BLHS powerlifters hope to defend state title
Pound for pound, some of strongest high school students in Kansas will visit Basehor-Linwood High School on Saturday to compete in the Class 4A State Powerlifting Championships.
While the meet isn’t sanctioned by the Kansas State High School Activities Association, it is regarded as a state championship and the final meet of the season.
Basehor-Linwood will be competing against lifters from 25 other schools and is expected to contend for titles in both the girls and boys competitions. The team competition all will take care of itself if wrestlers perform well in each individual lift.
“Our goal is to work as hard as we can and individually place in the top six,” BLHS coach Ross Schwisow said. “The top six spots score points for the team competition.”
In the girls competition, Basehor-Linwood is the defending state champion and hopes to repeat.
Baily Kraus, Melissa Seaman, Jennifer Ciszlewski and Emily Blanks lead the team of lifters. The Bobcats have dominated competitions this season and raised their level of expectation from just wanting to win the meet. They have focused on breaking individual and meet records, rewriting the record books for lifting throughout the season.
In the boys competition, Basehor-Linwood has reloaded this season. The Bobcats lost 25 seniors last year from a team that missed a state championship by just 6 points.
The Bobcats have been successful in reloading this season with lifters like Chris Douglas making a difference for the team. Douglas was a nonfactor for the Bobcats last season and this year has won meets in the 114-pound weight class.
Ben Zuk and Lucas Turner also have had strong seasons lifting for the Bobcats. Cory Stephens also has had a nice season.
Now, the lifters are focused on Saturday and making up the 6-point differential that cost them last year.
Schwisow is encouraging every lifter to use that as motivation in the days leading up to the meet.
In addition to vying for state titles, Basehor-Linwood will play host to the meet.
The teams scheduled to compete are Abilene, Basehor-Linwood, Blue Steel, Caney Valley, Chapman, Cheney, Clay Center, Clearwater, De Soto, Labette County, Osawatomie, Paola, Perry-Lecompton, Piper, Royal Valley, Russell, Smoky Valley, Wamego, Bishop Miege and Tonganoxie. More could sign up before the meet.
Schwisow said volunteers made hosting the meet possible.
“It takes a lot of help from volunteers, teachers and parents,” he said. “You have to get a lot of people involved to get everything done. We have got to get a lot of equipment moved, and we will probably have 90 volunteers helping over the next few days.”
Basehor-Linwood graduates will return to help judge the meet. College football players from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, Ottawa and the University of St. Mary will also help judge the competition, which should run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Admission to the meet is free.