New Richmond powerlifters make another big impact at state
The amazing run of success by the New Richmond powerlifting teams continued through the 2018 state meet, which was held at Mauston High School over the weekend.
The Tiger girls team finished in second place in the Division 2 Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Association state meet and the Tiger boys placed third in their half of the state meet.
The top individual success went to New Richmond senior Brandon Haag, who won the individual championship in the 198-pound weight class. Haag also came home with a $500 scholarship check for winning the WHSPA essay contest.
The Tigers had six lifters make the state podium with their performances over the weekend. Senior Cole Birch also made the podium for the boys, placing second at 132 pounds. For the girls, Peyton Casey and Alannah Burke were both third place finishers. Kyla Hatzenbeler and Sierra Keyes were fifth place finishers.
Haag provided one of the many dramatic moments of the weekend. His state championship wasn't determined until his final lift. He hoisted 601 pounds in the deadlift, a personal best. He needed every ounce too, winning the state championship by five pounds.
Birch followed up last year's state championship with a second place performance this season. New Richmond coach Brian Kaczmarski said there were four outstanding lifters in both of these weight classes, so the Tigers were fortunate to come away with a championship and a second place finish.
The four Tiger girls who reached the state podium all produced personal bests at the state meet to earn their place on the podium.
The Tigers were defending state team champions in both halves of the state meet. Kaczmarski had prepped the teams that the competition was extremely strong this season and it was going to be difficult for the Tigers to repeat. The Tiger girls were able to score 37 points in the meet, but River Falls won the state title with 40 points. Mauston placed third in the girls division with 35 points.
Appleton Xavier had an outstanding boys team all season and that carried through to the state meet. Xavier won the boys title with 49 points. Winneconne was second with 41 points and New Richmond placed third with 33 points.
The success of the teams is going to be hard to match. Over the past four years, the Tiger girls have placed either first or second in every state championship meet and the Tiger boys have one state championship and one third place finish in that span. The seniors on both teams have won three regional championships in their careers.
"Our 22 seniors have accomplished some pretty big things," Kaczmarski said.
Haag, Burke and Keyes will lead a group of 13 Tigers who will be lifting at the 2018 national meet, which will be held at Appleton High School on March 29-31. Declan Gubrud, Wyatt Carper, Tanner Carver, Navaeh Brewer, Julie Grabowski, Hannah Jensen, Abby McNitt, Hannah Minke and Abby Modesette will also be competing at nationals for the Tigers.