(COVINGTON, La.) — Out of the 108 years of the existence of St. Paul’s and 26 years of the powerlifting program at the school, there has never been a national champion in the sport. The drought was ended in late March of 2019 by a young man named Jason Toups. Toups has racked up quite a few achievements in his three-year tenure powerlifting for St. Paul’s.
Jason started training for the team in eighth grade learning the basics of the sport. Toups gained experience competing in freshman and sophomore year. Toups then took an off year to focus on himself and his grades. “After the year I took off, I continued to keep up with my lifting and really ended up missing it”, Toups said. He put in endless hours of training and pushing himself to the limit. He then started training with the team for his final year and the rest is history.
Keep in mind, Toups weighed 250 pounds and competed in the 275-pound weight class. Jason dominated the entire season by starting out with an invitational meet at Pope John Paul the II in Slidell. He swept the competition, placing first without even touching his maxes in each lift. He then placed first in the regional meet at Pope John the Paul II, without competition in sight due to his freakish strength.
Jason then competed in the state meet held in Alexandria. Toups captured first and joined an elite club at St. Paul’s by taking home a state championship. Toups was not done there though.
He made another trip down to Alexandria for the national meet. He squatted 628 pounds, benched 418 pounds, and deadlifted 562 pounds totaling at 1608 pounds. After all the weights were deadlifted, benched, and squatted, Toups etched his name into St. Paul’s history becoming the firsthand only national champion.
TPW – What got you into powerlifting?
Toups – “I didn’t make the SPS baseball team, so I wanted to try something new.”
TPW – What were your expectations going into the season?
Toups – “I didn’t really have any expectations.”
TPW – How did you feel going into the national meet?
Toups – “I felt solid going into the national meet. It being in Louisiana almost gave me somewhat of a home-field advantage for me.”
TPW – How did you feel like you did in the meet?
Toups – “I feel like I didn’t do well. It was the worst total of my senior season.
TPW – What did it feel like when you found out you were a national champion?
Toups – “I was surprised I won because I did so poorly compared to the other meets I competed in this season.”
TPW – How does it feel to be the first ever national champion in St. Paul’s powerlifting history?
Toups – “It feels good to make history for the school. We’ve had plenty of state champions, but being the first ever national champion is something I never even thought of before this season.”
Toups said he will not continue in college with powerlifting to focus on his education at Louisiana State University. Toups racked up a numerous amount of accomplishments during his powerlifting career at St. Paul’s. He has truly left his stamp on this program and he went out with style. Toups has etched his name into a select group in St. Paul’s sports history and he will be remembered for generations to come.