Litchfield High School senior Austin DeWitt, the son of Michelle and Archie DeWitt, Jr., joined 56 of other young lifters in Jerseyville on Saturday, Feb. 29, for the second annual Panther Power Meet at Jersey Community High School.
The event was open to all high school students, with a coach responsible for each team, and drew competitors from eight schools, from as far north as Springfield to as far south as Fairfield. The competition consisted of three lifts, the squat, bench press and dead lift, with three lifts in each event, plus a bonus lift in one event of the participant’s choice.
DeWitt, who won the heavyweight division last year, would finish second overall out of the 11 athletes in the division this year, finishing first in two of the three events. He would put up 315 pounds in the bench press and 450 pounds in the squat event. In the deadlift, encouraged by his fellow competitors, DeWitt put up 500 pounds.
“In Austin’s deadlift, the coach from Sacred Heart-Griffin cheered him on just like he was his coach,” Michelle DeWitt said about the camaraderie of the event. “Everyone cheered on everyone.”
With the solid performances each of the last two years at Jerseyville, bigger, and heavier, things await DeWitt in future competitions.