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PRC powerlifting finishes third at state meet

Pearl River Central’s powerlifting team already secured the 5A south state championship when it competed at the state meet over the weekend.

The Blue Devils placed third overall in the 5A class behind Vicksburg and Lake Cormorant, and had several athletes earn a spot on the podium.

Ethan Lossett placed third in the 123-pound weight class, Tristan Williams placed second in the 132-pound weight class, Taylor Holloway placed fourth in the 165-pound weight class, Garret Rester was named state champion in the 181-pound weight class and broke a state record in his weight class with a 580-pound squat, Landon Dodd placed third in the 198-pound weight class and Peyton Thigpen took fifth place in the 243-pound weight class.

The third place finish was the best in the program’s history and Coach Jacob Owen said his athletes weren’t affected by the atmosphere or pressure on their shoulders.

“I thought they handled it great. We did not have one single scratch due to a missed command or lack of depth on a squat. There were no lapses in discipline. All of the guys were jacked up and excited to be there and lifted with a lot of energy and passion. They did weight they’d never done before which is what you want to do in a situation like that. You want to set personal records,” Owen said.

Not only did the Blue Devils bring home some awards, but they were also able to enjoy some new experiences.

After last year was cut short due to COVID-19, there was a semblance of normalcy this weekend as the athletes got the opportunity to make memories that’ll stick with them long after they’ve graduated.

“Any time you’re able to have your kids experience the opportunity to win a championship in any sport is special. Our guys got the opportunity to go to state overnight, and we went out to eat hibachi, which for some of those guys it was their first time ever eating hibachi. It was a great experience to share with these teammates and players, and they were able to make a lot memories they’ll remember for a long time,” Owen said.

PRC will be bringing home more than just some medals after their showing at the state meet.

The performance can have lasting effects, not only on the returning athletes, but other programs as well.

That mindset can spread throughout PRC’s sporting programs as athletes grow more confident in their abilities to take on, and beat, top-tier competition.

“We’ve proven to ourselves now that we can compete at a high level in this sport and success breeds success. We believe these guys now knowing they can be successful and what they can achieve will carry over into other sports they compete in,” Owen said.