BLHS lifters open season on top
Rebuilding goes something like this in the Basehor-Linwood High School powerlifting program: Graduate a bunch of state champions, return with the largest roster in school history and then keep on winning.
That was the case after the squad’s first tournament of the season, anyway. The BLHS boys and girls both won championships on Saturday at Lyndon High School. It was the 18th straight meet victory for the girls.
The Bobcats have 118 athletes on this year’s roster, and 94 competed at Lyndon.
BLHS coach Ross Schwisow was thrilled with his team’s performance, especially with so many new athletes leading the team.
“This is the biggest team we’ve ever had, and it’s the youngest,” he said. “On the girls’ side we graduated five state champions. We lost like two thirds of the points off our team from last year, so it’s a young group, but that shows how good our lifters were last year and puts pressure on this year’s girls.”
Dakkota Edmonds was the top overall winner for the Bobcats as she swept the titles in the 105-pound division with lifts of 105 pounds in the bench press and clean, 170 pounds in squat and 380 pounds for total weight.
Schwisow said he was pleased with Edmonds’ performance, and he pointed out that it would be beneficial for the track standout as she tries to improve on last year’s fourth-place finishes in the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the Class 4A state championships.
“I think for her getting that taste of fourth place at state last year, she really knew that to get a little faster she really needed to get stronger,” he said.
A trio of Bobcats claimed the titles in the 123-pound division. Jessica Farris won the squat (175 pounds), Cheyenne Morris won the bench press (105 pounds) and Hannah Tush won the clean (125 pounds) and overall weight.
In the 140-pound division, Brandi Stahl won the squat (215 pounds) and Courtney Leive won the clean (145 pounds) and overall weight.
In the 148-pound division, Brittany Billinger won the squat (235 pounds) and overall weight competitions while Melissa Seaman won the bench press with a lift of 135 pounds.
Mallorie Belk won the clean in the powerweight division with a lift of 155 pounds.
Meanwhile, the boys’ squad also is young, but it featured six athletes who produced first-place finishes. Russell Clark was the squat (300 pounds) and overall weight champion in the 140-pound division. Josh Stillian won the clean with a lift of 275 pounds in the 173-pound division. Alex Shewmon won the clean with a lift of 280 pounds in the 220-pound division. In the same weight class, Trevor Hickman won the squat (455 pounds) and overall weight title. In the heavyweight division, Caleb Johnson won the clean (280 pounds) and Justin McLaughlin won the squat (430 pounds) and overall weight title.
The Bobcats next compete Saturday, Jan. 29, at Royal Valley. Then they return home Feb. 5 for the Bobcat Power Invitational.