Even though Bullard High School is out for Spring Break this week, a total of three members of the Lady Panther powerlifting team will take on the best of the best at the State Girls Powerlifting Meet, to be held Friday, March 17, at the Extraco Events Center in Waco.
“This year was actually a rebuilding year for the girls powerlifting program,” said Jody Allen, BHS powerlifting coach. “In a typical rebuilding year, you’re not supposed to be really successful. We wound up being able to send three girls to state this year, which is the most we’ve sent in several years. I’m very proud of the girls for their successes this season. We’ve come a long way this year, from not really wanting to work out to getting better and learning to be a mature athlete.”
Allen said this year was a rebuilding year due to losing former lifters Kelsey Green and Kennedy Key to graduation after last season. Both Green and Key qualified for Regional and State powerlifting meets throughout their high school tenures.
“Kelsey and Kennedy leaving the program really left a leadership hole for our program,” said Allen. “They both had an impeccable work ethic were very driven; they wanted to lift all year long. With them gone, our new girls had to learn how to be able to push themselves and improve. We have kids that are now excited about lifting and love to lift and compete to the best of their abilities.”
Competing for the Lady Panthers at the State Girls Powerlifting Meet will be Alexis Hathaway, Leighann Langston, and Annabelle Price, after having qualified for the State meet with their strong performances at the Region 3 Division II Powerlifting meet Saturday, March 2, in Fairfield, helping the Lady Panthers to finish as the second-place team at the event.
Price was the top finisher for the Lady Panthers at the Regional meet, winning first place and the Regional Championship in the 198 pound weight class with a squat of 380 pounds, bench press of 175 pounds, and deadlift of 315 pounds, for a total weight lifted of 870 pounds.
“I’m really excited, but nervous all at the same time,” said Price. “It’s my first time to go to State. At the beginning of the year, I kind of didn’t work as hard as I should have. However, as we’ve gone through the season, I’ve worked a lot harder. I’ve been with Coach Allen for the past three years in powerlifting, and he’s very encouraging and helps to push us.”
Leighann Langston also had a solid performance for the Lady Panthers at the event in the 259+ weight class, taking home second place and qualifying for the State meet with a squat of 390 pounds, bench press of 155 pounds, and deadlift of 290 pounds, for a total weight lifted of 835 pounds.
“I am very excited to be able to go to State as a freshman,” said Langston. “At the beginning, I didn’t put as much effort as I am now. As I’ve progressed, I’ve gotten better and stronger. Coach Allen is also a great coach and has helped me get to where I’m at.”
Hathaway qualified for the State meet after lifting the State qualifying weight, finishing in third place in her weight class with a squat of 365 pounds, bench press of 155 pounds, and deadlift of 305 pounds, for a total weight lifted of 825 pounds.
“I’m really nervous because it’s my first time to qualify for State, and only my second year in powerlifting,” said Hathaway. “I’m really excited. Coach Allen has helped me a lot this year.”
The Lady Panthers also were able to collect three alternate spots for the State meet with the strong finishes by Addison Barnes, Heather Coe, and Cheyenne Stevenson.
Barnes qualified as an alternate for the upcoming State meet by placing third in the 105 pound weight class with a squat of 230 pounds, bench press of 75 pounds, and deadlift of 225 pounds, for a total amount lifted of 530 pounds.
Stevenson was selected at a State alternate after finishing in third place in the 181 pound weight class at the Regional meet with a squat of 330 pounds, bench press of 125 pounds, and deadlift of 355 pounds, for a total amount lifted of 810 pounds.
Coe took home third place in the 220 pound weight class and a State alternate qualification with a squat of 355 pounds, bench press of 135 pounds, and deadlift of 330 pounds, for a total weight lifted of 820 pounds.
Allen said he hopes the Lady Panther powerlifters representing the team at the State Girls Powerlifting Meet will compete well to achieve his goal of bringing a State Championship back to Bullard High School.
“I expect the girls to prepare, go in, work hard, and compete against some of the toughest competition in the state of Texas,” said Allen. “I don’t think we’ve performed to our highest potential yet this season, so I’m hoping that will happen at the State meet. I’m also hoping we’ll be able to bring a medal, or even some medals, back home from the State meet.”