Powerlifting advances


Krissy Fibiger

Junior Nick Hunter participating in a powerlifting competition

Zack Bridwell, Staff Writer

After five powerlifting athletes placed at the state championship, senior Maddie Graham will advance to the national championship on April 1 in Pennsylvania.

    “Making nationals is one of my greatest accomplishments,” Graham said. “I hoped to win nationals and take it all the way.”

    At nationals, Graham was in first place at the time but fouled out for the first time in her career on the bench press.

    “It was really devastating,” Coach Brent Graham said. “She’s never done this before so it was really rough.”

   Graham looked to win at nationals after putting up 405 pounds on squat, 250 pounds on bench, and 350 pounds on deadlift, totalling to 1,005 pounds. Each of these lifts set a regional record.

    At the state meet, Graham won state champion, the most outstanding bench press and broke three state records. To top it all off, she won a 6A scholarship for her hard work.

    “I am really proud for how well Maddie did, not only because she is my daughter, but because I see how much hard work she has put into making it here,” Coach Graham said.

    According to Graham, a lot of preparation and hard work got her to nationals. She plans on having the same routine as always before her big tournament.

    “Before nationals I am just going to do what I have always done,” Graham said. “I will listen to what my coach says and go on from there, and just try to enjoy the whole process.”

    At state, PSHS placed sixth place out of 246 schools, with junior Andres Perez finishing in 10th place, junior Kennedy Blackmon in ninth place, junior Belen Fuentes in eighth Place and senior Alex Headley finishing as a bronze medalist.

    “Making it to state was a big goal I wanted the student athletes to strive for,” Coach Graham said. “I see how much hard work they have put in during practice, and I know how bad they want it.”

    At regionals Perez put up 575 on squat, 480 on deadlift, and 315 on bench for a grand total of 1370 pounds.

    “Looking back at how I did, I wish I could have done a little bit better,” Perez said. “It stinks I didn’t get first, but it was a great experience.”

    Before state, other athletes broke records at regionals. Headley set a record with squat 500, deadlift 360, and a total of 1,085. Also, Fuentes set a record with a 275 pound squat.

    “Setting a record at any level was a huge accomplishment for me,” Fuentes said. “It was something I was really proud of because my friends really pushed me to go for it.”

       Now that Graham is advancing to nationals, the other powerlifting members will continue to train just as much as they did before.

    “We have a strict regimen on what we do before tournaments,” Coach Graham said. “We take a lot of what we do from team USA because I think if you wanna be the best, you have to train like the best.”