PowerLifting Team on track for State

Story by: Anna Adams, Staff Writer

SHHS Powerlifters have a heavy load to carry. Last year, Vaughn Bufkin placed 8th in the State, leaving behind a legacy of success that this year’s team is determined to continue.  Qualifying for State is not easy in Region 3 Division II of the THSPA. However, Coach Katie Billinglsea has confidence in her crew. In an interview this morning, she beamed with pride talking about her team.

“We have a meet today,” Billingslea began. “I am very excited to see what my girls can do. They are working hard and deserve a win.”

According to Rachel Petree, who has been lifting since her freshman year, you have to score in the top 15 of your division to move on to regionals, and score in the top two of your region, to go to the state meet.  The SHISD region is made up of other schools in the East such as Gilmer, Texarkana, Bullard, and Caddo Mills- not much different from our Football competitors in UIL. But, Petree has her eyes on the automatic qualification prize. For her weight class, that means getting a total of  925lbs for a deadlift, squat, and bench.

“I am only 30lbs away from the mark,” Petree said with a smile. “I am going to keep practicing here at school, adding more training at API when other sports interfere with practices here, and using good safety practices to avoid injury.”

According to Petree, lifters must wear special gear to protect their joints on the heavy lifts.

“We wrap our knees with special tight bands to add support and wear back belts to prevent lower back strain,” Petree said.

Petree further explains that girls and boys train together, although they compete separately.

“Both teams have phenomenal coaches and returning lifters,” Petree said. “We look forward to putting our names up on the board.”

Carson Manasee, senior lifter, has already achieved that goal.  His PR is 630lbs for squat, 345 lbs for bench and and 550 deadlift.

“This makes me 2nd in my division and a leader on the board,” Manasee said. ”

Bufkin and Manasee are not in the same weight class, so it is not Bufkin’s record he is chasing, but his qualifying state performance is.

“I hope to make it. I am not competing today due to a back injury,” Manasee added. “But I’ll be back next meet.”

Look for current stats and updates from today’s meet on www.shpanthernation.com