didn’t expect to be able to do it but decided to give in to her friends as they coerced her to try.
Fuquay said her adrenaline started pumping when she got on stage and stood below the bright lights.
“It was kind of like a blur,” she said. “It kept going up and going up.”
Fuqauy has already started setting goals for next year’s games.
She plans to lift 300 pounds at the 2015 games that will be held in Mahoning Valley on June 14-19.
Caitlyn Wasmundt may be reached at 440-647-3171 or on Twitter @LC_CaitW.