Powerlifting: Williams claims regional crown – Decatur lifter earns state spot

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 11, 2015
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Protecting an injured hand, Dakota Williams decided to play it safe on deadlift, pulling up 550 pounds on his final try.

“My hand has been getting worse and worse. Luckily we had the days off [because of snow] to rest,” Williams explained.

Doing the Heavy Lifting

DOING THE HEAVY LIFTING – Bridgeport’s Tyler Jennings completes a squat Saturday during the regional meet in Chico. Jennings won the 242-pound class lifting 1,345 pounds. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The 550 pounds were more than enough to give Williams the 220-pound title at the Region 6 Division 2 meet Saturday at Chico High School. Williams lifted a total of 1,415 pounds to earn his first trip to state.

“This means a lot,” said Williams, who dropped from the 275-pound class last year to the 220 division. “I remember my freshman year spotting and thinking it’d be great to be at this spot.”

Williams finished with a squat of 580, setting a school record in the weight class.

He followed that with a bench press of 285.

Going into deadlift he trailed Mineral Wells’ Johnny Morales by 15 pounds.

Williams pulled 75 more pounds than Morales on deadlift to win the title.

“I was trying to do the math and look up his max,” Williams said. “I thought I had him but wanted to make sure.

“This makes all those mornings of getting up early to work out worth it.”

Reaching the Top

REACHING THE TOP – Decatur’s Dakota Williams won the 220-pound class at the regional meet in Chico. Messenger photo by Richard Greene


After his squat of 490 pounds, Bridgeport senior Tyler Jennings was in eighth place with a lot of ground to make up in the 242-pound class.

“I was nervous,” Jennings said. “I was afraid I wasn’t going to get to the top.”

But Jennings moved up the standings with his class-best 375 pounds on bench press. He then captured the title, pulling 480 on deadlift.

“I didn’t know if I could pull enough to get up there,” Jennings said. “I was counting on a couple of guys not getting their lifts.”

He tallied 1,345, edging Sanger’s Ryan Langley by five pounds.

“It’s an honor. I’ve only been doing this for two years,” Jennings said.


Trailing Decatur’s Rickey Roberts going into his last lift, Bridgeport’s Bronson Burks loaded the bar with 30 pounds more than his previous best deadlift.

Burks pulled the 615 pounds to pass Roberts for second place in the 275-pound class and earn a state spot.

“It felt really good to do it,” Burks said. “I was nervous that Rickey would catch me and tie and he’d advance because he weighs less.”

Burks finished with a total of 1,445 pounds. He had a squat of 525 and bench press of 305.

Burks said he only got his openers on squat and bench.

Roberts took third with 1,430. Roberts was lifting at regionals after tearing his Achilles tendon last fall.

“It’s been a crazy year after tearing the Achilles and being able to come back and compete in powerlifting,” Roberts said.

“I left too much on bench.”

Roberts recored 555 on squat an 290 on bench press before his 585 on deadlift.

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