By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Perry Liles has watched the state powerlifting meet grow and grow.
Liles has been the director of the state meet since the Mississippi High School Activities Association began sanctioning it in 1993 with its roots in Madison Central’s turf room.
The first year saw 89 lifters. Saturday, an estimated 1,200 paid to watch 569 lifters.
The total included 150 female lifters, a number that has steadily grown since opening the sport for girls in 2006.
With different schools hosting the platforms for the six male classes and three girls classes, Liles said it’s like nine meets going on at one time.
“The Activities Association has done a great job with it,” Liles said. “(The coaches) are a big part of it. It’s just like football and basketball.”
Liles has eight MHSAA championships to his credit, including the first ever, coaching Aberdeen in 1993.
Pontotoc senior Devonta Montgomery won his 242-pound weight class in Class 4A for the third straight time in his third try Saturday. He totaled 1,560 pounds.
Class 2A East Union was in its first state meet and missed a pair of gold medals by five pounds each. The Urchins got second place finishes from Hunter Wigington (220), Nicky Greszler (275) and Nathan Reed (242). Jacob Hughes (114) and Brett Rakestraw each placed third (123).
Kossuth won four medals, including a gold from Dillon Hughes (308). Luke Osborn (114) placed second, Joseph Holt (275) and Logan Hall (308) third. South Pontotoc took two golds with Jay Wade (220), who totaled 1,525 pounds and Tyler Lindsey (275) who totaled 1,505. Lindsey broke his class’ state deadlift record with a 635-pound lift. Ripley’s Montario Hatch (275) placed second.
Class 5A/6A medalists
In Class 5A, Oxford’s Clifton Smith (308 plus) won gold. In 6A, McKenzie Pulliam of Tupelo took home a third place finish in the 165-pound class.
Heavy Lifting Ladies
In Class II girls, Lafayette County had two gold winners with Cate Clay (97) and Meg Norphlet (105). Teammate Toinelia Marion (132) finished third, Ashley Carter (220) and eighth grader Sparkle Duncan (198) second. Nettleton’s Jasmine Coggin (97) and Keana Brown (105) each finished second.
Pontotoc’s Anna Chrestman (114) and Itawamba’s Yulisha Barron (220 plus) each placed third.