BLHS powerlifters impressive at West Franklin
It’s crunch time for the Basehor-Linwood High School powerlifting program.
The Bobcats’ varsity squads traveled Saturday to West Franklin High School in Pomona for one of the largest tournaments of the season. The BLHS girls placed first as a team for their 21st straight victory, and the boys took second behind Topeka High.
It was the final tune-up for most of the Bobcats before the state championships March 5 in Abilene. The Basehor-Linwood girls are the three-time defending state champions and the BLHS boys are defending state champs.
Coach Ross Schwisow said the Bobcats saw the tournament — which had more than 450 lifters — as an opportunity to simulate the state tournament, and he liked how they performed.
“It was a good meet where there were a lot of lifters that we had not seen, and it is going to help prepare a lot for the state meet,” he said.
“We set the goal for the day to not worry about other lifters, to just try to (set personal records) on two lifts and increase your totals by 10 pounds this week and then 10 again by state, and we had a lot of kids attain that.”
Cory Stephens led the way for BLHS in the men’s division. He competed in the 132-pound weight class and recorded first-place finishes in the squat (300 pounds) and clean (235) while finishing second in total weight lifted. In the 140-pound class, Deric Brannan took first in squat (315 pounds) and total weight (725 pounds) while Russell Clark finished second for total weight.
Nathan Quigley finished second for overall weight in the 190-pound class, Trevor Hickman was second for overall weight in the 220-pound class, and Caleb Johnson won the clean (290 pounds) in the heavyweight class.
The BLHS girls also had numerous individual top finishers.
Melissa Seaman powered the Bobcats with a strong showing in the 156-pound class. She won the bench (145 pounds), clean (150 pounds) and total weight categories. At 114 pounds, Danae Leppke won the clean (125 pounds) and overall weight, and Rachel Cook took third for overall weight. Alex Bright was second for overall weight at 123 pounds, and Courtney Leive was first for overall weight at 132 pounds.
Also for BLHS, Brandi Stahl won the clean (135 pounds) and took second for overall weight at 140 pounds; Chelsey Journey was third for overall weight at 140 pounds; Brittany Billinger won the squat (250 pounds) and took second for overall weight at 148 pounds; and Mallori Belk won the clean (165 pounds) and was third for overall weight in the powerweight division.
Basehor-Linwood will take 28 to 30 freshmen and sophomores to a meet Saturday at Horton High School for a final tournament. The state roster will stay back at BLHS and use the day to train.
“The kids are really getting prepared to try to defend both state titles in two weeks,” Schwisow said. “It will be very tough as a lot of schools we will see there we have not seen all year. (It) should be interesting.”