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Lucia Lavalle Delivers Power To Maine’s Defense

By Ross Forman, 04/26/24, 4:00PM CDT


The strength Lucia Lavalle brings to the ice for the co-op Maine Girls High School Team is built in the weight room at Maine West High School and beyond.

Lavalle, 16, a sophomore who lives in Des Plaines, is a left-handed shooting defenseman who also competes for Maine West’s Powerlifting Team.

“Since I was in the gym a lot with my coach and weightlifting almost 24/7, I felt that I could go far in my skills and doing this really improves my lifestyle as well,” she said of her foray into powerlifting. “Being at Tactic Sports Performance with many coaches who have competed in powerlifting competitions, (my coach) Jordan Vick and I talked about me getting into it. He felt that I was strong enough to compete at my age level and blow people away. With that confidence he gave me, I got into it and have been pushing to get better every day since my first competition.

“At Maine West, our powerlifting team usually just gets together at meets. Most people do go to our school gym and work with our powerlifting coach, but since I already have an amazing coach who I’ve been with for so long, I go to my gym, but I still work on my lifts.”

Lavalle admittedly was “really nervous” for her first powerlifting meet, primarily due to her inexperience. But the team was inclusive, she said, “it made me really comfortable.” That first meet remains a highlight.

The powerlifting meets include bench press, deadlift and squat – and her personal records for each are 125, 245 and 245, respectively.

“I lifted almost 600 pounds in total (in my first meet), with all my lifts, and won in my weight class as well as placing second in the whole girls’ division. I was proud of myself,” she said.

The Illinois High School Powerlifting Association (IHSPLA) is the governing body for team-based high school powerlifting in the state, guided by its four core principles: character, culture, equity and service. The annual IHSPLA State Meet is May 18 at New Trier High School in Winnetka.

“I’m pushing and working hard on my strength and lifts on the road to state,” Lavalle said.

Powerlifting meets start with squad, then bench press and wrap with deadlift.

Lavalle has skated for the Glenview Grizzlies, Glenview Generals and Glenview Stars. She has been a U10 state champion and twice at U16. She was an All-State player in 2023 and was part of the 2024 USA Hockey U16 national runner-up team.

She scored a goal in the semifinal game at nationals, which “brought the energy to my team to play harder and end up winning,” the game, she said.

“I’m more of a grinder on the ice, who likes to attack and disrupt play. I also like battling in front of the net and along the boards.”

Her dad, Nick, is her Maine coach and she long has called him Coach.

“He has been with me through it all and has made me the player and person I am today,” she said. “He can be hard on me most of the time, but that’s what pushes me. His style of coaching and parenting is something I admire and they go together well.

“Jordan Vick has pushed me to become the athlete I am. Although he has helped me improve so much with my weightlifting, strength and agility, he also has been an important person in my life. He has always been there for me and has made working out something special to me.

“This has really helped with my hockey. Having that extra strength and ability really sets me (apart) from other players on the ice.”

Lavalle added: “These two worlds intersect perfectly. Powerlifting has helped me improve so much on the ice. Since I am working hard on my strength and athleticism with powerlifting, that improvement carries into hockey. making me a better skater and a stronger player. Especially with (hockey) being a physical game and being coached to play physical, being stronger really helps with that part of the play, making it easier for me to attack or protect the puck.”

Lavalle is looking to be a firefighter and athletic trainer after college.

“I love helping people and (to be a firefighter) it is very (important to be) in shape and keeping that special lifestyle. With athletic training, I can help people and still be involved in sports somehow. I’m not a person who wants to spend my work time sitting at a desk every day. I want to be active and help people.”

Slapshots With … Maine defenseman Lucia Lavalle

Favorite NHL Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Favorite NHL Player: Patrick Kane
Favorite Sports-themed Movie: Miracle
Favorite TV Show: WWE
Favorite Pre-game Meal: Grilled chicken sandwich
Favorite app: Snapchat
Celebrity You’d Like To Meet: Cody Rhodes
Best Hockey Tip: “When you struggle with the strong parts of your game, concentrate hard on doing other things right to get your game back,” – Nick Lavalle