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Powell's payoff: Second at state

Two years of hard work helped River Ridge grad reach his goal.

Published May 22, 2005

Dedication and commitment.

For some, these two words are just a figment of the imagination. For others, it's the driving force in all they do. It's more than just two words. It's a way of life.

Recent River Ridge graduate Jordan Powell indubitably falls into the latter. For two years, he has slapped weight after weight onto bars, pressing and pulling in an attempt to etch his name into the Royal Knights record books. For two years, he has given up his after-school hours, 2-3 of them a day, bypassing other sports in the pursuit of a state title.

For two years, weightlifting has been his life.

It paid off.

Last month, at the FHSAA Class 2A championships at the University of Florida's O'Connell Center, Powell's career culminated with a second-place showing in the 199-pound class, in which he set a school record with a 690-pound total and tied school records with a 390-pound bench press and a 300-pound clean-and-jerk. Powell tied for first, but lost to Fort Walton Beach's Glen Coffee, an Alabama football signee, after weighing in 2.3 pounds heavier during the pre-meet weighin.

For his success, as well as his dedication and commitment, Jordan Powell has been named the Times Pasco County Boys Weightlifter of the Year.

"Jordan is, without a doubt, one of the most dedicated and consistent lifters I have ever coached," said Royal Knights coach Mike Marlin. "He has only missed, at the most, a half-dozen workout days in the last two years. Since July of last year, he's missed maybe two."

This says a lot, coming from a coach who has coached, among others, last year's state champion in Andrew Hutchinson (169), whose meet record total Powell broke. Hutchinson set the school record with a 680-pound total last year.

"The thing about Jordan is he was able to put it together in one meet," said the fifth-year coach. "Andrew also benched 390 and cleaned 300, but not in the same meet. I don't know if Andrew wins the state title last year without Jordan, and I don't know if Jordan does what he does this year without Andrew. They were good for each other."

Powell credits a good body type, along with good coaching, for his results.

"I knew I had a good body type for weightlifting," said Powell, who stands, at best, five-foot-six. His height may be a disadvantage in, say, basketball, but in weightlifting, short arms are a plus in the bench press. "I also have had good coaching. Coach Marlin is a great guy. I hope I can call the guy up for years to come and hang out with him. What really put me over the top was working with Hogan."

The Hulkster?

No. A leg drop and pose-down never became a part of Powell's regimen. His help came from Dan Hogan, a 2000 graduate of Gulf who was the 2000 Times Weightlifter of the Year and a USA champion at 62 kg in 2003.

"He's a member at the (Richey Racquet club) and he started working with Andrew and me last year. With his help, my clean went from 235 to 300. He kind of has an eye for the technique. I could have done more. I got 300 in the first meet of this year, and then kind of over-trained myself. But considering I did the best I ever have done at state, losing is a little easier to deal with. I like to think of myself as co-champion."

Powell, who will attend PHCC in the fall, is through with competitive lifting for now. He is doing things he hasn't had time to do in a while, like spend time with his girlfriend of two years, Cassie, and fish.

"If I do anything, it'll be USA (Olympic) lifting," Powell said. "Right now, I forgot how much I liked fishing. I've been doing that a lot lately."

When asked what is more gratifying to nail, a giant clean-and-jerk or a giant fish, Powell quickly answered, "a giant clean."

The phone went silent.

"Well," he said, "it depends on the fish."

[Last modified May 22, 2005, 01:07:21]

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