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Erskine breaks own squat record at Georgia vs Alabama Bash

For the second time in five months, former Troy University Graduate Assistant Jonathan Erskine has broken the Alabama state squat record.

After squatting 711 pounds in March, Erskine broke his own record twice at the Georgia vs. Alabama Border Bash by lifting 716 and 727 pounds.

“It means a lot,” Erskine said. “It means that we have done something right. I am thankful for the opportunity. I have pushed myself everyday. I am grateful to have my family who is backing me 100 percent.”

Since early March, Erskine has hit the weight room on a daily basis and has been working hard under the tutelage of the Richard Shaughnessy, director of strength and conditioning at Troy University.

“I have a great mentor in Richard Shaughnessy,” Erskine said. “He has always been supportive of me. To make him proud is like waking up on Christmas morning. I am excited about it.”

Erskine finished the overall competition in second place and competed in squats, dead lift and bench press.

After a successful finish in the competition in March, Erskine came into this competition with a new style of grip.

“It was a more sumo style grip,” Erskine said. “It started to help my deadlift. Unfortunately in the last meet I didn’t pull as well as I should have. I don’t know if it was because I was winded at the end, but I am going to work on my conditioning.”

After finishing the competition, Erskine and Shaughnessy decided to hold back on any competitions until next February.

“I was going to do nationals, but we have decided to hold off on that,” Erskine said. “We are going to wait another and year make sure we are firing on all cylinders correctly. We have little tidbits that need to be corrected.”

Even with the long layoff in between competitions, Erskine will still hit the gym five days a week.

“We are still going to bring the same intensity,” Erskine said. “The mindset will be there are no more excuses.”

After two second place finishes, both Erskine and Shaughnessy believe they have what it takes to get over the hump.

“I have finished in second place twice now,” Erskine said. “Coach Shaughnessy believes that next time I compete that I can be a first place contender. When you get a taste of something once you want to get some more but take it further. I feel like this time it will be a better turnout for myself.”