Airport High School’s Collyn Richardson is State Weightlifting Champion
Collyn Richardson, 17, is a junior at Airport High School. On Saturday, he was crowned S.C. High School Weightlifting Champion in the unlimited weight class.The competition was held at White Knoll High School.
To win, Richardson recorded a bench press of 425-pounds and a 615-pound squat. His feat is unique. Airport’s Athletic Director Kirk Burnett said over the years Airport has had winners in single events of lifting. But Collyn is the first overall winner since weightlifting has become an organized event.
Excelling in weightlifting is not new for Richardson. He benched 369.27 pounds in Oklahoma City, OK last April. That performance broke an NASA (Natural Athlete Strength Association) National High School unequipped bench press record.
Richardson’s maximum bench press is 450 pounds. He can squat 650 pounds. His family has strong roots in Lexington school District 2. His father is Jimmy Richardson, a teacher at Airport High School. His mother is Debbie Richardson who works at Northside Middle School.
Despite Collyn’s strength, his mother still calls him her baby boy.
“Collyn is the youngest of four children we have,” said Debbie Richardson.
She said Collyn started lifting weights toward the end of his eighth-grade year at Fulmer Middle School, after finishing the B-Team baseball season with Airport. He began lifting weights so he could get himself prepared for football season.
“Once he got into the weight room he found that he was a natural at it,” Debbie Richardson said. She said in Collyn’s eighth grade year he bench pressed 250 pounds and squatted 330 pounds. Collyn put up a 390-pound bench his sophomore year with a 550-pound squat.
“Coach Chris Wright, the strength and conditioning coach, and defensive lineman coach and Coach Keith Walker, one of the B-Team coaches for the Airport football teams both saw some potential in his abilities in the weight room,” Debbie Richardson said.
She said the coaches took Collyn under their wing to help him learn how to lift weights properly.