The Mississippi Link Newswire
Austin Perkins began preparing for the powerlifting national championship a week after the Clinton Arrows won the 2016 football state title. “He was predicted to get third place at the nationals meet,” said his father and Lady Arrows track head coach Jonathan Perkins. “This was based on his previous totals at the meets he participated in this year.”
They went over a plan the night before the competition to see what attempts he wanted to make. At the 2017 USA Powerlifting High School National Championship meet April 1 in Scranton, Penn., Austin squatted 551 pounds, bench pressed 325 and dead lifted 584. The bench and deadlift were his personal records, and were enough to launch him into first place at the championship.
“He has always wanted to be the strongest in the nation and this year was the last year he could accomplish it,” Jonathan Perkins said. Austin was the only student from CPSD competing in the event and one of only three from Mississippi.
He faced opponents from New Jersey, Wisconsin, South Dakota, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Texas, New York and other states. At 153 pounds he was the lightest competitor in his weight class. To get to the national competition, he had to attend a USA Powerlifting-sanctioned event and lift to get a qualifying total for his weight class – his was 1118.8.
“Usually powerlifting teams lift 3-4 days a week and when they lift, they lift light days and heavy days,” Jonathan Perkins said. “But Austin lifted day in and day out. He lifts heavy every day, pushing his body to the max to lift more and more every meet.”