French Settlement High school senior Dakota Simpson and freshman Jacob Deslatte made a strong debut in the LHSAA / LHSPLA State Powerlifting Championships at the University of Louisiana Monroe.
Simpson competed in the state 2A 123 lb. weight class and finished fifth. He set a personal record by bench pressing 170 lbs. during his competition. Simpson placed 5th in regionals, lifting 705 combined lbs. to qualify for the state competition.
Deslatte competed in the state 2A 132 lb. weight class and finished 9th. He set a personal record in the squat competition. Deslatte's squat was 260 lbs., which beat his previous best by 35 lbs. He lifted 680 combined lbs. to place 8th in regionals.
The road to state was a first for many on the FSHS powerlifting team. They completed their first competition in December, and that meet was the first for most of the Lion powerlifters.
Despite the inexperience, the group earned several medals at invitationals throughout the season.
"These invitationals are so important in pointing out our strengths and weaknesses as we prepare to compete in regionals in March," coach Roy Moore said in a Facebook post in January.
Several Lions set personal records at the regionals competition in February, with Simpson and Deslatte qualifying for the state competition.