The Osceola Chieftain powerlifters took their show on the road and came back from Elk Mound with some very impressive performances. Osceola reached a total of 10 lifters qualifying for the State meet after competing in Elk Mound and added an 11th lifter to the State roster in the ‘Last Chance’ meet held in Osceola last Saturday.
State qualifiers from Osceola include Paige Dvorak, John Klugow, Nevaeh Noonan, Sawyer Federation, Sydney Regan, Jacob Regan, Matthew Slechta, Elvis Cormican, Keegan Saloka, Robert Conde and Connor Hinze. The meet will be held in Appleton on March 7-8.
“Highlight of the day was John Klugow qualifying for State,” Osceola coach Jeff Hahn said about his athletes competing in Elk Mound. “John has worked very hard to accomplish his goal of qualifying. It was great to be able to be able to load a deadlift that would qualify him and then watch him pull it up. John is a great leader by example in the weight room.”
“When I deadlifted 440 pounds to qualify for the State meet, I was super excited since it was a goal of mine since my freshman year,” Klugow said. “There were times when I doubted I would make it to State, but the coaches were always there with encouragement and advice. I know I couldn’t have reached my goal without all of their help.”
Hahn and his assistant coaches work hard with the lifters at practice but the meets become even more hectic.
“With our meets having six platforms running at the same time, having a good assistant coaching staff is crucial to success,” Hahn noted. “We are very fortunate to have a great group in Amanda Noonan, Jordan Braund, Ben Peterson, Brian Hayman and Brad Struemke.”
The coaches had their athletes amped up at Elk Mound knowing that time was running short to qualify for State. They know the limitations of the lifters but also know what they are capable of and want to safely push their limits.
Osceola secured three first place finishes and three second place finishes as well in Elk Mound. Syd Regan, Keegan Saloka and Robert Conde placed first for the Chieftains with Nevaeh Noonan, Elvis Cormican and Jacob Regan earning the runner-up spots in their respective weight division.
Syd Regan, competing in the women’s 242+ pound division, had best lifts of 360 in the squat, 140 in the bench press and 355 in the deadlift for a total of 855 pounds. Saloka won the men’s 123 pound division with best lifts of 250 in the squat, 155 in the bench and 300 in the deadlift for a total of 705 pounds. Conde won the men’s 242 pound division with best lifts of 480 in the squat, 300 in the bench and 455 in the deadlift for a total of 1,235.
“Our lifters took a lot of shots at PRs (personal records) with their second lifts and completed them,” Hahn said. “It takes a lot of courage to stand in front of a gym full of people and give your maximum effort. Mental toughness and focus are key to performing well.”