Carrying a lot of weight
ABILENE—Jamie Czajkowski brashly predicted last week he was going to break the state record in the bench press.
He accommplished that for sure, with just a little added bonus for the effort.
Czajkowski is Rockdale High School’s first state powerlifting champion.
The 5- foot- 4, 195- pound senior captured the state championship, competiing in the 198-pound classification, by 120 pounds with a total of 1,575.
In a bit of perfect timing, Czajkowski turned in his best overall meet this past weekend at the Taylor County Expo Center against 12 other competitors at the Texas High School Powerlifting Association state meet.
“I almost cried when I found out I had won,” said Czajkowski. “I am definitely satisfied. I achieved every goal I wanted to set this year.
He increased his max on each lift, squatting 620 pounds, pulling 510 in the deadlift and as previously predicted, setting a new state record in the bench with 445.
Czajkowski, who earned a trip to the state meet as sophomore at Milano, was so dominate that he could have won the championship after each of his first attempts.
“Jamie went nine-for-nine of his lifts which means that he did not miss any of his attempts,” said Rockdale Coach Andre Johnson. “Now Jamie is looking to take it to the next level and compete at the national level. I am very proud of how hard he has worked to accomplish his goals this year.”
Czajkowski was concerned with his dead lift, his weakest event, and finished sixth at 510 pounds behind Vernon’s Orlando Hayman’s winning effort of 600.
But because of his previous efforts in the bench and squat, Czajkowski didn’t have to suffer through the waiting process of the final event, he knew he had already won.
Czajkowski set the new record in the bench press of 445 on his second lift. The previous record was 425 and he had already hefted 430 coming into the state meet, hence the abundance of confidence.
“ That was a great feeling to have 200 pound plates on each side,” he said. “That meant a lot. I was on a high.”
Czajkowski was about as close to perfection as a lifter could get.
“Each of the three judges looks at a different part of the lift and gives either a white light for a good lift, or a red light for any type of error,” Johnson said. “Jamie did not receive a single red light for the entire meet. The state judges are usually the most technical.”
Czajkowski is looking ahead to continue in the powerlifting game with another state meet and then a shot a earning a spot on the national team.
“I’ve got a pretty good chance at nationals,” Czajkowski said.
And as recent history has proven, what ever he wants, he usually gets.