Powerlifting is back in season, and this year the kids are moving, literally tons! The first meet of the season was Jan. 11 in Galesville, Wis., at Galesville-Ettrick-Trempeleau, High School (G.E.T.). This year was the largest meet to date for G.E.T. with 190 lifters. Spring Grove had seven lifters in attendance.

It was a great day for lifting, and it was filled with excitement! Lifting for Spring Grove was Heidi Buxengard, our only senior girl. Joining her were seniors Larry Schult, Zach Sanness, Matt Schleich, Mikal Guberud, Caleb Happel, and first time lifter Mackenzie Hunter. On hand to help with wrapping knees was lifter Harrison Speltz, and our videographer was Damon Cody.

The first event is the squat, which is the most involved lift, and also the most time consuming. For those not familiar with the sport, squat requires the lifter to place the bar with weight across the back of the shoulders and squat until the knee breaks the 90 degree mark and return to a standing position.

The second event is the bench press, which requires the lifter to lie on their back on a bench and to lower the bar of weight to their chest, pause and return the bar to its original position.

The third lift is the dead lift, which requires the lifter to pick a bar of weight from the floor to a standing position ending with the bar on the upper thigh area, pausing and returning the bar to the floor.

Each lift has technical requirements as well, and there are three judges to ensure the lift is done according to the rules. Also with each lift, the lifter gets three opportunities to complete their lift(s).

Heidi Buxengard, in only her second meet took third place in her weight class, which included a total of 12 girls. She had a squat of 235 pounds, a bench press of 115 pounds and a dead lift of 205 pounds - for a total of 555 pounds. She did a great job with some very tough competition.

Mackenzie Hunter in his very first meet took fourth place out of 14 competitors. He had a squat of 335 pounds, a bench press of 225 pounds, and a dead lift of 325 pounds - for a total of 885 pounds.

Matthew Schleich in his fourth year of competing took eighth place out of 14 guys in a very close and tough weight class. His squat was 315 pounds, his bench press was 225 pounds, and his dead lift was 405 pounds - for a total of 945 pounds.

We had three guys in the same weight class among a total of 12 lifters. Taking seventh place was Mikal Guberud with a squat of 365 pounds, a bench press of 190 pounds and a dead lift of 365 pounds - for a total of 920 pounds.

Taking third place was Larry Schulte, with a squat of 345 pounds, a bench press of 245 pounds and a dead lift of 455 pounds - for a total of 1,045 lbs. He is the third Spring Grove lifter to break the 1,000 lb. mark while achieving his personal best in competition!

Caleb Happel took first place with an outstanding total and the largest total of any lifter in the meet, with 1,395 lbs. His squat was 500 pounds, his bench press was 345 pounds, and his dead lift was 550 pounds. These lifts were all personal bests and for the first time in four years all nine lifts for the day were good, which is a rare achievement for any lifter!

Zach Sanness took third place in his weight class, with a squat of 385 pounds, a bench press of 245 pounds, and a dead lift of 335 pounds - for a 965 pound total, which was also a personal best!

Everyone did a tremendous job, and together lifted 6,710 pounds! We could not have done it without the help of Coach Kamp (Kyle Kampschroer), who is in the weight room every evening! With his help we are able to offer access to work out in the weight room from 3:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. every afternoon and evening! We are looking forward to lifting many more pounds in the next meet, which is in Holmen, Wis., on Jan. 25.

The team would also like to say a big "thank you" to all of the fans that came to support them and also to all of you who have donated for Bench for Bucks and those who have purchased t-shirts. All proceeds go to the weight room.

This year, with the help of the Spring Grove Athletic Boosters, we will be able to purchase a new leg sled. This particular piece of equipment will greatly benefit all Spring Grove Athletes! We look forward to seeing you in Holmen!