Local powerlifters headed to state in record numbers

Local powerlifters headed to state
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:09 PM CDT
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DENISON, Texas (KXII) - Some of the strongest athletes in Texas will soon put their strength to the test at the high school state powerliftng meet.

Texoma will be well represented, with numerous schools sending athletes to state, including the Denison Yellow Jackets and Sherman Bearcats.

“They mentality they’ve had all year is if they put in on their back, put it in their hands, they’re going to lift it,” Denison powerlifting coach Gary Bigelow said.

“The future is extremely bright,” Sherman powerlifting coach Kenneth Wilkerson said. “Especially as the momentum starts to roll and they realize this is a program they want to be a part of and it’s growing.”

”They work their tails off and they do exactly what we ask them to do and it’s showing. We’re benefiting from it,” Bigelow said. “Denison’s 13 state qualifiers is the most in the history of the program. So, it’s always been a goal of mine.”

”I’ve been looking foward to this since I started powerlifting,” Aarron Schafer said.

For some powerlifters, they’ve been here before.

”I’m still kind of nervous, you still get the jitters going to state,” Kyson Lusane said. “It makes me know what’s there, what’s the competition out there. I’m still here and still ready to win.”

”Trying not to get overwhelmed as much when it comes to lifting or competing,” Kianna Jones said. “Staying out of my competition’s head is letting them stay out of mine and just doing the best that I can for me.”

”So coming into it, they kind of had to be talked into and prodded a little bit to even try powerlifting,” Wilkerson said. “By the end of it, they’re regional champions and seeing so much success and realizing how good they can be.”

But everyone has their eye on the same goal.

”I’m looking forward to setting knew PR’s,” Ariana Jarillo said. “Having the coaches there helping me do better.”

“It’s obvious we’d love to finish with 13 gold medals,” Bigelow said. “I really do believe that we can have a couple of state champions out of this group. That’s kind of the expectation.”