Powerlifting is not for the faint of heart.
Just ask Sawyer Roberts, Big Spring High School's qualifier for the state championship meet, which will begin Saturday at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene. Weigh-ins begin today.
Roberts, a senior, will compete in the super heavyweight class, and will try to set a new personal record — 650 pounds — in his best event, the dead lift.
There will be three categories of competition: the squat, the bench press, and the dead lift, and Roberts will get three lifts per event, with the officials entering the best lift from each station, then totaling the amounts for a final score.
It obviously isn't easy to lift more than a quarter-ton of weight, but Roberts is more than ready to make his first appearance at the state championship level.
“The past four years of hard work have finally paid off,” said Roberts, who barely missed qualifying for state last year as a junior.
Working with Roberts has been BSHS Powerlifting Coach Reg McConnell, who is proud of Roberts' accomplishments over the years.
“He really made a commitment two years ago to become a better athlete,” McConnell said. “He has transformed himself and his body and it's starting to show now. He reached his goal of making it to state.”
Roberts said he has had plenty of support in his corner since he set his lofty goal.
“I have to thank the whole Roberts family,” he added. “I also have to give a shout-out to coaches McConnell, Wright, Rawlings, and Tuttle.”
Roberts will be headed to state with confidence, having placed first in all five invitationals this year, and finishing second at regionals.
Aside from being a powerhouse in the gym, Roberts' character also is first-rate, McConnell said.
“On top of all he has achieved, he's a good kid,” the coach said. “And he's a good leader for us.”