Powerlifting season kicks off Saturday at BLHS
The sounds of weights slamming on racks and athletes yelling for each other at Basehor-Linwood High School on Saturday will signal the return of competitive powerlifting to the school.
Some of the area’s top high school powerlifters will compete at 9 a.m. Saturday at BLHS. The meet, which is taking place for the second time, will feature between 250 and 300 high school weight lifters. Currently, 17 schools have signed up and more could be added before the firsts lifts take place.
Lifters will compete in three events: squats, cleans and bench press. The lifts will take place at stations in the BLHS gymnasium as classmates, friends and parents cheer on their fellow lifters.
Loud music will pump through the gym. The events are typically high-energy; sort of like max-out days in summer weights with 200 more people.
Powerlifting currently is not sanctioned by the Kansas State High School Activities Association, but has sprung up from area coaches wanting to find a way to motivate their athletes to train in the offseason.
“We see it as a means for getting kids to compete,” BLHS coach Ross Schwisow said. “It is not sanctioned by KSHAA, but it is really getting popular. Every weekend in January and February there are one or two meets that teams can go to.”
Basehor-Linwood plans to attend five powerlifting meets in January and February. The school also will play host to the Class 4A state meet in March.
Basehor-Linwood lifters started lifting the first week in December and had a couple of practices during winter break. Basehor-Linwood has 33 girls and 49 boys on the team who train together each week.
“I am pleased with the involvement we have had,” Schwisow said. “We are doing it to get kids involved. It is not whether they win or lose, but they go every time and compete against themselves. If they do better than the week before, then they win.”
Most of Basehor-Linwood’s powerlifters compete in other sports throughout the school year. These athletes use the sport as a way to stay in shape. Powerlifting is part of Basehor-Linwood’s plan to keep students in shape even when a specific sport is not in season.
“The big part with strength and conditioning is not trying to get ready to play a sport, but staying in shape, being active,” he said. “We have a program in place every season, always something to be involved in, not just trying to get ready real quick, always in shape; therefore the body can continue to grow.”