SSHS lifters prepare for state meet
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

March 31, 2005 - After lifting more than two tons of weight at the regional powerlifting meet, four Sulphur Springs lifters are heading to Houston for the Texas High School Powerlifting Association state meet on Saturday.

Sophomore Eric Gunderson, junior Zach Lewis and senior Kasey Follis will be competing at the meet, which will be held at the Campbell Athletic Complex. Senior Zane Attaway is also making the trip as an alternate and will compete if another lifter in his weight group is unable.

SSHS coach Dean Lasseter expects the four to compete well, but he acknowledged it will be difficult to score points by placing in the top five. The total of three lifts - bench press, squat and dead lift - are used to determine the overall standings, and none of the four are currently ranked among the top five in their weight classes.

Gunderson, competing in the 114-pound division, had a total lift of 780 at the regional meet, where he placed second. That is the 16th-best lift in his weight class going into the state meet.

Lewis totaled 1,010 pounds at regional in the 132-pound classification, which is the 12th-highest total among the state qualifiers.

Follis is ranked the highest of the SSHS lifters. His 1,200-pound total at regional is eighth-best among those in the 148-pound division heading into the state meet.

Attaway had a 1,425-pound regional total, which placed him third in the super heavyweight division. The top two in each weight class qualified for state.

"We're going to have to lift better than we have all year long to place," Coach Lasseter said. "We're kind of out of the picture a little bit right now, but you never know. If they're strong on Saturday, they may have a chance to compete for a medal."

The Wildcats haven't lifted in a meet since the regional competition in Greenville on March 5, but Lasseter said the lay-off shouldn't hurt their performance.

"The kids lifted all during spring break, and they've been lifting all this week, so lifting-wise, I don't think the break has affected us," he explained. "But, weight-wise, I hope they didn't gain too much weight."

Weigh-in is Friday evening, with competition to start at 9 a.m. Saturday.

"It's going to be tough this year to get in the top five. The ones who are going are ranked lower than that," Lasseter said. "They're going to have to have their best lifts to get a place.

"But, those guys are going to go down there and compete and have a good time because this is the state meet. They've accomplished a lot just to get there."

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