Zach Williams, already bulked up as a sophomore, would be an asset to a few Clovis High sports programs. But weightlifting is the only sport he really likes.
Perhaps that’s why he’s become so proficient at it.
Williams, a sophomore at CHS, did plenty as the state’s only representative at the Natural Athlete Strength Association High School Nationals. The 5-foot-6, 148-pound Williams picked up a pair of first-place finishes in the two-day event, held March 27-28 in Oklahoma City.
“I did it during P.E. class,” Williams said of his introduction to lifting, “and I noticed that I was getting a lot better results than anyone else.”
His father, Sean Williams, said Zach had advanced past one set of home weights and was onto the next one by the time he found out about NASA through online videos.
“He likes competition, but just in the things that he likes,” the elder Williams said. “This is his world. He doesn’t think about much else.”
A few Internet searches resulted in state records in lifting, and Zach put those as his goals. He had most of the records broken in pre-meet practices.
In the 148.25-pound weight class, Williams took firsts in unequipped powerlifting and power sports. The scoring includes combined weight totals from chest presses, squats, bench presses and dead lifts. In the bench press, Williams set a state record in bench press at 102.5 kilograms. (roughly 226 pounds).
The event is billed as a national competition, but most competitors came from surrounding states. Williams was the only New Mexico competitor in a meet where most lifters are affiliated with teams.
The solitude, he said, made things easier.
“People mostly left me alone,” Williams said, so I got to just (concentrate on) my lifting.”
He’s figuring he’ll get better, as he’s gained some exposure to technique through videos ordered through NASA and older lifters who have imparted advice.
“We both didn’t really know anything about it,” Sean Williams said. “He was basically just muscling a lot of it up, which is a big part of it. But form and technique makes things a lot easier.”