Bobcat power: Basehor-Linwood sweeps lifting state titles
BLHS girls win third straight crown; boys beat defending champ Russell
For the Basehor-Linwood girls, Saturday’s Class 4A powerlifting state championship at Abilene High School was a bit of a foregone conclusion. The first-place title was their third straight, and they’d dominated the competition all year.
The surprise came from the Basehor boys, who also won a state title after placing second last year.
Not only did the Bobcats sweep the championships, they also shattered numerous state records in the process.
SEAMAN, REHM SPARK GIRLS
Melissa Seaman rewrote the record book for the second year in a row at the state meet. She set personal records and broke her own state meet records.
She set a record for most total weight lifted in the 148-pound weight class with 650 pounds for the three lifts combined (bench press, squat, hang clean), dominating the competition. She broke her record of 625 pounds from 2009.
In the hang clean event, Seaman lifted 185 pounds, breaking her mark of 180 pounds last year.
She also squatted 325 pounds, breaking her record of 305 pounds from last year.
A Bethany football player was judging the meet and said it was more than the team’s quarterback could squat after she had successfully made the lift.
“It was pretty funny and a great accomplishment,” BLHS coach Ross Schwisow said.
The performance helped Basehor-Linwood continue its dominance in the state meet. This was the team’s third consecutive title.
Seaman wasn’t the only BLHS lifter who set a state record. Megan Rehm did so too in the 156-pound weight class when she power cleaned 195 pounds.
Rehm is a sign of how much progress lifters can make if they put their minds to working hard and lifting. She has more than doubled her maximum lift in the event since cleaning 95 pounds as a freshman.
She is an example of the improvement that powerlifters can make strength-wise if they are willing to put forth the effort, Schwisow said.
“What I like about the sport is that kids can see how they can improve with work and then apply that to their main sport and also school work,” Schwisow said.
In addition, Shelby Witt set a record in the powerweight division with a lift of 190 pounds.
With these performances leading the way, the girls team defeated Russell 98-52. The team has not lost a meet in three seasons.
“What I will remember the most about the girls is that even though they’ve been successful they continue to improve and PR each meet. That excites me,” Schwisow said. “We scored 98 points, which is great. Last year we scored 112 points. The competition is getting better, and we need to continue to strive for excellence there.”
Seaman led the Bobcats’ parade of medal winners. She finished first for squad, clean, bench press and total weight lifted at 148 pounds and was named the lightweight lifter of the meet.
Rehm placed first in clean, bench and overall weight at 156. Haylee Mathews placed first for bench, clean and overall weight in the 123-pound class. Kayla Peterson took first for squat, clean and total weight in the 132-pound class. Alyssa Rucker was first in squat and overall weight in the 105-pound class, and Shelby Miles took third overall and first in bench in the same class. Shelby Witt was first in the clean with a state-record 190 pounds in the powerweight class, and she took second for overall weight in her class.
In addition, Shelby Pierce was second overall in the 180-pound class and Danae Leppke was third overall at 114.
STEPHENS, SHEWMON LEAD BOYS
Cory Stephens and John Shewmon set records in the hang clean event on Saturday.
Stephens cleaned 225 pounds in the 123-pound weight class.
Shewmon tied former Basehor-Linwood football player Ethan Douglas’ mark of 335 pounds in the lift.
Their performances led the BLHS boys to a 68-49 victory against defending state champion Russell, which had defeated them the last three seasons at state.
“For the boys to do what they did was pretty rewarding to watch,” Schwisow said.
The team should have a bright future with the majority of its lifters returning next season.
Seven different Bobcats earned medalist honors. Stephens placed first overall at 123 pounds and won the hang clean.
Shewmon placed first overall and first in the clean in the heavyweight division.
Russell Clark won the squat and placed second overall in the 132-pound class, and Brady Blackwood was third overall and first in the clean in the same weight class. Patrick Rutherford won the clean and took third overall at 140, Bobby Courtney won the clean and finished third overall at 156 and Brandon Ogden took second overall at 165.
SENIOR CLASS RECOGNIZED
The teams were led by a talented group of seniors who helped solidify and establish a tradition in Bobcat powerlifting.
The boys’ seniors were Spencer Dove, Chris Giomi, Brandon Ogden, Austin Schoepflin, John Shewmon, Tim Stephens and David Wynn. The girls’ seniors were Kelsey Davis, Julia Karrick, Lauren Klem, Haylee Matthews, Kayla Peterson, Megan Rehm, Carol Smith and Shelby Witt.
Schwisow said the seniors helped build the foundation of the program and set an example for the younger lifters by proving that hard work can pay off.
“We had a lot of kids that took that to heart and really worked. They tried to place in the top six, and when you can place in the top three, you’ve done a phenomenal job,” he said.