Students powerlift for fun, competition, family tradition

Megan Bernhardt

For senior Joey Lehotsky, powerlifting is a way to diminish the chip on his shoulder.

“I really got into powerlifting when I didn’t bring home anything my first year. It really put a chip on my shoulder, and gave me more motivation in my training,” Lehotsky said.

Since he started lifting in fifth grade “when my dad gave me some 5-lb. dumbbells to play with,” Lehotsky has made great strides.

He started lifting competitively three years ago, and he won the award for best overall lifter at the 2011 State Powerlifting meet, which took place at the Community Recreation Center on March 5.

Powerlifting coach Travis Crawford says the best part of coaching is, “seeing the kids be successful.”

The team has definitely been successful in recent years, winning back-to-back state championships.

Competition is not the only reason students powerlift.

For senior Liz Ramsey, lifting is more of a family affair.

Her biggest accomplishment was beating her sister Remick’s deadlift record at the high school powerlifting meet this year.

Ramsey added, “my dad has been a trainer since I was little, so I grew up with it.”

Crawford said, “early exposure makes [lifters] successful,” and “getting kids involved when they’re younger” is better so that they can improve.

The competitiveness and structure of powerlifting is what sets it apart, according to Crawford.

Overall though, Lehotsky feels that he can accomplish things through lifting that he couldn’t otherwise.

“The thing that got me hooked on lifting is the results. My favorite feeling in the world is when you accomplish something that has been eluding you for a long time. Lifting gives me another place to goal set, and gives me a place in which I can feel accomplishment.”