By Donica Phifer
New Albany Gazette
JACKSON– For the second year in a row, the East Union Urchins returned home as the Class 2A state champions in powerlifting.
East Union won by 13 points over Scott Central, with the nine-member boys team totaling 33 points and earning four gold medals. Hunter Wigington, Brandon Taylor, Bryan Wages and Brett Rakestraw were winners.
Taylor topped his 125-weight class with 850 pounds, while Rakestraw lifted 1,010 for his day – 115 pounds over second-place finisher David Banks of Scott Central.
Rakestraw also established a state record for squats with 410 pounds on the second of three attempts. It was a record held by fellow Urchin, senior Jacob Elder, set during the 2013 state meet.
“That was really special, to see Brett break that record that was set by a friend of his,” head coach Scott Duley said. “And he could have done more, but he went a little too deep in the second squat and we decided to back off a bit.”
Wigington’s total for the day of 1,425 in the 223 class fell short of the senior’s record-setting 1,500 pounds from 2013, largely due to a lingering injury, Duley said.
Wages topped out at 1,400 pounds in the 281 class, 40 pounds ahead of second-place finisher Malcolm Keyes of Bay Springs.
“It’s an incredible feat to be in a place to possibly win two state championships, so to actually go and do it was an amazing feeling. This team has worked so hard all year, and they’ve done it with some guys who weren’t in Jackson last year. They weren’t all new to powerlifting, but they were new to a state championship,” Duley said.
Two other team members, Ben Prather and Lucas Wigington, also finished with medals – silver and bronze.