MIDLAND, Texas — Midland High’s Britney Jenkins' young boxing career is no joke.
The 17-year-old has won a pair of national titles to go along with four ringside world championships.
Growing up in West Texas, being a light weight female boxer came with its challenges.
"I never had a female boxer to look up to," Jenkins said. "I’ve always been the one, ‘aye, I like the sport, I’m gonna get in here and give it my all.'"
Her lifelong coach, Frank Lujan of Midtown Soldiers Boxing Club, has complete confidence in Jenkins, despite the obstacles in her path.
"Britney has always faced harder competition. I don’t doubt her that she can go in there and beat any girl," Lujan said. "We fought girls that were twice her weight class - there’s nobody else to fight."
Between driving hours to spar the toughest boxers in the state and finding success on a global scale, Jenkins is chasing an Olympic dream while becoming a role model in the process.
Jenkins' mother, Lori Salgado, is impressed by her on a daily basis.
"Even when the gym is closed, through bad weather and what not, she’s out there at the house getting it," Salgado said. "I'm eating bonbons, and she’s out there working up a sweat. You go girl."
Ranked number one nationally in her weight class about a year and a half ago, momentum was on her side.
"I’ve been wanting to go to the Olympics since I was seven and the time has finally come," Jenkins said.
Just as excitement began to build, a right knee sprain forced Jenkins out of the ring in 2018.
"I lost everything," Jenkins said. "I lost hope in boxing and I was like I guess I need to find another dream, another goal to go for."
As a mother, Salgado reflected on the years of training her daughter went through.
"That was very heart wrenching right there - like yanking your soul out," Salgado said.
In her six months of recovery, Jenkins spent hours in physical therapy and took on coaching at Midtown Soldiers, which gave her a deeper understanding of the sport.
"When she was helping with the kids, she started seeing what us coaches explain to the kids," Lujan said. "I think she missed the sport. I’m glad she’s back."
Ahead of Olympic Trials in Louisiana, a rejuvenated Jenkins planned to achieve the goal 7-year-old Britney set all that time ago.
“I want to be the best at the end of the day. I’m going to be the best when I go to Louisiana, I want that spot in the Olympics.”
Even though she didn't earn a medal in Lake Charles, USA Boxing can still invite her to Colorado Springs for the final round of Tokyo 2020 Olympic trials.