By JOSH FRYE
Tyler Newton broke a state record, and Chase Bell broke two, to lead the way as Escambia Academy captured its seventh Class 2A state title in the last nine years during the 2020 AISA State Powerlifting Championship Meet at Pickens Academy on February 18.
In addition to capturing the state championship, EA also finished first overall.
“We went into meet with 24 overall state records,” EA Headmaster Hugh Fountain said. “It is awesome to break two records. We now have 25 confirmed state records because one of the records that was broken was a former EA record. Since it was our record, it doesn’t count towards the overall number.”
According to Fountain, what sets EA apart from other AISA schools is that the Cougars weightlift during the course of the year and most of the kids also run track, which gives the school an edge in conditioning and competitive competition.
Fountain explained that EA’s student-athletes are a greedy, tough bunch of kids, who work very hard, never take for granted their successes and work as a team.
Newton broke the state record for deadlift in the Super Heavyweight class, and Bell broke state records for deadlift the most total weight lifted in the 140-lb. classification.
Along with Bell and Newton, the other first-place finishers for EA in their respective weight classes were Shawnton Riley (98 lbs.), Samorian Clark (105 lbs.), Orlando Medina (115 lbs.), Ty’rese Smith (175 lbs.), Troy Fountain (242 lbs.) and Chris Long (275 lbs.).
Second-place finishers for the Cougars were Josh Spruill (123 lbs.), Matt Brittingham (148 lbs.), Daughtry McGhee (158 lbs.), Shannon Wheat (165 lbs.), Randall Bonds (181 lbs.) and J.J. Stevens (242 lbs.).
Parker Robinson (132 lbs.) and Kelan Riley (81 lbs.) rounded out EA’s top-three finishers, each claiming third place.