Powerlifting Takes Center Stage

Powerlifting Takes Center Stage

By Matt Browning 

While it is not a state-sanctioned sport, powerlifting is a well-participated sport in the state of Kansas.

Goddard, Eisenhower and Wellington are just some of the schools in South Central Kansas that compete in powerlifting competitions throughout the state.

“Powerlifting has been going on for 20 years,” Goddard coach Joel Conrady said. “The numbers are a roller coaster. Some years are better than others.”

The powerlifting season begins in early January and according to hyperlifter.com, there have been eight meets already completed this season. A team usually competes in four or five meets.

“We try to give them two weeks in between meets to recover,” Conrady said. “It is no different than a weight lifting class in school.”

Not only is powerlifting competition, it is beneficial for those athletes who are in between seasons and are getting ready for the upcoming spring season.

“Anybody who is involved in sports, knows that it starts in the weight room,” Conrady said. “If you are not lifting, you are behind the eight ball.

There has been an increase in female powerlifters, mainly due to the increased focus on strength in girls sports.

“It used to be that girls did not want to look buff like guys,” Conrady said. “But now some schools bring 30-40 girls to a meet.”

Conrady does not envision powerlifting becoming a state-sanctioned sport for a multitude of reasons.

“Whoever is running the programs are doing it as volunteers,” Conrady said. “Then add in that each competition would need referees and a universal scoring system and there is going to be a broad range of requirements.”

Some school districts have started preparing their athletes in middle school by teaching technique and core exercises before they get to the high school.

“That is the smart way to go,” Conrady said of not having middle school athletes lift. “There are also liability reasons, as well. Most schools don’t let students in until they are freshmen.”

According to the results page on hyperlifter.com, Basehor-Linwood is the top team in the state, as they have won the two tournaments it participated in.

In South Central Kansas, Goddard has won the two meets it has competed in.

Photos By Wendy Morrow

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