Lifters have 27 qualify for state meet
The tradition of success continues for the New Richmond powerlifting team.
The Tigers have 27 lifters who have qualified to compete at the 2018 Wisconsin High School Powerlifting state championships, which will be held this Saturday and Sunday at Mauston High School.
New Richmond is the defending state champion for the boys and girls. Tiger head coach Brian Kaczmarski said both teams have goals of repeating as state champions, but said there will be plenty of strong competition for both titles.
The Tiger girls have 15 girls who have qualified for the state championships and the Tiger boys have 12 lifters who have qualified. Last year the Tigers had 28 lifters qualify for state, so they're on pace with last year's accomplishments.
For the boys, they are led to state by seniors Cole Birch and Brandon Haag. Birch is a defending state champion, though he goes into state ranked second in his weight class. Haag is ranked first in his weight class, but only has a five-pound edge over the second-seeded lifter. Kaczmarski said Wyatt Carper is another Tiger boy who has a strong chance to reach the podium as one of the top five lifters in his state meet weight class.
For the Tiger girls, Kaczmarski said Alannah Burke, Payton Casey, Kyla Hatzenbeler, Lydia Anderson and Sierra Keyes represent the team's best chances for state medalists.
Every year there are lifters who emerge as state caliber lifters and Kaczmarski said three sprang to mind this season.
"The biggest surprises are Hannah Jensen and Laura White, and for the boys, Noah Cork. Noah is an example of someone working his tail off. Hannah Jensen has a lot of athletic ability. Laura is one of our feel good stories," Kaczmarski said.
The Tigers also have 11 lifters who are scheduled to compete at the 2018 national meet. This year's national meet will be held March 23-25 in Appleton.
New Richmond powerlifters who have qualified for the state meet include (back, from left) Brandon Haag, Evan Derrick, Matt Kukacka, Noah Cork and Tanner Carver; (second row) Chloe Peterson, Josiah Hanson, Cole Birch, Sierra Keyes, Anthony Belmont, Lauren Hildebrandt and Laura White; (third row) Declan Gubrud, Nevaeh Brewer, Kyla Hatzenbeler, Lexi Leverty, Abby McNitt, Abby Modesette and Hannah Jensen; (front) Hannah Minke, Wyatt Carper, Lydia Anderson, Tori Fox, Alannah Burke and Payton Casey. Not pictured is Charlie Thibodeau.