The new standards were established during a P.E.I. School Athletic Association powerlifting competition meet at Westisle Composite High School on Thursday.
Gilks, a Grade 11 student from the host school, who weighed in at 78.1 kilograms, set the new record for bench press for both the old and new rules, and also established the new mark for squat, deadlift and total lift.
She had a bench of 125, squat of 270, deadlift of 285 and overall lift of 680 (all weights in pounds), and amassed 286.12 Wilks points to finish first in the Girls Division.
Westisle lifters had the top four scores overall in the Girls Division, and were second, third and fourth overall in the Boys Division, helping the host school claim both team titles.
Westisle sewed up of the top 13 Wilks scores in the Boys Division
Second- and third-place girls’ finishers Mariah Wedge for bench and Taryn Skerry for deadlift also set new standards in their weight classes.
Four new bench records were set in the Boys Division. Those new record holders for their weight divisions are Jake Shea and Carter Culleton from Westisle, Dakota Marshall from Kensington Intermediate-Senior High and Josh Reeves from Bluefield High School.
Marshall was the top boys’ lifter. Weighing in at 93.9 kg, his total lift was 1,140 pounds and earned him 323 Wilks points.
While the Westisle girls have established themselves as the team to beat this year, Westisle coach George Kinch acknowledges the Boys Division is still wide open leading up to the P.E.I. School Athletic Association’s provincial championship meet in Montague on March 12.
Kinch said all of the participating schools are fielding strong boys teams, and suggested one of the smallest schools, Kinkora Regional High School, could be the team to watch. They had four lifters in the top 14 at Thursday’s meet.
Kinch predicted the boys’ championship in March might not be decided until the final lift.