New Richmond powerlifters out to great start
With 19 lifters who have already qualified for the 2018 state meet, this looks like another bountiful season for the New Richmond High School powerlifting team.
And with three more meets where Tiger lifters can qualify for state, the Tigers are hoping they can nearly double that number of state qualifiers before the state meet in March.
The Tigers have competed in two meets and they still have meets in Holmen, Elk Mound and Whitehall before the state competition on the second weekend in March. There is added incentive for lifters this year, because the national championships will also be held in Wisconsin.
The team's most recent competition was on Jan. 13 at Osceola. The first meet of the season was at River Falls in December.
Coach Brian Kaczmarski said the Tigers compete in one of the strongest regions in the state for powerlifting. He said the Tigers are challenged in every meet with River Falls, Elk Mound and Osceola supplying strong competition. The Tiger boys finished in second place in both the meets this season. The Tiger girls took third place at River Falls and moved up to second place at Osceola.
Powerlifting continues to boom at NRHS. This season, there are 73 lifters on the team. Among them are 35 students who are new to the sport. There are so many lifters that three shifts of practices are held to accommodate all the lifters safely.
Kaczmarski said there are at least 15 lifters who still have legitimate chances of qualifying for state in the three upcoming regional meets.
Kaczmarski said many of the new lifters have adapted to the sport quickly. He listed Hannah Jensen, Audrey Ahlness, Abbie Modesette and Jacob Crowson among the new lifters who have done well in their first months in the sport.
Among the returning lifters, Kaczmarski said junior Wyatt Carper has taken the biggest steps in his improvement since last season.
Here are the lifters who have qualified for state thus far, along with the weight class in which they have qualified.
Charlie Thibodeau - 123
Declan Gubrud - 132
Cole Birch - 132
Josiah Hanson - 132
Anthony Belmont - 132
Brandon Haag - 198
Tanner Carver - 198
Matt Kukacka - 220
Wyatt Carper - 220
Evan Derrick - 275
Payton Casey - 105
Alannah Burke - 123
Lydia Anderson - 148
Kyla Hatzenbeler - 181
Lauren Hildebrandt - 181
Hannah Minke - 198
Abby McNitt - 181, 198
Sierra Keyes - 198
Laura White - 198