Sports Persons of the Week - Jayden Turnley

Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 9:40 PM CDT
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WELSH, La. (KPLC) - The G & M Powerhouse powerlifting team trains at Sonnier Family Fitness in Welsh. One of their athletes, Jayden Turnley, broke three national records for bench, deadlift, and total combined weight in his weight class and age group.

“Before I didn’t know how to deadlift really but I got much better under Mr. Derek and it felt great to get the records,” Turnley said.

“He is an introvert of all introverts, he is very shy and very quiet until he gets to the barbell then he lets all shyness go away,” Turnley’s coach Derek Gibson said.

Gibson said Jay has made great strides since he first stepped in the gym but he’s had to overcome some adversity to get to this point.

“When Jay first came to me he couldn’t even do a bar on a bench he had torn his pec muscle at 13-14 years old and throughout slowly working with him building up and building up we were able to set national records, Gibson said.

Coach Gibson doesn’t just want his athletes to push for success in the gym, he’s also putting an emphasis on being a student-athlete.

“I demand an A/B average between them because I don’t want just athletes I want student-athletes, I want kids with a great head on their shoulders and this group has that nonetheless,” Gibson said.

Turnley isn’t the only one who shines bright on this team as they broke nearly 50 state records during their last meet held in Lafayette.

“You feel it deep in your core deep in your heart of seeing a group of kids going out there and executing everything they could possibly do in nine lifts,” Gibson said.

For Turnley, having his teammates and coaches by his side means everything.

“It feels great because I love them so much and it feels great to have their support for my lifts and stuff and I love supporting them,” Turnley said.