Six of last year’s 10 team champions are among the favorites to repeat as the Louisiana High School Powerlifting Association’s state tournament gets underway at two locations Friday.
Tioga will stage the Division II meet for Class 4A schools while Church Point High hosts the Division III (Class 3A) meet. For both meets, girls’ lifting begins at 9 a.m. while the boys will start at 1 p.m.
The competition will continue Saturday at two additional sites. The Division IV/V meet for Classes 2A/1A and below will be held at Pope John Paul in Slidell. Alexandria Senior High will host the Division I (Class 5A) meet.
At Alexandria, lifting begins at 9 a.m. for boys and girls. At Pope John Paul, girls will lift beginning at 9 a.m. followed by boys at 1 p.m.
Based on regional meet scoring, the Lutcher girls are favored to win their ninth consecutive state title at the Division II meet. Lutcher scored 69 points last year to outdistance second-place Tioga (49).
The Lutcher lineup features three returning individual titleists; Ashley Tucker, Victoria Vicknair and China Storks. All three will move up in weight class with Tucker competing at 114 pounds, Vicknair at 123 and Storks at super heavyweight.
Assumption is favored to take the Division II boys meet with Ellender and Tioga the top challengers.
In Division III, the Church Point boys bring in the top regional score and are favored to repeat as champion. The Bears return two of their seven individual champions from last season; Miguel West at 114 pounds and Jacob Fontenot at 242.
For the Division II girls, Jena is top-seeded, but Union and five-time defending champion Port Allen were both within five points of Jena’s regional score. Port Allen’s Brittny Wilson, last year’s super heavyweight winner, will defend her title.
Host Alexandria is favored to sweep the boys and girls titles in the Division I meet. The Alexandria boys will be challenged by Covington, last year’s champion, and St. Paul’s.
The Alexandria girls finished last year’s meet tied at 49 points with West Monroe, but took home the title thanks to their five first places. Natchitoches Central and West Monroe will be among this year’s top challengers.
Returning boys champions include Covington’s Tyran Garrett at 181 pounds and Nick Gordon (114) and Austin Grashoff (123) of St. Paul’s. For the girls, Covington’s Heather Callejas (220) returns as does Chalmette’s Chelsea Cazenave, who will compete at 114 after winning last year’s 105-pound. division.
Sterlington’s boys are expected to repeat as state champion in Division IV. In 2014, the Panthers scored 36 points to edge Pope John Paul (35) for the championship. The Sterlington girls scored four more regional points than defending champion Pope John Paul to come in as the top seed.
Pope John Paul has three returning girls individual champions in Sophie Samples (105), Morgan Maples (132) and Caroline Cenci (148).
For Division V, the defending champion Delhi girls and the False River boys squads are favored.
The Ascension Catholic girls, led by returning champion Brandi Landry at 105 pounds are expected to contend, as well.
Other returning individual girls winners are False River’s Cheyenne Joffrion (148), La. School for the Deaf’s La’Erica Hayes (181), and Catholic-Pointe Coupee’s Chandler Lejeune (198) and Daphney Jarreau (220).