|Leo lifts another state champoinship|
|Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor|
March 29, 2004 -- Leo Wisniewski went to the state powerlifting meet as the No. 1-ranked lifter in the 275-pound division, but the Sulphur Springs senior found himself in an unusual position after the squat on Saturday.
That just meant Wisniewski is a come-from-behind winner as he claimed the Texas High School Powerlifting Association state championship by outlifting his competition in the final two events, bench press and dead lift, at Hofheinz Pavilion at the University of Houston.
It was Wisniewski's second straight state championship after he won the 220-pound division last year.
"Leo was confident he could win," said coach Dean Lasseter, who took two other lifters, freshman Bill Pryor and senior Brandon Skelton, to the meet. "Leo's always confident. He works hard enough to be confident."
Wisniewski said last year's experience at the state meet helped also. He has been behind just twice since his freshman year -- at state each of the last two years.
"I was real confident I could win, because I figured I could catch up in the bench and dead lift," he said. "I was down 25 pounds after the squat and 10 after the dead lift.
"Actually, it made me more confident because it happened last year at state. I was down 10 last year at the state meet and it kind of scared me then."
Wisniewski set a school record of 675 pounds in the squat Saturday, then bench pressed a personal-best 400 pounds before dead-lifting 605 for a total of 1,680.
"That's outstanding," Lasseter said.
"I had a great day in all three events," Wisniewski said. "It's always a great day when you win."
His teammates, Pryor and Skelton, didn't win, but they both came away with something from the meet.
Pryor placed fourth in the 114-pound division, which is quite an accomplishment for a freshman. He went into the meet ranked sixth, but had his best total of the season to move into fourth place.
Pryor totaled 880 pounds with a squat of 375, bench press of 155 and dead lift of 350.
He had hit a growing spurt recently and coaches were concerned he might not make weight, but once he did, he had his best day of the year.
"Bill competed very well, especially for a freshman," Lasseter said.
Skelton missed his squat, which would put him out of the running, but he came away with a $1,000 scholarship from the THSPA based on his academic standing, regional championship in powerlifting, and three letters of recommendation.
"He just didn't have his strength that day, but he's one of our best lifters and a real team player. He worried about Bill the whole time, and he's very unselfish," Lasseter said. "He's very deserving of that scholarship."