Friends of Madison Shallcross sometimes refer to her as “The Little Engine that Could.” The nickname fits her.
The 117-pound ETSU student is a highly competitive and successful weightlifter.
Last spring, when the university had its first national-level weightlifting meet since being designated an Olympic Training Site, Shallcross handled 115 pounds in the snatch and 159 pounds in the clean and jerk, putting her in the top five for the first event and earning her a third place for the other, plus a third place for her total weight lifted.
The event consisted of 200 competitors, some of them Olympic athletes, many hoping to qualify for the Pan American Games.
A Florida native who has lived most of her life in Elizabethton, Shallcross started weightlifting fairly recently. “Christian Carter, former coach of Stoneage Weightlifting Club, saw me standing in the hall of the Mini-Dome and suggested I try out weightlifting,” she says. “From the first day, I was completely hooked! It was definitely a change from my everyday routine, but it made me feel accomplished and the results were amazing.”
From her first big meet in Shreveport, La., Shallcross knew competition at the highest level was her goal. “It was exciting to be there with people who knew what they were doing because I was still learning. I was beyond nervous, but it was a good nervous! From then on, I knew this was what I was supposed to be doing.”
Shallcross is a theater major with a minor in radio, television and film. She plans a career in stage make-up or in some aspect of radio and television. But, she says, “I am the type of person who likes to dream big, so I will continue training and shoot for the 2020 Olympics.”