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Ratliff-Becher captures second straight powerlifting state title

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Louisburg senior Reilly Ratliff-Becher poses with her four state medals after capturing her second straight Class 4A state powerlifting championship on March 7 at Piper High School.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – After winning a state championship a year ago, Reilly Ratliff-Becher had every intention of backing up her performance during the Class 4A State Powerlifting Championships on March 7 at Piper High School.

In fact, the Louisburg senior wanted to improve it. Last season, Ratliff-Becher took first in everything but squat, which she got runner-up.

This time around, she got the clean sweep.

Ratliff-Becher took first in bench, squat and clean and that led to her second straight state championship in the 180-pound class.

“It means a lot to me that I was able to win the state title again,” Ratliff-Becher said. “I set a goal for myself to win first in everything since I had got second in squat last year and I achieved it. Even though it wasn’t my best showing with the numbers I got on my lifts.”

“The competition was very good this year, as it always is. But, fortunately with all the work I put in to at least maintain my numbers from last year, meant I was able to lift bigger amounts than my competition.”

Louisburg sophomore Bailey Hallas finished second overall at the state meet in her division.

Ratliff-Becher wasn’t the only Wildcat weightlifter to find their way to the podium. Sophomore Bailey Hallas had a strong performance of her own in the 114-pound division.

Hallas finished as a state-runner-up as she finished second overall. She was the state champion in bench, was third in clean and sixth in squat.

Sophomore Sierra Hahn finished 10th in the 165-pound division to round out the Louisburg girls participants.

On the boys side, the Wildcats had four lifters take fourth in the state. Sophomore Aidan Cannon (132 pounds), sophomore Tom Koontz (148), freshman Ethan Wrigley (165) and senior Ian McGuire (181) all came in fourth.

McGuire came in third in both the squat and clean competitions, while Wrigley also finished third in bench.

Junior Will Patterson (powerweight) came in fifth overall, while junior Cole Evans (242) took ninth. Evans also finished second in the bench competition.

Louisburg is just in its second year of sending athletes to the state powerlifting championships.

The Wildcats are just in their second year of doing powerlifting competitions at the state level and Ratliff-Becher has seen herself improve in other areas outside the weight room.

“Weightlifting has improved me as an athlete in a lot of ways,” Ratliff-Becher said. “It’s made me much more disciplined with my work ethic. It’s taught me to never underestimate myself and to keep working when I get frustrated. Weightlifting makes people realize (or me at least) that you can’t be ‘handed’ strength. You can only be the best of the best if you outwork everyone else.”

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