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Powerlifting: Burks finishes fourth at nationals

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, May 7, 2016
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Adding Weight

ADDING WEIGHT – Bridgeport’s Bronson Burks made it to state as a senior in high school. Last month, the Angelo State University freshman finished fourth at a national meet. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

After graduating from Bridgeport in 2015, Bronson Burks headed to Angelo State, hoping to find a spot on the football field.

Soon after stepping on the West Texas campus, his ambitions changed. He left behind the gridiron and instead found a different team to compete for.

“I left Bridgeport to play football but didn’t really like the team,” he recalled. “I learned about the powerlifting team and really liked it.”

In his first season lifting for the Rams, Burks has thrived. He finished fourth in the super-heavy weight division at the USA Powerlifting Collegiate National competition at Providence, R.I. April 13-18.

Burks lifted 740 kilograms (1,631 pounds). He lifted 305 kilograms on squat, 142.5 on bench press and 292.5 on deadlift.

The results were a surprise to Burks, who admitted he went on the trip as a vacation as much to compete.

“I didn’t expect it. I just went for the trip because I had never been to Rhode Island,” Burks said.

In his final year at Bridgeport, Burks qualified for the Texas High School Powerlifting Association championships. He finished 10th in the 275-pound class, lifting 1,490.

Since March 2015, he has increased his max for squat by nearly 100 pounds to 672. He’s added nearly 50 pounds on deadlift to 646.

“I’ve been constantly working out,” Burks said. “In college, powerlifting starts in September and you lift all year. In high school, you have football and you only lift two to three months.

Burks took second in his super-heavy weight class at his first meet in November, lifting 667.5 kilograms. By his next meet in February, he added another 20 kilograms to 687.5. Two months later he made the big jump at nationals.

“Every time I compete my numbers jump,” Burks said.

With three more years left of eligibility, Burks is hoping to continue competing and getting a shot to move to the top of his class.

“I’m always working out, putting in the time and effort, and it shows,” he said.

As far as Rhode Island as a vacation, he advised the weather was nice.

“It was bit cooler, which is great,” he said. “As a bigger guy, I like it cooler.”

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