Setting Records: CMR students lift past the limits at state competition

Holding first in the state for shot-put and javelin isn’t the only news in junior Ashleigh Lehotsky’s life. Lehotsky recently participated in the power lifting state meet, where she blew away the competition with ease.

Of the girls at the meet, Lehotsky finished first place in bench press, squat, and dead lift. Lehotsky set records in bench press at 235 lbs and dead lift at 370 lbs, and her plans include setting the record for squat next year.

“I lift a lot,” she said. Lehotksy participates in weight lifting during school, and on the weekends she lifts with her father.

Dedication to the sport is a characteristic shared by senior Jacob Beirwagen.

Beirwagen was one of two CMR lifters in the 275-lb weight class. Senior Casey Cleveland also competed. Beirwagen finished in first place for the second year in a row, and it was the third year of his being in the top three. Not only did Beirwagen finish in first place, but he finished his weekend by setting a state record with a 375-lb bench press.

Beirwagen began lifting his first year at CMR when he needed another class to satisfy a seven-class schedule.

“I wasn’t real excited about it until I really got into it,” he said.

Not long after beginning his weight training class, Coach Crawford asked Beirwagen to play football. He accepted.

Weight training isn’t the only time once can find him lifting. He worked out with Crawford regularly two to three times a week.

His training last year included the overspeed training program, designed mostly for speed and quickness. On top of that, Beirwagen lifted all summer with the football program in order to prepare for the 2012 season.

Beirwagen spent his first two seasons of lifting in the 242-lb weight class, and this year he was in an elite 275-lb class.

“The only real competition was a kid from Helena High,” he said.

There was a real difference in this year’s competition, though. Beirwagen said in years past he lifted with hard working lifting partners such as Tony Lewison and Hunter Thompson. This year Beirwagen lifted by himself for the most part.

The state weight lifting competition was a struggle for Beirwagen.

“I wasn’t feeling real good; I just wanted to go home,” he said.

Getting a little bit lighter and healthier is Beirwagen’s next goal. While he may quit lifting, he will still get his workout in at his father’s farm just outside of Loma.

Beirwagen didn’t take many words to sum up what he accomplished when it comes to lifting.

“Honestly, I just showed up and kicked butt.”