The St. Joseph’s Academy powerlifting team brought home top honors from the 2023 LHSPLA RAW Invitational, held January 14 at Carencro High School.
Twelve teams participated in the meet, and the SJA lifters set six meet records.
“I could not be more proud of the competitive nature of our girls,” said Coach Matt Shelton. “I think they all had an eye-opening experience on Saturday at Carencro. Several of them did things they didn’t know they were capable of doing. The girls are probably most excited about setting six meet records, but for me, I am most proud of their effort and the potential for growth moving forward. Additionally, at the end of the meet, our team was the only team in the bleachers cleaning up, as well. The character they displayed both on the platform and off was exemplary.”
Senior Lyndsey Darensbourg was named one of two outstanding female lifters for the meet.
Lifters and their finishes in their respective weight classes are as follows:
Lyndsey Darensbourg, 1st place, meet record in the deadlift (415 pounds)
Paityn DeLaugher, 4th place
CC Ellis, 1st place, meet records in the bench press (105 pounds) and total (500 pounds)
Emily Guillet, 4th place
Audrey Lieux, 1st place, meet records in the deadlift (315 pounds) and total (660 pounds)
Mackenzie O’Brien, 2nd place
Elaine Reine, 1st place
Julia Serpas, 2nd place
Shelby Soileau, 2nd place
Ava Tittlebaum, 1st place, meet record in the deadlift (285 pounds)
Isabella Walton, 1st place
Darensbourg, a senior, is a first-year member of the powerlifting team. She said her performance in the Carencro tournament provided a big boost of confidence. “Not only am I seeing just how strong I am, but I also get to see how strong my teammates are,” she said. “Society likes to call women weak, but with this powerlifting team, we, as women, get to show the world just how powerful we are. With hard work, you can do and be anything you want, but you have to want it, and this team shows that they want it every day. This is one of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of. We sincerely cheer for each other and enjoy everyone’s successes. St. Joseph’s powerlifting team is truly a great sisterhood.”
Ellis, also a senior, said that setting two meet records and finishing first in her weight class were satisfying outcomes. She said she is also excited about her team’s potential this year. “I feel like our team has a huge chance to place in state this year,” she said. “In fact, I was looking at the results from state last year, and my RAW total from this meet was higher than my equipped total at state. I am super excited for competition, and I am hoping to create yet another first for SJA: first powerlifting to place in state.”
Lieux, a junior, said the meet was a tremendous experience for the whole team. “This team has come so far since we started last year because of the hard work from everyone individually and from the support from our coaches,” she said. “I was surprised with my own perseverance and confidence throughout the entire day, even when I was losing or didn’t hit the numbers I was hoping to hit, and in the end, I think that confidence and mental endurance is what enabled me to finish as strong as I did and win. The coaches have also played such a big role in the team’s progress as well as my own, and I owe them so much for enabling me to do my best and try my hardest constantly. This season has started off strong, we get stronger every day and I think it’s safe to say the end of the season is something to look forward to. State could very much be reality for many of our lifters.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt