The Spring Grove Powerlifters celebrate their 1st place win! PHOTO: submitted
The Spring Grove Powerlifters celebrate their 1st place win! PHOTO: submitted
On Feb. 15, the Spring Grove Powerlifters headed to Necedah, Wis. Nine lifters, of which six are seniors, were set to make this the best meet of the year. This meet was the final meet for many of our seniors so our hopes were high, and they won big!

There were 220 lifters and 15 teams. Eight of those teams were Division II and seven were Division I. The day always begins with weigh-ins and filling out the information for the beginning lifts. This in itself is nerve wracking as we had a couple of lifters on the line for weight classes, a little jogging was necessary but everyone made it! Our first hurdle was done successfully! We then listen to a direction on the rules and a short speech from the hosting coach, and of course singing of the National Anthem.

We then head into the squat portion of the meet. Part of the structure of the meet is to separate weight classes into even amounts of lifters for each platform and flights - in other words, only having a certain group lifting at a time. We ended up with one lifter in flight one, one lifter in flight two and seven lifters in flight three. This particular configuration creates complete chaos for coaches and people that wrap knees. We ended up with several lifters attempting their lifts at the same time! We again were very fortunate to have the help of Cory Sanness and other lifters to make it through this event!

To break everything down, let's start with our seniors. Zach Sanness had a squat of 365 pounds, a bench of 255 pounds and deadlift of pounds - for a total of 990 lbs. and second place! Larry Schulte squatted 375 pounds, bench press was 265 pounds and dead lift was 480 pounds for a total of 1120 pounds and a third place award! Mackenzie Hunter, the new kid on the block, had a 355 pound squat, a bench press of 230 pounds and a dead lift of 415 pounds for a total of 1,000 pounds and a fifth place award! Matthew Schleich had a squat of 315 pounds, a bench press of 245 pounds and a dead lift of 430 pounds for a total of 990 pounds and a sixth place award! Matthew and Mackenzie were only 10 pounds apart, which shows how tight the competition was. Mikal Guberud had his goal in mind and that was to hit 1000 pounds for his last meet. He did it with personal records on each lift, his squat being 405 pounds, bench press 195 pounds and dead lift of 410 pounds for a 1,010 pound total and a ninth place award. In his weight class there was only 50 pounds that separated ninth place and fifth place.

Caleb Happel has been on fire this season and Saturday was no different. He broke all of his own records with a squat of 525 pounds, a bench press of 355 pounds and a dead lift of 560 pounds for a total of 1,440 pounds! He made it look easy! Also for the third meet in a row, he had the biggest total of any lifter in any weight class! He was also awarded first place!

Our three other lifters did fantastic as well. Harrison Speltz broke all of his personal records in this meet as well. His squat was 455 pounds, bench press was 275 pounds and deadlift was 425 pounds for a 1155 pound total and was awarded first place as well! Nick Doely, in only his second meet, increased his total by 45 pounds with a squat of 265 pounds, bench press of 195 pounds and dead lift of 325 pounds for a total of 785 pounds and was awarded third place, moving up two places from Holmen! Our rookie lifter, Damon Cody, is just beginning to show that he is and will be a force to be reckoned with! In only his second meet his squat was 315 pounds, bench press 195 pounds and dead lift was 355 pounds, which gave him an 865-pound total and was awarded fourth place! You may be wondering why Damon did so well but came in fourth instead of first as he did in Holmen. He sacrificed a first place medal to jump up to varsity for the benefit of the team! He received fourth place among juniors and seniors!

So after an incredibly long day and the snow beginning, we needed to stay for the team trophies. After totaling our score, which is derived from points that are given from first place to 10th place, I knew we did pretty well. However we were in Necedah, which has one of the best coaches around with world champions under his belt. When talking with other coaches everyone has a similar goal, which is to beat Necedah! Coach Mach was presenting the awards and finally got to the men's Division II team award. In second place was Necedah with 63 points. My daughter, Cassie, and I were standing with our fingers crossed, just waiting, because she knew our total as well. Coach Mach then stated, "In first place, wait a minute (pause to double check) with 68 points, that team from Minnesota, Spring Grove!" We were all so excited! I don't think that I have ever screamed that loud, even in the weight room!

Our trophies this year are the rewards of four years of hard work and dedication. Powerlifting requires five days a week and training for about two hours a day to be successful. Our seniors have worked long and hard, and I could not be more proud of their efforts! Over these years we have all met countless numbers of great kids and coaches!

In order to make all of this success possible we need to have the weight room open every day in order for the kids to train. I could not keep it open as much without the help of Coach Kamp (Kyle Kampschroer). He is there every day from 4:30 p.m. to sometimes as late as 7 p.m. He has been a great coach and friend to many of our lifters and athletes. We both know that coaching doesn't just mean teaching and telling kids what to lift and when, it means listening, and helping them with life skills as well. I would like to say thank you to Coach Kamp and all of the parents that have entrusted me with their kids over the last three years! I have loved every minute of it and I look forward to keeping the momentum going! If anyone is interested in powerlifting, please feel free to stop in the weight room and talk with Coach Kamp or Mama Jean, we would be happy to have you!