The Lady Brave 2018 USA Powerlifting State Champions (Front L-R): Hannah Holden, Shelby Oldham, Makayla Red, Alexus Crawford, Amiah Person, Katelyn Smith, Morgan Kay, Brittany Scarborough (Back L-R): Brittany Graley, Beth Taylor, Melissa Collins, Sydney Gay, Taylor Paris, Rickeyria Phillips, Samantha Minix, Alyssa Hall, Laurel Roberts, Tahari Benson , Macie Taylor
(Suwanee, GA) — The Heard County weightlifting program cemented its growing legacy further on Saturday, March 17 as the female lifters captured the USA Powerlifting Georgia State Title at Lambert High School in Suwanee.
It was a tremendous outcome as most of the Heard girls were competing at this type of meet for the very first time.
With 19 female lifters and five male lifters, the Braves by far had the most competitors at the meet where each lift is verified by three judges.
Competitors were judged in three different lifts: the deadlift, squat, and bench press.
Seven Lady Braves captured individual state titles in their respective weight classes.
In the 48K class, senior Brittany Scarborough captured the gold with another Lady Brave Tahari Benson finishing in second place.
In the 52K class it was Alexus Crawford bringing home the championship and senior Makayla Red earned the title in the 56K class.
The Lady Braves scored another one-two finish in the 60K class with Amiah Person taking first and Morgan Kay pulling down second place. Senior Melissa Collins was first in the 67.5 K class.
In both the 75K division and the 82.5K class, the Lady Braves captured all three of the medals. In the 75K it was true freshman Beth Taylor taking the top prize while senior Laurel Roberts place second and sophomore Brittany Graley finished third.
In the 82.5 group, Katelyn Smith claimed the title while Samantha Minix finished second and senior Macie Taylor took third.
With each team allowed to score points from its top six lifters, the Lady Braves attained a perfect score of 42, the first such occurrence in the short history of the USA state meet.
Head strength and conditioning coach Kyle Yates was very pleased with the efforts and results by his female lifters that represented a broad range of sports including softball, tennis, track, and basketball.
“Today was just a testament to our girls. The girls will get better as they learn the commands of this meet and all that but as far as today goes it was just a great experience for the girls and for us coaches,” said Yates.
“They work so hard during the year and it was good for them to get a chance to show everyone what they have accomplished and the progress they each made.”
Pictured above (L-R) are the Heard County Brave male competitors at the USA Powerlifting State Championships in Suwanee. Brenden Thompson, Michael Cheney, Jacob “Big Kountry” Stephens, Jaidan Cameron, Sam Brown, and coach Kyle Yates.
The Braves only took five male lifters to the meet, but each did very well with Jacob “Big Kountry” Stephens winning the individual title in the 125K class and Jaidan Cameron taking the title in the 125K+ class. Sam Brown took second place in the 90K class.
Stephens was also awarded the pound-for-pound best lifter at the meet which is determined according to the Wilks formula.
The Wilks Coefficient or Wilks Formula is a coefficient that can be used to measure the strength of a powerlifter against other powerlifters despite the different weights of the lifters.
“All these guys did awesome today. Jaidan hit a PR on his deadlift and Big Kountry had a great squat. If we had been able to bring a few more lifters we may could have competed for the male title also. This USA meet was ran very well and we are excited to have participated in it today and we hope to come back next year,” says Yates.
“People are always asking us why are we doing so good in this sport or that sport and there’s no secret formula or secret to that success it’s just hard work and effort that bleeds over and creates this culture at Heard County. We have some awesome kids here at Heard and they all make us so proud.”