Sorto, Whigham put power in their lifts
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
June 17, 2001
Physically, Allen Whigham and Eddie Sorto are as different as night and day.
But the two men who run the powerlifting competition for the State Games of Mississippi proved Saturday they know not only how to run a meet they know what to do in one, as well.
Whigham, the 128-pound commissioner, and Sorto the 350-pound super heavyweight and former commissioner who lent a hand to Whigham this year combined to take home nine gold medals Saturday in the powerlifting competition at the Frank Cochran Center.
Sorto, who has built a top-notch powerlifting program at Quitman High School, topped the list of winners with five gold medals Saturday. Competing in the super heavyweight division, he won the full open meet with a total lift of 1,545 pounds; claimed the squat-only competition with a lift of 650; won the bench-only event with a lift of 445; claimed the deadlift-only competition with a pull of 450; and also won a gold by filling in as a member of the Northeast Jones team.
Whigham, competing in the 132-pound weight class, won gold medals in the full meet with a total lift of 1,250 pounds; claimed the squat-only event with a lift of 500; won the bench-only with a lift of 250; and claimed the deadlift-only with a pull of 500.
More than 40 individuals picked up medals in the powerlifting competition, but none were more impressive than Jeff Douglas, who left with the trophy as the Best Overall Male Lifter.
The 240-pound Douglas, from Hattiesburg, had the crowd of about 200 spectators in awe as he finished with a total of 1,975 in the full meet. He claimed the gold in the 242-pound open class with a squat of 800, a bench of 475 and a deadlift of 700.
The Best Overall Female Lifter trophy went to Jauna Royster, who also won the open full meet for ladies with a total lift of 555 benching 105, squatting 225 and pulling 225 in the deadlift.
Former Sumter Academy multiple-sport standout Daniel Lagrone was also a big winner, taking home three gold medals in addition to one silver.
Lagrone, competing in the teenage-3 division, won gold medals in the squat-only (350), bench-only (270) and deadlift-only (480).
Other multiple medal winners included Lee Hester in the 148-pound teenage-1 division; Brendon Smith in the 198-pound teenage-3 division; Justin Mardis in the 275-pound teenage-4 division; James Young in the 198-pound open class; Marcus Tucker in the 165-pound teenage-3 division; and Ollie Burkes in the 142-pound masters-3 division.
Jody Steen, Jason Morson, Carl Lindsey, Alexander Ross, Jason Barnett, Trint Davis and Vince Barnett all doubled with one individual medal and another gold for being a member of the Northeast Jones team.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.