Wallace wins national champion in weightlifting event

| June 14, 2024

When he was a little boy, Cooper Wallace, went to the weight room with his dad to watch football players practice. He said he might have picked up a weight once or twice and really got serious about lifting in seventh grade.

The River View High School freshman competed in Baton Rouge, LA on June 7 in an American Powerlifting Federation event. He earned the title of National Champion in the 13 – 15 years old group. He also set world records in 3 Lift Total and Deadlift.

“I set the goal of trying to be as strong as I can be and just kept working toward that,” said Cooper, who is 14. “I enjoy the community of powerlifting. I like the adrenaline rush of it. I guess I just like lifting heavy circles.”

Wess Wallace, Cooper’s dad, said that after his eighth-grade football season was over, Cooper started going to Blackstone’s Gym. “John Blackstone spends three or four days a week with him and there is a group of guys who took him under their wings once they saw his potential as a lifter.”

The family started looking at powerlifting records and realized Cooper was close to breaking several of them. They worked with Blackstone to set a plan in motion so Cooper could reach the goals he set for himself.

The 3 Lift Total is the total weight lifted in bench press, squat and deadlift. Cooper’s total was 962 pounds. He has had a total of more than 1,000 pounds in high school meets, but the rules are stricter in APF events. In Cooper’s deadlift attempt, he lifted 440.7 pounds in his second attempt. “He actually lifted 460 on his third attempt, but he paused on the way up and they ‘red-lighted’ him and it didn’t count,” said Wess. He still broke the previous record of 434.5 pounds.

Cooper’s mom, Kalie, drove him to Baton Rouge to compete. When asked what she thought about his powerlifting, she said, “It made me a little nervous. I didn’t want him to get hurt since he’s still growing. But he has all the help he needs to do it the safest way possible. It makes him happy.”

Wess said he loves seeing his kids compete. “No matter what it’s in. I really admire the dedication and hard work he’s put into it. It’s helped his confidence and the fact that this much work has paid off.”

Cooper will be trying to break another record in July. The record is 440 pounds and, recently, he lifted 500 pounds with modifications. He will slowly stop using the modifications and be ready to set another record.

With his win in Baton Rouge, Cooper was invited to compete in Chicago in November. The family plans to go. Cooper is hoping to continue to powerlift as long as he can. He would like to play college football and believes powerlifting will help him reach that dream.

“I just love this sport,” Cooper said.

Tags: , ,

Category: High School, Sports

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.