SHELTON — Montesano’s male powerlifters will try to perpetuate one of the longest state title streaks in high school athletic history this weekend.
The Bulldog boys will shoot for their 10th consecutive team title at the State Powerlifting Championships Saturday at Shelton High School.
Montesano will also be attempting to end Northwest Christian of Lacey’s three-year reign as the state girls titleholder. Action will begin at 10 a.m., with the tournament running through mid-afternoon.
The Bulldog boys and girls have won every invitational meet for which they’ve sent a full team this spring and plan to have 25 lifters (15 boys and 10 girls) on hand Saturday. Monte coach Eric Stanfield, however, is anything but overconfident.
Monte’s boys have beaten Shelton by less than five points twice, while the girls have edged Northwest Christian by even smaller margins. Conflicting commitments traditionally make invitational meets something less than accurate barometers of state success.
Graduation has also taken a heavy toll on many of the contenders.
Montesano’s boys, for example, graduated three of their five individual champions from a year ago. A fourth, Cody Sampair, will miss the state meet with a knee injury suffered during football. Skye Jefferson, the other returning state champ, has also been slowed by an injury but is expected to compete Saturday.
“It’s going to be a very even state meet this year,” Stanfield cautioned. “Our boys are going to have to be smart lifters. The lifters (who are unable to win) need to get second places rather than thirds.”
Monte’s girls, according to Stanfield, will adopt a similar strategy.
“We’re going to be praying that our girls are nice and healthy, be smart lifters and go as hard as they can,” the Bulldog coach said.
North Beach’s girls slipped ahead of Montesano to finish second to Northwest Christian at state last year and figure to be strong again. The Hyaks return a state champion in Shyanne Morrow.
White River of Buckley is a possible boys team title contender.