PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -
Kayla Dickerson is a 2015 graduate of Pascagoula High School and recently completed a banner senior season in powerlifting.
Pascagoula girls powerlifting coach Casey Gilbert says Dickerson ranked 17th overall in the state and in the top four in her weight class nationwide.
"She was definitely self motivated, "stated Gilbert. "She didn't care what the weight was on the bar. She said coach you put it on there... I'll lift it."
Dickerson said, "I never count what's on the bar. I just do it because I don't want to scare myself before I do it."
Dickerson captured the Division III 198 pound weight class State Championship. She had a 170 pound bench press, 365 pounds in the squat and a 315 pound dead lift.
She established state records in the bench press, squat and total weight of 850 pounds.
Dickerson said, "I won my first state championship. I broke three records. I feel like I probably did my personal best and I went out with a bang."
Coach Gilbert says he had 15 girls on the Pascagoula powerlifting team and expects participation to grown next season.
Dickerson says girls shouldn't be afraid to pick up weights.
"A lot of girls fear, 'Oh I don't want to bulk up,' I don't want to look like a man, "Dickerson said. "But I would definitely tell the girls to give it at least a year, try it to see if you like it. You can be proud of yourself in the end too."
Kayla wants to continue powerlifting in college but if the college she attends doesn't offer powerlifting, Dickerson says she'll open her own powerlifting studio.