Bearcats Repeat As Weightlifting Champs
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Outlifting their 2013 total by 55 pounds and having to survive a miscalculation that had mistakenly awarded the title to Pottsville, the Booneville Bearcats won the Class 4A state weightlifting title for the second straight year Saturday.
Josh Walker and Ricky May coached the Bearcat squad to the title, the ninth overall — the titles span five sports — in school history.
After the miscalculation error was corrected, the Bearcats had beaten their current Conference 4A-4 foe Apaches by 90 pounds to win Class 4A in the meet held in Dardanelle. They finished third overall to Class 5A Wynne (5,060) and Class 2A Junction City (5,035).
The 4,880 pound total for the Bearcats would have also topped the Class 3A standings as well.
They did so behind senior Dalton Gray who bench pressed 365 pounds and power cleaned another 300 for a 665 pound total to win the 259-pound division. Gray was second in the 242-pound division a year ago when he totalled 660 pounds.
Juniors Bryson May and Justin Shackleford both lifted 555 pounds with May’s coming in the 242-pound division and Shackleford’s coming in the 198-pound division. May was in the 220-pound division a year ago and Shackleford moved up from the 181-pound group and added 25 pounds in the process.
Senior Cody Harrel lifted 525 pounds in the 181-pound division — up 20 pounds from his 2013 total despite a drop from the 198-pound division.
Senior Damon May also cracked the quarter ton mark with 520 pounds in the heavyweight field and junior Taylor Epperson accumulated 505 pounds in the 220-pound division.
Also contributing to the title were freshman Hayden Fennell with 290 pounds in the 123-pound division; junior Landon Vance 330 pounds in the 132-pound division; junior Corey Slavey 455 pounds in the 148-pound division; and junior Matt Berry 480 pounds in the 165-pound division.