Marshall senior A.J. Jasienski won a state championship back on March 12, and all he had to do was lift 1,245 pounds
Jasienski was one of many local high school athletes to compete at the Michigan High School Power Lifting Association (MHSPLA) State Meet at Muskegon Mona Shores High School. His first-place finish in the boys varsity 181-pound division helped the Marshall Power Lifting Club place eighth in the 56-team competition.
“It meant a lot for my son and his friends,” said Marshall coach Joe Jasienski. “It takes a lot of work to be a state champion. There are so many kids out there – you wouldn’t believe all the football players you see at every meet.”
Power lifting is a club sport where individuals can qualify for the MHSPLA State Meet through any of the 12 regionals that are divided up into East, West and Central locations. Athletes get three chances in the squat, the bench press and the dead lift, with their highest weight totals in each lift added up to determine the winner.
In his division, Jasienski had the top lifts in both the squat (430 pounds) and the bench press (295 pounds) and had the second-best dead lift (520 pounds). He defeated the second-place finisher by 60 pounds.
Marshall’s Jack Friend finished second in the 165-pound division with a combined lift total of 1,120 pounds, while Justin Holcomb also posted a runner-up finish in the 220-pound division with a combined lift total of 1,260 pounds.
Also in the boys varsity competition, Harper Creek placed 51st and Climax-Scotts was 53rd.
The Beavers were led by Connor Gilbert, who finished ninth in the 155-pound weight class with a combined lift total of 980 pounds.
“It’s an individual thing yet it’s a team thing too – kind of like wrestling where you can have success if you can fill all the weight classes,” said Mike Seedorf, who has coached the Harper Creek Power Lifting Club since 2002. “It’s kind of neat to walk away with a team trophy. This year, we didn’t have a whole lot of kids, so we were more focused on getting individuals to medal.”
Climax-Scotts’ top effort came in the 275-pound division, where Adam Audette finished ninth with a lift total of 1,195 pounds.
In the 45-team girls competition, Harper Creek placed 30th while Olivet was 38th.
The Beavers’ top finish came in the 132-pound division, where Lindsey Rees placed fourth with a combined lift total of 625 pounds. She also had the top effort in her division in the bench press, where she put up 145 pounds.
Olivet was led by Madison Dexter in the 123-pound division, where she placed seventh with a combined lift total of 515 pounds.
Nick Buckley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-966-0652. Follow him on Twitter:@NickJBuckley