It can take a lot of small elements in a championship event to give a team the top prize – or, at least most of the time.
For the Port Allen girls powerlifting team, it came down to some first-place lifts by perennial contenders, but one lifter defied the odds for the one point needed for the Lady Pelicans to successfully defend their Division IV state championship in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Championship Powerlifting Meet at Rapides Parish Coliseum.
Destiny Winfield, who entered the 181-lb. division a No. 3 seed, surprised opponents when she captured the top lift in her division with a total of 720 pounds. for first place in her division.
“It’s all about believing you can defy the odds and do better than what’s expected of you, and Destiny proved that,” head coach Brian Bizette said.
The duo of senior Rickia Lenoir and sophomore Summer Frank combined to take first and second in the heavyweight division. Lenoir had a total lift of 855 lbs. and Frank finished with 840.
Gabrionna Foster topped the 220 bracket (725), Emily Nichol was first in the 198 (735).
The victory marked the seventh for the Port Allen powerlifting program, all under Bizette’s watch.
Statistics prior to the meet put Port Allen as a third or fourth place finish, which made this year’s championship even more special for Bizette.
“The first time is always the one you remember most, kind of like that first love in high school,” he said. “But there’s something very special about a team which is not expected to win but does it all of sheer determination.”
Port Allen finished the event with 46 points, one point ahead of pre-event favorite Calvary Baptist. Northlake Christian took third (39), Pope John Paul was fourth (30) and Delhi Charter fifth (11). Patrick Taylor, Darbonne, French Settlement, St. Helena and Lakeview rounded out the top finishers.
Five Pelican powerlifters compete at state meet
The Port Allen boys powerlifting program had five athletes competing at the state meet in Alexandria last weekend.
Trevonte Shepherd had the best outing with a fifth-place finish in the 198-pound division with a total of 985 pounds.
Peyton Smith came in sixth in the 114-pound division with a total of 510. Justin Smith finished ninth in SHW division. Colby Creduer (148) and Thomas Shepherd (220) placed ninth in their respective weight classes.