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By: Nicole Chan

Julia Yun, sophomore, takes the stage in national championships

Photo By: Kevin Doherty


Abraham Lincoln high school is known for its various and diverse sports teams, and the weightlifting team is no exception. They don’t just lift hefty weights and dumbbells; they also lift spirits and give never-ending support for each other. Lincoln’s weightlifting team always strives to improve on their strength, endurance, and discipline.

Alumni of Lincoln’s weightlifting team incorporated their knowledge and skills from weightlifting and applied it to their future.

Most of the guidance and training comes from none other than the hardworking coach, Kevin Doherty, who taught and trained his students for around 17 years. He teaches his students the importance of working hard to reach a goal, no matter how difficult. He also encourages his students to tackle challenges, refine their skills, and push themselves to try something new. Whether it would be attempting to steadily increase the number of bench presses or trying to lift dumbbells that are heavier, Doherty strives to advocate for diligence. 


    Doherty has been training the weightlifting team, so he has the weightlifting team follow a 12-week program where they train their minds and bodies to prepare for the competitions.

“There is a periodized, yearly training program; so there’s six workouts a week,” says Doherty, “so most of the competitive weightlifters do about five days a week.”

Competition training might seem strenuous and effortful, but it helps heighten endurance and stamina. These types of specialized training help the weightlifting team strive for improvement both physically and mentally.

“I train five to six times a week and that helps me as a weightlifter because I could build on my skills and that amount of practice helps me get better,” replied sophomore weightlifter, Julia Yun.

Yun previously competed in three international championships (Peru and Ecuador) and ten national championships so far and is always pushing herself to make progress.

    Aside from pumping iron, teamwork plays a huge role in weightlifting. The weightlifting team always cheers and gives words of encouragement during competitions or when times get tough.

“The people in the weightlifting team are who I hang out with every day and have classes together. We’re always with each other; throughout the day we walk with each other; obviously, lift during school, and we hang out after school,” says Abby Donovan, a sophomore of the weightlifting team. “Now that I’ve been doing it for a while, I feel like part of the team.” 

The weight room is a special place where students can go to bond and lift weights with other members.

“The weight room is a nice place to be. There are all people with the same mindset as you and everyone there is trying to make sure that you’re doing good and they’re doing good so that we can all improve together…” mentions an alumnus and former senior class president, who was involved with the weightlifting team.



By: Georgia Payne

Seasoned sprinter Mustapha Bonopha Jr. launches off the blocks

Photos By: Mustapha Bonopha


Track is very well known in high school since most middle schools also offer this sport. Track attracts returning runners from middle school, returning high school runners and new runners as well to sprinting, long-distance, shot-put, discus, long/high jump, hurdles, and pole vault. All events help to develop students' fitness, mental, and physical strength. As Abraham Lincoln High School track and field team heads into their brand new 2020 season they hope to further build on last season and become the best they have ever been.

Although track encompasses many individual events, Lincoln's team has a strong team spirit. Many of the athletes strive to not only push themselves to the fullest but their teammates as well.

“I enjoy watching my teammates put in the work and watching them improve,” said Mustapha Bhonopha Jr., senior sprinter and relay runner

Bhonopha Jr. also takes it upon himself to “set a good example for the rest of his teammates”.

Track and field is one of the oldest sports. In ancient Greece, contests were often held in conjunction with religious festivals, as with the Olympic Games. For 11 centuries, starting in 776 B.C., these affairs were enormously popular and prestigious events. That old glory has yet to fade and the Lincoln athletes are reaching for the stars. 

When asked about her personal goals for the season Elen Zhu, senior track and field athlete, states, “personal goals for this season is to break her previous season record of 10’05 (for pole vault), qualify for the state meet again, and just to have fun.”

Bonopha Jr., on the other hand, says, “run to the best of his ability every race”.

As for the team as a whole, everyone seems to be hopeful that the season will be a success.

Zhu has many hopes for her team and says, “(the team) has been working pretty hard and are really dedicated and determined.”

Bhonopha Jr. says, “[I]didn't want to tempt fate, but predict that our varsity boys team is going to win every convincingly.”

As for the girls, Bonopha Jr. states, “girls have a chance to pull it off, but I think we need more numbers.”

Zhu believes, “the work will pay off in invitationals, league meets, and on all city finals,” adding that she hopes “even more people will qualify for state this year.”



By: Alisa Romagnoli

Qiu, in action, leaps toward the birdie during the 2018 EBA Open competition. 

Photo Courtesy of the Eastbay Badminton Association


Eleventh grade badminton team captain Yuqing Qiu, who has been playing the sport since she was nine, sees the world outside the court similarly to how she sees the world while playing, “I don’t give up on things very easily,” she states, humbly alluding to her persistent character.

However, Qiu says badminton isn’t as easy as it seems, “You have to have a fast reaction time, good endurance, and be mentally and physically-strong.”

If Qiu has one thing for sure, it’s her determination. She says her short-term goal is to represent the U.S in the 2020 Junior World Championships. Her long term goal is to qualify for the Olympics.

Qiu’s goals while playing are to do her best, show everything she’s learned in training, and most importantly, to not disrespect the opponent by playing badly.

“And so every time I play I try my best. It’s like a way of respecting myself and the opponent.”

When Qiu was only ten, she won double crown (two gold medals) in doubles (duos) and mixed doubles (mixed gender duos) as well as winning third place in singles (one on one competition) for Junior Nationals. 

“I had only played for two years at that point, but achieving that made me realize how much I like badminton and how training can really push me to do well.”

More recently, during last year’s Midwest Open Regionals in Chicago, Qiu won three medals: first in mixed doubles, first in doubles, and third in singles. 

Qiu explains that her success is all in her technique. Qiu specializes in playing frontcourt in doubles, meaning her job is to set up each play for her backcourt partner by forcing the opponent to lift the shuttle up high for her partner to play an aggressive shot towards them. She realized this while playing in a 2016 competition and thought, “My frontcourt is faster than most people.” 

“I guess because I’m also left-handed a lot of people don’t expect my shots to go a certain way because they say left-handed people think differently.”

Qiu explains that in Asian countries, if you’re left-handed, you’re more likely to get into the provincial or national teams based on stereotype and tradition. “Even if your skill level is slightly lower, they’ll take you over a right-handed person.”

“She’s got passion,” says fellow teammate, Huanbin Chen. He seconds Qiu’s perspective on herself that “She never gives up.”

Chen says that once Qiu became team captain, her role also became to coach.

“She does just as much as the coach,” Chen states.

“As a teammate, she’s very supportive, not negative, and always encourages you to try your best; not like criticizing you,” says Chen, adding that team members are more willing to play and train hard when Qiu is around. “She creates a sense of empathy.” 



Photos Courtesy of Mr. Balzer

The varsity men's basketball team taking on Galileo.



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This page was last updated on February 21, 2020