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River Falls' senior JP Eaton starts his ascent with 500 pounds on the bar during the squat competition as RFHS alum Talal Adam keeps a watchful eye at the Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Association regional meet at the high school gym Dec. 15 . Eaton was successful in his 500 pound lift that helped him to a total of 1,285 pounds on the day to qualify for the boys' state competition in Wisconsin Dells March 9. Bob Burrows photos

Powerlifters show stuff at regional

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One hundred and forty-one of the strongest high school athletes in western Wisconsin descended on River Falls High School Dec. 15 for a Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Association (WHSPA) regional meet hosted by the RFHS Powerlifting Club.

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Nine schools were represented at the meet, the first ever held at the high school gym, in both varsity and junior varsity competition. Athletes compete in three different events -- squat, bench press-and dead lift -- with awards based on the total weight lifted.

The RFHS Powerlifting Club has been in existence for five years. During that time over 100 boys and girls have participated and helped River Falls bring home two state team championships -- the boys in 2010 and the girls in 2011.

Thirty-eight athletes are competing this year.

The River Falls' boys' varsity took second place at Saturday's meet, led by first place individual finishes by seniors JP Eaton and Jordan Kaiser, and freshman Riley Tschumper. Eaton and Kaiser both met the qualifying standards for the boys' state meet scheduled for March 9 in Wisconsin Dells.

Eaton took first place in the 275 pound weight class by lifting a total of 1,285 pounds. Eaton's lifts consisted of 500 pounds in the squat, 265 in the bench press and 520 in the dead lift. Eaton is the RFHS school record-holder in both the 242 and 275 pound weight classes.

Kaiser squatted 405 pounds, bench pressed 205 and dead lifted 465 for a first place total of 1,075 pounds in the 198-pound weight class.

Tschumper took first in the 114 pound weight class Dec. 15 by lifting 155 pounds in the squat, 85 in the bench press and 190 in the dead lift for a total of 430, a new RFHS 114 pound school record.

Junior Colton Jones placed second in the 220 pound weight class with lifts of 415 in the squat, 210 in the bench press and 405 in the dead lift for a total of 1,030.

Sophomore Mark Miller also took second in the 132 pound weight class, completing lifts of 250 pounds in the squat, 145 in the bench press and 350 in the dead lift for a total of 745.

In the girls' varsity competition, senior Anna Brettingen qualified for the girls' state meet March 2 in Necedah by taking first place in the 181 pound weight class by breaking her own school record with a total of 760 pounds. Brettingen successfully lifted 290 pounds in the squat, 180 in the bench press and 290 in the dead lift. Her old record total was 670.

Sophomore McKenzie Curtis also qualified for state by lifting 225 pounds in the squat, 135 in the bench press and 325 in the dead lift for a first-place total of 685 in the 198-plus pound weight class.

Senior Natasha Dusek took second in the same class with a total of 630 pounds while senior Kathy Francisco was third with 600.

At 123 pounds, junior Cecily Ripley took second with total lifts of 515 pounds while junior Leah Morrow was third with 510.

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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