Local bodybuilder wins in debut national and professional competitions

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Just a year and a half after starting on the journey, a local female bodybuilder is taking the sport by storm first winning in her debut at a national competition and then taking home the top prize at her professional debut in California over the weekend.

Katie Mitchell won the fitness division, a competition which includes routines performed to music that include elements of dance, aerobics, strength, and gymnastics, at The International Federation of Body Building and Fitness' Legion Sports Festival in Long Beach, Calif. (Courtesy photo)

Katie Mitchell won the fitness division, a competition which includes routines performed to music that include elements of dance, aerobics, strength, and gymnastics, at The International Federation of Body Building and Fitness' Legion Sports Festival in Long Beach, Calif.

"I was very surprised because it was my first professional debut," Mitchell said.

"I didn't have the expectation of winning. I wanted to put my best foot forward but to win was overwhelming."

Mitchell, who lives and trains in Waco, competed against 15 others from around the world.

"It was an overwhelming, amazing feeling. It was very exciting to represent Waco, too."

While just beginning to compete in the body building scene, Mitchell brings a long resume in the gymnastics and fitness world as a former competitive gymnast and sprinter at the University of Wisconsin- River Falls.

"Of course before I started training specifically for body building I had been involved in other strength sports," Mitchell said. "Cross fit, powerlifting, Olympic weight lifting and gymnastics back in the day. I had strength and muscle built up but to really fine tune everything, your physique, it took a long time, a year and a half."

Mitchell is no stranger to winning competitions on her first attempts.

When she first began to train for her first competition a year and a half ago, she spent 15 weeks preparing for her first event, the Branch Warren Classic in Houston last July. She won that allowing her to move on to a national stage.

The 38-year-old next clinched her first national competition on her first attempt, winning the NPC North American Championship in Pittsburgh, Pa. That win allowed her to win her pro card which qualified her for the weekend competition in California.

"You always want it to happen but my expectation was knowing that some of these girls have been doing it longer than I have," Mitchell told KWTX after the win.

The competitor says since winning her pro card she's grown a lot.

"Initially when you receive your pro card, and that was about a year ago, a little over a year ago, you just kind of go " I don't know" and now I go 'yeah I deserve to be on that stage.' And I'm very, very thankful for the opportunity to be on the stage," she said.

Katie's professional win earns her a bid to the Arnold Sports Festival, also known as the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival, in March 2020 followed by entry to the Olympia in Las Vegas in September.

"I really hope I get to meet Arnold," Katie said, laughing.

"I will get a picture."