Photo courtesy Jason Stahlberg
A HEAVY TROPHY—Members of the Warrior Powerlifting team (Row 1, L-R) freshmen Campbell McKay and Garret Hoffman; (Row 2) sophomores Kylie Woodruff, Abbie Mayer, Abby Iversen, Olivia Rysdon, Carson Strom, Aaron Thomas and Randolph Kapi; (Row 3) juniors Autumn Hullinger, Abbie Witt, Ashtin Wessell, Macy Skiles, Jamie Thomas, Ben Bartling and Nick Sieler and (Row 4) seniors Rachel Doll, Cassie Heintz, Jakayla Burglar, Jenna Sailer, Adam Durland, Abbey Levitt, Garrett Mayer, Matt Ruesch, Carson Wilson, (Row 5) Miah Steinke, Peyton Nieuwsma, Yanike Demunga and Tupak Kpeayeh heft the second place state trophy and show off their medals.

Warrior Powerlifters take second at state
Five team members take first place in class

By Emma Scott and Asia Amos

Warrior Powerlifting team members took second place, falling to champion O’Gorman by just two points, at the South Dakota State Powerlifting Meet March 23 at Roosevelt High School. 

In total 37 athletes competed, spread across male and female divisions in various weight classes. Of those, 16 placed in the top three of their respective weight class and 22 placed in the top five. 

Individually for the girls, seniors Jenna Sayler in the 158 pound class and Jakayla Burglar in the 185 pound class took first place. Sayler’s third and final deadlift attempt, a 20-pound personal record in competition for her, put her ahead of a Lincoln High School athlete that had beaten her all year and up to that point was ahead of her in the meet. 

Sayler said she was pleased.

“I’m really proud of our team and how hard we’ve worked this year,” Sayler said. “I lifted more than I thought I could with the support of my team behind me.”

For the boys, seniors Yanike Demunga in the 130 pound class, Chase Randall in the 163 pound class and Adam Durland in the 264 pound class took first. Demunga also won the Male Lifter of the Meet Award, based on the coefficient of his three lift total divided by bodyweight with a total of 1,000 pounds, or over seven times his body weight. 

Demunga was honored to be awarded.

“I am happy that I participated with all the WHS Powerlifters,” Demunga said. “They raised me up and helped be progress further in my training.” 

In other action, junior Macey Skiles at 125 for the girls and seniors Matt Ruesch at 163 and Carson Wilson at 264 for the boys took second. Sophomore Kylie Woodruff at 103, senior Rachel Doll at 138, junior Abbie Witt at 185 and sophomore Abbie Mayer at 185+ took third for the girls and freshman Garrett Hoffman at 116, junior Nick Sieler at 145, senior Tupak Kpeayeh at 182 and junior Brandon Dickens at heavyweight took third for the boys. 

Coach Jason Stahlberg said his team was disappointed to take second by two points, but they did very well. 

“Although we came up just shy of our goal, I was so proud of this special group of students,” Stahlberg enthused. “They put everything they had into this season. Watching them compete and support each other was really special.” 

Stahlberg also thanked all who helped make the season possible. 

“I also want to give a special thank you to the coaching staff,” Stahlberg said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without their sacrifice and the passion of coaches David Hopper, Michael Frericks, Laura Stahlberg, Jamin Razlaff and Chad Stadem.” 


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