You can call her Jessica or even her nickname, “Jeb” — but the newest way to identify her is as Stephenville High School’s first-ever three-time girls powerlifting state qualifier.
Ebeling was previously announced along with teammates Blaine Gluck and Aubreyanna Ziegler as having qualified for the Class 4A state meet following their regional competition March 2 in Austin. Both Gluck and Ebeling won their respective divisions, while Ziegler took second in her weight class.
Those three, coached by Jessie Fanning, combined to earn the regional girls team title, and will be competing this Friday in the 4A state powerlifting meet in the Extraco Events Center in Waco.
Ebeling qualified for the state meet as a sophomore, but didn’t place. Last year as a junior, she earned fifth place.
“At the end of each of my seasons, I’ll set goals for the next year, and I go from there,” Ebeling noted. “At the regionals, I set two goals and I reached one of them (in the deadlift event).”
She is also a veteran member of the SHS softball team, as a starting outfielder. But it’s her powerlifting workout before school five days a week that requires the most dedication. Her weightlifting workouts start at 6:30 a.m. — sort of one of those me, myself and I things.
“Powerlifting is totally different than softball, working as a team,” said Ebeling, who competes in the 198-pound weight class. “In powerlifting, you’re more competing against yourself, to be able to lift all the weight I’m able to. Coach Fanning helped me quite a bit. He believed in me.”
She said she loves softball, but powerlifting gives her a different satisfaction.
“I like the adrenaline it gives me,” she said. “This year I did get some personal records. Getting those personal records was really exciting for me.
Ebeling said that performing well in powerlifting is due both to sheer physical effort and to using proper technique.
And having two teammates competing at the state meet is an added treat.
“I’m really getting excited because we have three people going to state this year, so it’s really cool,” Ebeling said.
In November, the four-year SHS softball letterman signed a letter-of-intent to play college softball with Pratt (Kansas) Community College. She will be studying to become a registered nurse.
For now, however, she has her state powerlifting event to take care of, before finishing her senior year of Honeybee softball.
“Last time, best time,” Ebeling said of her motto for her senior year. “We say it in softball, but it kind of goes with everything.”