Spring Grove powerlifters did well at their meet on Jan. 26. Here they are shown holding up Autumn Bornholdt their newest member. Left to right are Harrison Speltz, Matt Schleich, Caleb Happel, Zach Sanness and Mikal Guberud. <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Photo courtesy of Harrison Speltz
Spring Grove powerlifters did well at their meet on Jan. 26. Here they are shown holding up Autumn Bornholdt their newest member. Left to right are Harrison Speltz, Matt Schleich, Caleb Happel, Zach Sanness and Mikal Guberud.

Photo courtesy of Harrison Speltz
Spring Grove was represented by six powerlifters at the West Coast Regional in Holmen, Wis. on Jan. 26. Two local lifters won their weight class with two others finishing as runners up. One broke a meet record while two of the local athletes were making their powerlifting debuts - "our first gal in her first meet and also one other guy in his first meet and on his birthday as well," coach Jean Happel explained.

The group joined over 300 lifters in the largest meet besides nationals ever hosted by Holmen or any other school in the region.

"I have to say these lifters did an incredible job! We had many personal bests, one broken record, and were cheered on by the largest group of Spring Grove supporters yet," coach Happel noted.

To start things off, Autumn Bornholdt in her first meet squatted 155 lbs., benched 95 lbs. and surprised herself with a personal best dead lift of 220 lbs. for a total of 470 lbs.

"There were 24 girls in her class, and although she did not place, she did a great job while overcoming a serious case of nerves. "

The other first timer was Mikal Guberud. "If he was nervous, you sure couldn't tell. In honor of his birthday, he took second in his weight class with a squat of 365 lbs, a bench press of 170 and a dead lift of 375 for a total of 920 lbs. - a personal best for him," Happel pointed out.

"The guys that are old hat at this performed well also."

Caleb Happel had quite a day with a squat of 425 lbs. and a dead lift of 520 lbs. But the lift of the day was his meet record-breaking bench press of 335 lbs. That was good for first place with a total of 1,280 lbs. and another personal best.

Harrison Speltz continued to improve with some personal bests, including a squat of 385 lbs., a bench press of 240 lbs. and a dead lift of 425 lbs. for a total of 1,050 lbs. And that was good for first place and also a personal best.

Matt Schleich surprised himself with a squat of 285, a bench of 215 and a dead lift of 425 for a total of 925 lbs. - a personal best and good for fourth place. "The competition in his weight class included 23 lifters, so placing fourth is quite the accomplishment," added Happel.

Zach Sanness also had a great day with a squat of 335 lbs., a bench press of 225 and a dead lift of 335 for a total of 895 lbs, all personal bests. "All of Sanness' hard work paid off with a second-place finish.

"The kids did a fantastic job with teamwork in making sure everyone was wrapped, on time and warmed up. I could not be more proud of these lifters; they work so very hard, and their hard work pays off," Coach Happel explained.

Compared to the previous performances, Speltz improved his total by 45 lbs., Schleich by 50 lbs., Sanness by 60 lbs. and Happel by 70 lbs. "This is all done in two and half weeks. That's what is called hard work and dedication!" Happel exclaimed.

"We were also joined with our Minnesota cohorts from Kasson-Mantorville, and one of their gal lifters broke two meet records. Between the two Minnesota representatives, we took home 12 medals out of 14 lifters and broke three meet records.

"It was a crazy day for all of us. I also want to make sure that I say a big thank you to Kyle Kampschroer, our coach and friend, all of the Spring Grove supporters and all of the family members that came to the meet.

"It means a great deal to see all of you there, to hear you cheer and most importantly having taken time to enjoy with us the sport we love."

The group's next meet will be in Necedah, Wis., on Saturday, Feb. 16. "We could very well have a record breaking number of lifters competing."

The week following on Feb. 25, Happel and Speltz will be traveling to Whitehall, Wis., to compete and qualify for the National Powerlifting meet being held on Aurora, Colo., on April 5-7.

There will be a few upcoming fundraisers to help these lifters offset the cost of entering as well as hotel and travel expenses.