Harrison Speltz and spotter prepare for a competition lift. The Spring Grove sophomore is also preparing for the National Powerlifting Championships in Aurora, Colo.<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Submitted photo
Harrison Speltz and spotter prepare for a competition lift. The Spring Grove sophomore is also preparing for the National Powerlifting Championships in Aurora, Colo.

Submitted photo
Two local athletes secured spots at the upcoming National Powerlifting Meet with personal-best totals at the final qualifying meet at Whitehall, Wis., on Feb. 23.

Harrison Speltz had a personal-best total of 1,075, easily surpassing the 975 lb. qualifying threshold. The Spring Grove sophomore will be competing at nationals in the junior varsity division.

Speltz had a personal-record dead lift of 440 pounds and matched a personal best with a squat of 395. His bench press was 240 pounds.

Caleb Happel, who had already qualified for nationals last June, was able to improve his ranking for that meet with a personal-best total of 1,285 pounds at Whitehall.

Happel recorded a squat of 445 pounds, a bench press of 330 and a dead lift of 510. A member of the junior class at Spring Grove High School, Happel will compete at the varsity level at the national meet at Aurora, Colo., April 5-7.

"All of us are extremely excited to have this opportunity," said coach Jean Happel. "And we are looking forward to the trip and the meet. Between now and then, there will be lots of hours lifting in the weight room."

The boys were accompanied to Whitehall by coaches Happel and Kyle Kampschroer both of whom ended up assisting other lifters as well.

"Kyle and I were looking forward to a relatively easy meet with only two lifters...however, it turned out to be quite hectic, especially for Kyle, as he was recruited by many for wrapping knees and helping with lifts off the bench.

"I was recruited to coach several others as kids were there without their teams trying to qualify for state or nationals. It is always a compliment when others seek your help and advice.

"We would like to say thank you to the entire community for your support, not just for nationals but for the powerlifting team. It is really great when people stop us on the street to say congratulations or good luck.

"So many of you have also gone out of your way to help us financially as well.

"And it is difficult to find words to express how appreciative we are. We will represent Spring Grove well and hopefully bring home a couple of gold medals and a national bench press record. Colorado, here we come!"

The SG lifters will depart on April 3 with Speltz competing on April 5 and Happel on April 7.