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Mustang Athlete Spotlight: Mia Tiongson

by Nathan Seidman

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   Holy cows in a cornfield! That bar must have hundreds of pounds on it. How on earth did it get up in the air so quickly? Mia Tiongson, that’s how it got there, way up in the air.

   You may know her as another pretty face in the halls, but Lincoln High School senior Mia Tiongson could probably lift the roof right off them. Tiongson has been the best high school female weightlifter for the past four years. From 2009 until 2013, no high school girl has been able to defeat Lincoln’s own Mia Tiongson.

   Tiongson started lifting at the age of eight years old, and became the best eight year old weightlifter in the country at National Championships in Orlando, Florida in 2005. Tiongson’s accomplishments weren’t just happenstance. She works out for three hours every day, mostly doing squats, because the olympic lifts utilize the quadriceps the most out of every muscle group in the body.

 

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   Tiongson is and has been rigorously training under Coach Doherty, who says that “Being able to see Mia constantly progressing and getting better since I first coached her is why I love what I do." Doherty has trained her in the various olympic lifts and has high hopes for her future.

   In the simplest words possible, the lifts involve getting the bar off the ground and over your head in numerous ways. Tiongson’s favorite part of this ordeal is, as she puts it, “exceeding my own expectations, capabilities, what nots…” She began exceeding the expectations of herself and the people around her since she won nationals in 2005.

   Since then, she has expanded her horizons to the far corners of the globe, going as far as Tashkent, Uzbekistan to compete at World Championships last year where she placed 4th representing the United States of America as a member of the junior national team.

   Tiongson’s myriad of weightlifting awards and victories earned her a highly coveted spot on the junior national team. She earned her spot through years of arduous work. Tiongson is constantly striving to be the best around. She hopes to attain a level where nothing is gooing to ever bring her down.

   Fellow teammate and good friend Cheray Piper says, “When Mia puts her mind to something, she finishes it and finishes it well.” If things go well for Tiongson, she says, “I hope to compete in the Olympics one day, maybe for the United states or the Phillipines.” If Tiongson earns a spot on Team USA, all she has to do is wait for the Olympics to roll around, and she’ll be on her way to the Olympics and hopefully a gold medal.

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Fall Sports Roundup

by Charlotte Woo

 

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Cross Country

Lincoln's cross country team works hard. They trained all summer and began official practices the first week of school. The head coach is David Chen, and the team recently placed at Lowell's invitational meet. The season is bright for cross country. 

 

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Junior Varsity Volleyball

Lincoln’s junior varsity girls volleyball team is coached by Kimberly tang. With their current record of 2-1, the season looks bright for these athletes. The regular season lasts through the first week of November.

 

Varsity Girls Volleyball

Lincoln’s varsity girls volleyball team began the regular season strongly. They put up a strong fight, but ultimately lost to Lowell in their season opener. Coached by Vincent Tang, this team has over a month to show what they’re worth and improve their current 1-1 record.

 

 

Varsity Girls Golf

Under the instruction of coach Steve Robinson, the varsity girls golf team began the official season Sept. 3 with a match against Balboa. The team hopes to improve it's record and make it to the playoffs after losing its first two matches.

 

JV Football

Coach Kevin Doherty trains the junior variety football team in anticipation for their season opener against Burton on Oct. 5. With a season lasting through Nov. 16, the team hopes to hold a good record.

 

Varsity Football

After a perfect record last season, Lincoln's varsity football team hopes for a repeat. Coached by Phil Ferrigno, the team begins it's regular season Oct. 7 and continues to play Nov. 15.

 

Boys Soccer

Boys soccer is already in full swing. Directed by Kenyatta Scort, the team has won three matches and has ended one in a tie. Boys soccer continues through October, with playoffs and city championships occurring the first week of November.

 

Girls Tennis

Lincoln's varsity girls tennis team is undefeated after two matches. The team's new coach is English teacher Max Van Engers, who also coaches the boys tennis team. With another month of regular season matches to play, the team hopes to keep improving and to keep their high ranking.

New girls tennis coach wishes to improve team on the inside and outside

by Christine Ong

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   Comfortably seated at his desk eating an apple, English teacher and new girls tennis coach Max Van Engers shares his thoughts on coaching the girls tennis team.

   Van Engers started teaching himself tennis at the age of 12 and continues to play through his teaching career. Van Engers coached Lincoln’s boys tennis team last spring and was asked by athletic director Kevin Grayson to coach the girls at the end of the spring season. He accepted the offer, but he had some initial fears about the position.

   “I said I’ve never coached girls before [to Grayson], and I was a little timid about it…” Van Engers admits. “When I heard that some of the girls didn’t really like their coach from last year, I was like, ‘Oh my god, maybe they’re going to have a sort of bad impression of coaches in general, and if I go out there, they might think, “Here’s another coach who might not show up on us,”’ so I didn’t want to let them down.”

   Improving the relationship between the players and their coach is important to Van Engers. “I want them to know that I’m there to help them and to help them improve their tennis game, but I did have some sort of fears going into it because of what I heard about last year’s coaching.”

   When the team was informed that Van Engers was going to become the new coach, some of them felt surprised. “I was slightly surprised...but I felt that he would be a great coach,” says Ananda Kong, one of the two senior captains of the girls tennis team. “He knows how important school is and how to teach us when we have problems with tennis. When we have problems with anything related to tennis (e.g., forehand, serves, etc.), he can thoroughly explain it.”

   Second senior captain Eleanor Amidei says, “He encourages us vocally, and he takes time to help us all individually and as part of a group.”

   On Mondays after school, the team attends informational meetings to learn about different tennis skills in addition to what they learn individually on the tennis court. They watch and analyze videos of certain skills to learn about different techniques that can be applied during the game.

   As for making improvements this year, diet is his first priority. “If you eat right, your body’s going to act right,” says Van Engers.

   At the start of practice, the team has a small meeting on the courts that discusses improvements in tennis and diet. Van Engers reminds the girls what types of foods are better for gaining enough energy to play on the court and which foods will drain them of their energy.

 He also believes that the players should change their attitudes towards the game itself and motivate themselves to become better. “I think some people really believe that motivation always has to come from somebody else, but you have to kind of learn from your teachers and your parents how to become a self-motivated person.”

   Learning to accept failure and learning to have fun on the court despite self-doubt are also behaviors that Van Engers wishes to instill in the team. “You’re not always going to win. If you think you’re always going to win, you're probably going to lose more than you really want to.” Being able to let go of stress and enjoy playing the game of tennis will help in performance.

   Apart from teaching the girls, Van Engers hopes that he can also learn from the team. “I wanted to see how well I can teach high school [students] tennis, and I was hoping, and I’m still hoping, that I can learn from them because I have learned from the boys, and I want to learn some new things about tennis from the girls. So I am also a student.”

   When he is not teaching or coaching tennis Van Engers enjoys a variety of activities. "Really, there's something else in life besides tennis?" Van Engers said in feigned disbelief. "That's like my religion!"

   He loves cooking with his family, and he recently baked his first pizza. “You should definitely put that down,” Van Engers said enthusiastically. When he isn’t cooking, he enjoys being in the ocean and learning how to surf. “I’m not good,” Van Engers says. “I actually kinda suck at it, but I enjoy the whole thing.”

   Teaching the team is very important to Van Engers, and with the girls' season continuing until November, he will have more opportunities to succeed in further improving it.