Warren Central’s Wallace takes aim at powerlifting state championship

Published 3:39 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

Katie Wallace has tried a few different sports and activities over the years. Her best and favorite one, she sort of stumbled into.

“I’ve always loved the gym. Freshman year, my friend said, ‘My dad coaches powerlifting and I think you would do great on it,’” Wallace said. “So I went for it and I was good at it, so I kept doing it.”

All the way to the top of the sport.

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On Friday, Wallace will compete in the MHSAA Class 6A girls’ state powerlifting meet for the second year in a row. She’s a top contender for the state championship in the 242-pound weight class and is hoping to finish her high school career on top of the podium.

“It’s definitely taken me by a whirlwind,” Wallace said. “I didn’t think I’d be this serious about a sport. I’ve done so many other sports and so many other activities, but this one has been the one I’ve loved the most, for sure. It just gives that adrenaline that you can’t really describe.”

Besides powerlifting, Wallace is a member of both Warren Central’s swim team and the Vicksburg Swim Association’s club team. She also sings in several of Warren Central’s fine arts programs.

In the gym, though, is where she really flexes her muscle. Wallace won the Region 3-6A championship and finished fourth at the state meet as a junior. She totaled 780 pounds in the squat, deadlift and bench press at the 2023 state meet and missed a podium finish by only five pounds.

Heading into this year’s state meet at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Wallace is expected to not only reach the podium but contend for a title. Her seed total of 790 pounds is second-best among the six lifters in the 242-pound division. Only West Harrison’s Amari Adkins, at 865 pounds, has a higher total.

“We’re definitely top three, that’s for sure,” Wallace said.

Wallace added that her squat lift has accounted for a lot of her overall increase. She squatted 340 pounds at the 2023 state meet, and 375 in winning the Class 6A North State championship a month ago. Wallace totaled 830 pounds at the North State meet.

“I’ve improved on my squat a lot. Last year I could barely do 350 and this year I’m doing, like, 400 and 415. It’s been fun to see,” she said. “Everything has increased. It’s just training a lot more, and training better this year than I did last year.”

Wallace said her goal for Friday is to total at least 900 pounds. Besides raw horsepower, she’s hoping to rely on strategy to beat Adkins and the rest of the six-woman field.

“We’re playing around with the numbers to see what’s her best vs. the other girls,” Warren Central coach Destinee King said. “So far we’ve come up with her squat being her best lift. With that, we’re going to try to maximize as much as we can in the beginning, that way we don’t have to play catch-up.”

No matter how Friday turns out, Wallace said she was proud to finish her high school career as one of the best powerlifters in the state.

“I like having that feeling because it’s a feeling of accomplishment,” she said. “It’s just knowing that I did it last year, I can do more and do better this year.”

Wallace is not the only Warren County lifter to qualify for the Class 6A state meet.

Vicksburg High freshman Cedrionna Blackmore will complete in the girls’ 220-pound weight class. Blackmore is the No. 3 seed among the six lifters in her division, with a seed total of 695 pounds.

In the boys’ meet, Warren Central’s Trevor Meadows and Sam Ross, and Vicksburg’s Korzabian Hill will all compete.

Meadows is the No. 2 seed in the 181-pound weight class, with a seed total of 1,270 pounds. Ross is the No. 2 seed in the 220-pound division, with a total of 1,340 pounds.

Hill, meanwhile, is the No. 6 seed in the boys’ 242-pound class with a total of 1,200 pounds.

The girls’ state meet is Friday at the Mississippi Coliseum. Lifters in the 97- through 148-pound weight classes will begin at 9 a.m., and the 165- through 242-plus classes will start at 2:30 p.m.

The boys’ meet is Saturday at the Coliseum, with the 97- through 181-pound weight classes starting at 9 a.m., and the 198-pound through super heavyweight classes at 2:30 p.m.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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