By Rick Sheek
Elizabethton’s powerlifting team is headed back to the APF High School Nationals, set for April 13-14 in Baton Rouge, La.
Having qualified are Alexes Bird, Arian Scott, Cerri Bradley, Courtney Odom, Luke Blanton, Hannah Oliver and Tori Cruz.
“We’re going to travel down there, and we hope for a good result,” Chad Salyer, the assistant coach, said before Wednesday morning’s workout at EHS. “We look for a couple of national champions out of this bunch, maybe even more.”
Jacob Slagle and Nikolai Simpson will each attempt to make the cut this Saturday at the Tennessee State Championships in Maryville, a USPL event but like APF also under the sanctioning of the International Powerlifting Federation. The standard to make the national meet is the average 10th-place average in weight class over the past five years.
“So all of the kids that are qualified, were beating an average 10th place the last few years,” Coach Alex Campbell said.
The three categories are squat, bench press and dead lift. Over a time period of six hours, the athletes get three attempts at each.
“They will be competing against kids from all over the United States in their own weight class, who have also qualified for the meet,” Campbell said. “Because of the meet’s location, in Louisiana, you get a lot of kids from Texas, Oklahoma and the Midwest.”
The coaches agree the top contenders to win it all are Bird, Bradley and Blanton (the killer bees).