Ganado senior does some heavy lifting at Bar Benders meet
Wanda Taylor could hardly hold her camera steady and Dwayne Taylor paced as their daughter approached the mat in the Victoria West gym.
Megan Taylor seemed not to notice the commotion and focused solely on the 460 pounds in front of her.
Taylor grimaced as she slowly pulled the bar up toward her waist and held it before exploding into celebration after two white lights came on signifying a successful lift.
Taylor set personal bests in the dead lift and bench press and easily won the girls super heavyweight class at the inaugural Westside Bar Benders Bash on Saturday.
"This is the best meet I've ever had," the Ganado senior said while accepting congratulations from her parents and friends.
In addition to her 460-pound dead lift, Taylor had a squat of 500 pounds and a bench press of 225 pounds for a total lift of 1,185, the best in the state for a female of any classification this season.
Megan has done her part to keep alive a Taylor family tradition begun by brother Ryan and sister Ashley, who won state championships in powerlifting.
Megan won state championships as a sophomore and junior after finishing third at the state meet as a freshman.
"I like that it's not a team sport," she said. "It takes like everything that you have and you're relying just on yourself."
First-year Ganado head coach Justin Stephens wasn't surprised by Taylor's performance.
"She's a two-time state champion so you know what you're getting," he said. "She's pretty much competing with herself, especially early in the year. It's what can she do."
Stephens has been impressed by how hard Taylor works in the weight room. The team lifts four days a week, alternating between arms and legs.
"She's getting in there and working hard like she's not a state champion," Stephens said. "I think she's sitting in a great situation right now because of her great work ethic. She pushes herself every day like she wants to be the state champion."
Taylor is determined to finish her high school career with a gold medal at the state meet. She was ill before last year's state meet and was unhappy with her lifts.
"I do the best I can anytime I can," Taylor said. "I'm going to go all out and do the best I can."
Taylor is one of a growing number of females participating in powerlifting.
She also throws the shot put for the Ganado track and field team, but leaves no doubt where her heart lies.
"I don't know any other way," she said. "The boys are very supportive and we're kind of like a family. It's what I've always done."