Breathitt's William Long Wins State Championship No. 3 (Video to both lifts linked within)

From left to right, the crowd at the gym at North Bullitt was near capacity; Coach Gross and William await the announcing of the results; William is congratulated by Coach Justin Abnee (North Bullitt) for winning the title and breaking two records along the way

Long takes Push/Pull championships convincingly

Wins the highest bench press at the meet

Breaks two Kentucky records in his weight class

Calls it a career...moving on to Centre College

His friends and classmates were walking across the stage today at Breathitt High School. Senior William Long was on a stage but of an altogether different variety.

Long traveled to Shepherdsville, Kentucky today, and North Bullitt High School in particular, to participate in the Kentucky High School “Push/Pull” Championships. Long was looking for his third, high-school, powerlifting title though his first as a Bobcat (won two titles at Hopkinsville High School) and his first testing him in the Bench-press (Push)/Deadlift (Pull) format.

Long found exactly for what he was looking. With a bench press of 380-pounds, Long broke, by 20-pounds, the previous Kentucky bench press record in that meet’s 275-pound weight class. Long, a 248-pounder and one of the smallest to compete in the class, bested the former mark set in 2013 by Skylar Martin form Montgomery County. Long had the highest bench-press at the Championships this year regardless of weight class.

With a combined lift of 935-pounds (380 bench/555 deadlift), Long broke the "combined lift” Kentucky record in the meet’s 275-pound weight class. Long’s two lifts bested Christian Sinckler’s previous record of 930-pounds which Sinckler, from Harrison County, set in 2016.

So winning a Kentucky High School Championship, his third, and setting two new state marks in his weight-class, Long must have been pretty pleased with himself. Actually, he wasn’t.

“I just didn’t perform well on the bench-press today,” Long told the Times-Voice. “I can give you plenty of excuses but excuses are for losers. Bottom-line, I left quite a few pounds out on that bar today in that particular lift.” 

It wasn’t all bad though. “I performed pretty well on the deadlift. Five-hundred and fifty-five (555) pounds is a personal best, but I haven’t done much deadlifting in previous meets. 

I am more accustomed to having my bench-press and power-clean tested. I left a few pounds on the bar in the deadlift too; but, at the end of the day, I did plenty to win. I did enough to set two new records for my weight class.”

Coach Glenn Gross wasn’t quite as hard on his pupil. “I thought Will bounced back and showed exactly why he is a champion. A few things didn’t go his way but instead of hanging his head, Long picked himself up, dusted himself off, didn’t give any excuses, and just scaled the peak in front of him. Breathitt High should be mighty proud of its record-setting, powerlifting champion.” 

We asked Long what is next in powerlifting for him. It has been a sport which has been good to him and one in which he has been widely considered among the best to ever perform in Kentucky high-school powerlifting history.

“This was it today," Long told the newspaper. "This was my swan song. I am going to finish this baseball season and then it is on to being a full-time member of the Colonel varsity football team at Centre College.” 

Well, while it is sad to hear today was it for Long as a powerlifter, he certainly left behind some pretty big shoes for someone to fill. William Long has left a lasting impression as a high-school athlete in every sport he has played.

We were able to contact the Championship Meet's Director, Coach Justin Abnee, North Bullitt's Strength and Conditioning Coach. Coach Abnee had some nice things to say about the Breathitt senior. Abnee told the newspaper, "[William Long] broke the Bench Press record by 20-pounds and also broke the Combined Lift record. His was a very impressive performance." 

Here at the Times-Voice, we would add it has been a privilege to watch Long compete. We count ourselves fortunate for our having had the opportunity to chronicle his achievements.


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