Natchez strongmen set personal bests

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, May 10, 2011

NATCHEZ — Three of Natchez High’s strongest athletes competed for state titles in the State Powerlifting Championship Competition in Jackson and, although they fell short of championships, they all accomplished personal bests.

Kenneth Logan, Cornelius Redden and Kaldrick Tenner all qualified for this year’s state tournament by placing in the top 3 in the regional and South State competitions in their respective weight classes.

“(This season was) outstanding,” Natchez High powerlifting coach Joseph Johnson said. “Any time we can take young men to the state competition (it’s great). We did better this year than last year.”

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At the state tournament, all three lifters performed personal best results.

Kenneth Logan finished third in the 148-pound weight class by squatting 430 pounds, benching 255 pounds and dead lifting 525 pounds.

“This season had ups and downs, and I had to get more focused,” Logan said. “The thing about state is, you really want it, so you have to strive, but it was a bumpy road trying to get it right.”

“I didn’t know I could do it until I did it, but I did,” Redden said. “I just said, ‘Put the weight on’ and did it.”

Cornelius Redden finished second in the 220-pound weight class. He squatted 515 pounds, benched 300 pounds and dead lifted 575 pounds.

“I had to put my mind to it, it’s really a mind thing, if you don’t have your mind in it you can’t do it,” Redden said.

Both lifters are now seniors and both picked up weight lifting in 10th grade. They just gave it a try and enjoyed it, they said.

“I like to lift weights and wanted to see what I could do in a competition,” Redden said.

Tenner finished fifth in the state competition at the 275-pound level. He squatted 500 pounds, benched 270 pounds and dead lifted 535 pounds.

“It was wonderful (to see the guys do well),” Johnson said. “I was like a proud father to see them compete the way they were.”

All three lifters were members of the Natchez High football team. Logan played running back and Redden was a linebacker and defensive end. Redden also competes in the shot put on the track team. Tenner was an offensive and defensive lineman for the Bulldogs.

Both senior lifters said that their competitive lifting careers are probably over, but they want to keep working on their lifting.

“I probably wont lift in competitions but I want to keep my strength up,” Redden said.

Although the Natchez High powerlifting team only sent three members to the state tournament, they had a real good year considering the amount of underclassmen on the squad, Johnson said.

“We did fairly well (this year) with a really young team. We have a lot of first-year lifters and held our own up until region,” Johnson said.

Johnson said his team improved this season and he is excited to see what they can do in the future.

“It’s always great to see where we started from at the beginning of the year, and I guess we peaked at the right time for state.”

Redden and Logan both plan on attending Copiah-Lincoln next fall, they said. Tenner will return to Natchez High for his senior season.