Rebels win more weightlifting titles

Published 7:22 pm Thursday, April 19, 2012

By James Dubuisson | Special to the Advertiser

Thorsby’s weightlifting teams have become state powerhouses.

The THS boys team won their third consecutive Class 2A state championship on April 14 at the 2012 Alabama State High School Powerlifting Championships at Enterprise High School, while the girls team won their second in a row.

More than 600 student-athletes from all over the state competed in the event.

Thorsby seniors Kip Cleckley and Jonathan Spivey won their respective weight classes. Cleckley’s lifts totaled 755 pounds, which clinched his second straight individual championship in the 132-pound weight class. Spivey lifted more than half a ton to win the 242-pound weight class.

The second place finish of Brent Overton in the 232-pound weight class also helped the boys team. Third place finishes by Sam Harris, Zac Hensley and Brandon Scalf, in their respective weight classes, were key in Thorsby’s victory.

Along with the 2A championship, the boys finished third in the overall standings, which consisted of all the schools that attended the meet.

The girls team has won two titles in only three years competing at the event. This year’s team saw 13 girls finish in the top three in their respective weight classes, including eight first place winners.

Anna Hilyer, Madison McLain, Jennifer Spivey, Haley Barnett, Chyanne Martin, Katie Watley, Kaitlyn Langston, Jackie Holcomb and Kaitelyn Beam all won individual championships for their weight classes.

Until coach Keith Williams brought the weightlifting team back in the 2009-10 school year, Thorsby did not lift in the state meet since winning two straight championships in the early 2000s.

“Winning the first title is easy, winning the second is difficult but winning the third is nearly impossible—and we did the impossible,” Williams said.

Williams also said that the competition is getting better every year and that New Brocton High School, who finished second, was the fiercest competition they have come up against in their three years of competing.

In regard to Thorsby moving up to class 3A next year, Williams said: “It is like starting all over.”

The top 3A school at the meet, Daleville, finished second in the overall 1A-6A standings, one spot in front of Thorsby.

“Weightlifting gives athletes confidence in their own abilities,” Williams said. “It gives them direction, because if they put every effort into every rep and every set, they get good results. It is like every sport, all the hard work comes down to one swing, one throw, one shot, one kick, one catch, one pitch, one swing. In weightlifting, it all comes down to one rep.”