WEST MONROE -- Nothing feels quite like the first time – even if it’s not.
Just ask the Port Allen girls powerlifting team. The Lady Pelicans entered the 2012-13 state competition as three-time champions. But this year’s win had a little more luster to it.
Port Allen became the first-ever Louisiana High School Athletic Association state powerlifting champion during the weekend at West Monroe High School.
“I emphasized that all during the season,” PAHS coach Brian Bizette said. “Once you’re in the books, you’re never removed from the books – and that motivated them.”
High school powerlifting dates back more than 30 years, but the 2012-13 season marked its first year under the LHSAA banner.
The PAHS girls tallied 63 points, while runner up Farmerville finished with 48. Buckeye (24) placed third and Richwood and Jena tied for fourth (15). Church Pointe, Rayne and North Vermillion rounded out the competition.
PAHS standouts Demaiya Claiborne and Brittany Wilson were named Outstanding Lifters for the event.
Claiborne and Megan Mazzochette also became the first PAHS powerlifters to win four consecutive state championships.
Claiborne finished first in the 114-lb. division (265-120-280-665).
Mazzochette led the 198-lb. division (320-
“I don’t know if that’s ever happened in any other sport at Port Allen,” Bizette said. “If it has happened, it hasn’t happened much.”
The Lady Pelicans captured seven first-place medals, along with two for runner-up and one apiece for third and fifth.
Wilson led the 220-plus division (405-195-335-935). She eclipsed teammate Raven Nichols (325-140-320-785).
“It’s the best showing yet for a Port Allen powerlifting team,” Bizette said. “I knew this team was special and probably the most talented team yet strength-wise.
“They were very motivated, although I lad to fire them up a little because it’s such a long season from November to March,” he said. “They stayed the course.”
Jada Murphy led the 105-lb. division (185-80-255-520) ahead of teammate Rebekah Tucker (185-90-205-480).
Tyzhanique Montague topped the 132-lb. bracket (270-115-300-685), while Kailyn Smith led in the 148 (265-115-315-695).
Gina Mazzochette dominated the 181-lb. category (275-130-290-695).
Tyquincya Reed finished runner-up in the 165-lb. bracket (255-115-275-645) and Raven Nichols placed second in the 220-plus (325-140-320-785).
Bizette said he did not expect the team to win more than five first-place medals. He used another motivational ploy to change that.
“I told them first and runner-up were the only two medals they give out, so they’d really need to work hard,” he said. “That motivated them to push a little harder, as well.
The boys team placed fourth, behind Church Point, Farmerville and Buckeye. Richwood, Rayne, Jena, St. Charles and Marksville rounded out the competition.
Justin Franklin placed first in the 114-lb. class (305-180-340-825).
Ledarius Williams finished second in the 181-lb. division (495-275-470-1.240).
Joshua Vance placed third in the 165-lb. bracket (430-265-475-1.170).