|Lewis headed to powerlifting state meet|
|From Staff Reports|
March 6, 2006 - GREENVILLE - Zach Lewis lifted more than a half-ton on Saturday, and that doesn't include the medal and trophy he carried off.
Lewis, a 130-pound SSHS senior, won first place in the 132-pound division of the Region III THSPA powerlifting meet, earning him a trip to the state meet later this month.
He set personal records in both the squat and bench press, and was given a trophy for successfully benching 280 pounds - the most of any lifter on the light platform and just five pounds shy of the regional record.
Two other SSHS lifters placed fourth in their respective weight classes and will be alternates to state. Eric Gunderson was fourth in the 114-pound class, and Jeff Pitts was fourth in the 148-pound division.
James Taylor went into the meet with the 12th-best total in the 242-pound class, but ended up seventh.
"They all competed hard," said SSHS coach Carl Hornback. "I think they all went over there and gave their best effort."
Lewis went into the meet with the No. 1 ranking in the region, and he lived up to it. He started the meet by squatting a personal-best of 390 pounds in the squat and then came the bench press.
Hornback said he could have opted to try to tie or break the existing record of 285 pounds.
"I asked him if he wanted to bump up and go for it, but he said, No, he wasn't here to set records, he just wanted to do the best he could," Hornback related. "That's pretty mature.
"He could have done it, and maybe at state he'll get 290. The kid works hard. He works really, really, really hard."
He then lifted 405 in the dead lift to total 1,075 pounds, his highest total of the season.
Lewis will travel to Aldine on March 25 to compete in the state meet.
Gunderson was in a position with his final dead lift of needing to get 365 pounds to earn an automatic state bid. He could have chosen something lighter to try to safely get third place, but instead he went for the weight that would get him to state.
"The kid put it on the bar and he tried and got it about halfway up," Hornback said. "He didn't shy away from it, and that's all you can ask from a kid. He wanted it, but he just couldn't quite get it up."
Gunderson ended with a 815-pound total.
Pitts, who had competed in just one powerlifting meet this year because of a leg injury, set a personal record of 455 pounds in the dead lift to finish with a 1,050-pound total. He actually tied for third, but was awarded fourth because he weighed more than the other competitor.
Taylor, who didn't even know if he would be lifting on Saturday because he was an alternated, lifted 1,255 pounds and got all the way up to seventh place.
"I'm proud of all of these kids," Hornback said. "They've all worked so hard to get where they are. We're expecting good things out of Zach at state."