Hornets’ lifters improve weight total, finish fourth at State meet

RUSSELLVILLE — With a record 48 schools competing, the Bryant Hornets finished a close fourth in the[more] top classification at the annual State weightlifting championships at Russellville High School on Saturday.

It was the second year in a row that the Hornets’ contingent finishes second. This time, despite increasing the total weight lifted by 220 pounds. In 2010, the Hornets combined to lift 4,735 pounds which was just 50 pounds from finishing second. This year, Bryant combined to lift 4,955 pounds which wound up being just 40 pounds from second place.

El Dorado won the overall title with a team total of 5,065. Van Buren was second at 4,995 and Conway third at 4,985.

For the Hornets, freshman Dustin Fiser finished second overall in the 132-pound class. He benched 225 pounds and power-cleaned 185 for a total of 410 pounds.

Seniors Justin Rauch and Josh Hampton along with junior Karon Dismuke each set personal records in the bench press. Rauch and Hampton each benched 335 pounds and Dismuke reached 325 pounds.

“We thought we had a shot because we were making up ground rapidly in the bench press,” stated Hornets coach Dale Jones. “I talked all three of those guys into going 20 pounds heavier than they wanted to on their last rep. They went 20 pounds up rather than 10 pounds up. And they all three got it. If you don’t get it, then you drop back down to your second score so they all kind of risked it to try and win it.

Rauch, competing in the heavy division, benched 335 and cleaned 220.

Hampton, competing in the 259 pound division, benched 335 and cleaned 245.

Senior Marcus Harris, competing in the 242 pound division, benched 315 (to match his personal best) and cleaned a team-high 265.

Junior Blue Smith, competing in the 220 pound division, benched 305 and cleaned 235.

Dismuke, competing in the 198 pound division, benched 325 and cleaned 235.

Junior Walter Dunn, competing in the 181 pound division, benched 275 and cleaned 235.

Junior Jalen Bell, competing in the 165 pound division, benched 235 and cleaned 225.

Junior Dylan Winfrey, competing in the 148 pound division, benched 235 and cleaned 205.

Freshman Austin Vail, competing in the 125 pound division, benched 165 and cleaned 155.

The power clean total was 2,205 and the bench press was 2,750.

“Rauch missed on his third power clean or he would’ve done better than 220,” Jones mentioned. “And Jalen, 165 pounds was a stretch for him, but he tried to bench a personal best at 255 and he would’ve got it but he got a cramp in his hamstring about three inches from locking it out.

“We were real pleased,” stated the coach. “To improve so much. We hated that we finished the exact same place but, if you’d have told me coming in we’d improve 220 pounds I would’ve taken it in a heartbeat. The kids did really well.”

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