Powerlifting: Powering through – Alvord, Chico send lifters to state

By Reece Waddell | Published Wednesday, February 28, 2018
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Alvord’s Blysse Boling had one lift remaining to erase a 30-pound deficit and qualify for the state powerlifting meet.

MOVING ON – Alvord powerlifters Blysse Boling (left) and Allison Ricketts (right) qualified for the state powerlifting meet. Ricketts finished the regional meet as the No. 1 lifter in 2A, while Boling finished second. Messenger photo by Reece Waddell

After recording only 90 pounds on bench press, Boling needed a personal-best on the final event of the day – deadlift – to earn a trip to Waco. Needing as much energy as she could muster, Boling quickly downed as much sugar as she could.

But she wasn’t chugging soda or Gatorade.

“I drank so much honey that I could not even sit down,” Boling said. “I pretended to be confident the whole time even though I was deadly afraid. I knew on deadlift I was going to have to do something I’ve never done – and I did it.”

Boling hoisted 235 pounds on deadlift, catapulting her into third place in the 105-pound weight division at the Region 6 Division 3 meet. She finished with a net weight of 530 pounds, narrowly edging out Lindsey Markcum of Bells by five pounds to advance to the state meet.

“She had to pull a personal-best of over 30 pounds in order to get in. It was a last-minute, do-or-die type situation,” said Alvord girls powerlifting coach John Wright. “She pulled through when she had to and beat the other girl.”

Did Wright think Boling’s honey indulgence was the difference-maker?

“I don’t know about the chugging honey part,” Wright said. “I’ve been coaching powerlifting for over 20 years and I can’t say that really makes a difference, but she’s the kind of kid that is going to do whatever she has to. Even if she sees someone else eat honey, then yeah, she’s going to do that, too.”

When the regional meet came to an end last Saturday at Chico, Boling was the No. 2 powerlifter from Class 2A, trailing only teammate Allison Ricketts. Ricketts placed fourth in the 259-pound weight class, lifting a total of 790 pounds. She finished first overall in 2A, squatting and deadlifting 300 pounds.

This will be Ricketts’ second consecutive trip to the state meet and Boling’s first.

“It’s big privilege for those girls, and they’ve earned it,” Wright said. “I think the fact this is Allison’s second trip is a testament to her hard work. Blysse on the other hand just came in this year and is a naturally strong, hard-working kid. I’m just proud for her because she was sitting seventh in the region going in [to the regional meet] and finished second.”

Ricketts said over the next two weeks she will be working on her squat form in hopes of being able to lift more. She said at times she feels her bench press total has to compensate for her squat, since Ricketts tends to bend her back when she lifts.

Although Ricketts posted the second-best bench press total in the 259-pound weight division, she squatted 80 pounds less than the first-place finisher.

“My best [lift] is bench because I don’t really have legs,” Ricketts joked. “My legs are really weak, especially for my weight class.”

Ricketts and Boling will compete at the state meet March 17 at the Extraco Center in Waco.

Pumping Iron

PUMPING IRON – Chico’s Haley Pollard celebrates after recording a personal-best of 155 pounds on bench press. Pollard advanced to the state powerlifting meet. Messenger photo by Joe Duty


Chico’s Haley Pollard also advanced to the state meet, finishing third in the 132-pound weight class.

Pollard lifted a total of 725 pounds, posting a personal-best of 155 pounds on bench press. Only Van Alystne’s Alyssa Hill bench pressed more in her weight division.

Sophia Palomo of Boyd finished 12th in the 165-pound weight division. She lifted 630 pounds. Star Fontenot was Paradise’s only lifter to place, finishing ninth in the 181-pound weight division. She lifted a total of 660 pounds.

Alvord placed 19th as a team. Chico finished 21st. Boyd and Paradise did not score points as a team and did not place.

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