Long County’s weightlifting team recently competed in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association 2-AA State Weightlifting Championship at Jefferson County High School.
Three Blue Tide competitors brought home medals and one was named the strongest pound-for-pound athlete in the state.
Ioannis Watkins won the state championship in the 140-pound and below division. He also won the Strongest Man in the State medal in AA. Watkins, who weighs 138 pounds, benched pressed 265 pounds and lifted 255 pounds in the power clean lift.
Also bringing home medals for the Blue Tide were Brendon Scott, who was runner-up to the strongest man title in the 161-170-pound weight division, and Chris Wells, who took fifth place in the 141-150-pound division.
Weightlifting coach Eric McNair said the school took nine boys to the competition so having three earn medals was a good showing.
“We took some of our older boys and younger ones,” the coach said. “As expected, the older ones did pretty well and medaled, but the experience was a good one for the younger guys, too.”
McNair said this is the fourth year Long County has competed in weightlifting and that the school has seen a lot of progress.
“Weightlifting is so beneficial to all of your sports programs,” McNair said. “It obviously helps athletes become bigger, faster and stronger, but it also helps prevent injuries.”