Hoisting the state championship trophies may have been the lightest lifts of the day for the Montesano High School boys and girls powerlifting teams on Saturday. The Bulldog boys won their 11th straight state title, while the girls repeated to take their eighth title in the last 11 years.
Monte won the boys title with a total of 48 points, outscoring second-place Shelton by 16. The Bulldogs took home the girls title with a total of 55 points. Omak came in second for the girls competition with a total of 46.
Going into the state meet, coach Eric Stanfield knew the Bulldogs would have tough competition on the boys’ side from Shelton, which has become a rival to Monte in powerlifting. Stanfield said he expected a close battle because of the Highclimbers’ depth and upper classmen, but after a few lifts he noticed a trend at the squat racks that the Bulldogs took advantage of to earn the win.
“Nobody was getting their opening lift and they weren’t getting their second lift,” Stanfield said. “It really set the tone that they were going to call them lower than they had all year. We were really fortunate on the girls’ side that everybody got their opening lift. On the boys ‘side, I went to every kid and told them to go down 10 pounds on their opening lift. Because of the squats being so deep, it affected a lot of the kids on their lifts. They wanted you to break parallel by probably an inch, but it was consistent. It was every rack.”
Lifters have three attempts to lift the weight they come into the competition at, but they can’t move to a lower weight after failing the first lift. The Monte boys may have had to do an extra lift or two, but all but one of the Bulldogs stayed in the competition for a state championship at their weights.
“Our boys just drew a line in the dirt and said we are holding our ground and we are going to get our openers and take advantage of the mistakes Shelton made and that is exactly what they did,” Stanfield said.
Montesano finished with six individual champions.
Corrie Stewart had one of the best days for Monte as she set three state records. Stewart won the individual competition for 165 pounds with a total of 825 pounds to break the previous state record of 820. On her way to the title, she also set the state record in the bench press with a lift of 190 pounds and the squat with 325 pounds.
Seniors Chazlyn O’Bannon and Rayna Ashlock ended their careers with title belts. O’Bannon lifted a total of 520 pounds to win the competition for 97 pounds and Ashlock took home the title for 114 pounds with a total of 645 pounds.
Stewart wasn’t the only Bulldog to set a state record on Saturday. Monte’s Noah Ewing shattered the bench press record of 375 pounds that was set by Elma’s Anthony Heller in 2012 with a lift of 410 pounds. The 198-pound Ewing had the highest total of all of the Monte lifters with a combined weight of 1,425 for his three lifts.
Vonte Schoch left with some hardware of his own as he lifted a total of 980 pounds to win the belt for 132-pound lifters.
The final Monte lifter to win an individual title was Greg Benner who won the unlimted weight class with a total of 1,335 pounds. Benner recorded one of the most impressive lifts on the day when he hoisted a 605-pound deadlift.
Elma’s Wesley Allen won the state championship for the 114-pound weight class with a total of 795 pounds.
In addition to the six indivdiual champions and the two team trophies, Steinfield came home with some additional hardware as he was given the award for powerlifting coach of the year.
“I would have loved to walk it over and just give it to the kids. It is the kids award,” Stanfield said of the honor, which was voted on by all of the coaches. “This is all about the kids. They are the ones in the weight room every day. They threw an overhand right in a heavyweight fight, they didn’t jab, they went for the kill.”
The trophies may just be added to an already-packed trophy case for the lifting teams, but Stanfield said this year’s group was one he will always remember.
“They all knew this was the chance for 11 straight and they didn’t want to be the team to not win,” Stanfield said. “Our kids just lifted smart. They didn’t try to go as heavy as they have at other meets. They lifted like bulldog champions. They will be remembered for how they performed.”
132 — Sawyer Rhoden (Montesano. 148 — Tanner Birdsall (Montesano).
123 — Imani Lund (Montesano). 148 — Brandon Rose (Montesano). 242 — Evan Bialkowsky (Montesano). Unlimited — Joe Wilson (Elma).
123 — Erik Warner (Montesano). 181 — Kenny Darst (Montesano). 242 — Byron Peterson (Montesno).
105 — Ashley Laney (Montesano). 148 — Lyndsy Quinn (Montesno). 181 — Charley Schimelpfenig (Montesano)
114 — Hannah Pierog (Montesano). 132 — Myranda Floch (Montesano). 165 — Kasie Kloempken (Montesano). 198 — Gillian Teague (Montesno).