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New Richmond powerlifters are outstanding at 2017 national meet

New Richmond powerlifters who competed at the national meet were (front, l-r) Emma Wothe, Aidan Miers and Tanner Carver; (back) Cassidy Wienke, Sierra Keyes, Abby McNitt, Travis Messer and Brandon Haag.

The success achieved by the New Richmond powerlifting team at the state level was carried on to the next level when the Tigers competed at the 2017 USA Powerlifting High School National Championships in Scranton, Penn., last week.

Seven of the eight Tigers who competed at the national championships finished in the top five in their weight classes. That was topped by Emma Wothe, who won the national championship in the 181-pound class. Aidan Miers, Brandon Haag and Tanner Carver finished as silver medalists in their classes. Cassidy Wienke and Sierra Keyes were third place finishers. Abby McNitt was a fourth place finisher and Travis Messer finished sixth in his class.

Winning the national championship is part of a lofty set of goals Wothe set for herself this year. She becomes the second Tiger ever to win a state championship and a national championship in the same season. Pat Kletschka is the only other Tiger who has ever achieved that feat.

By winning those two titles, Wothe has completed two-thirds of her goal. She is hoping that success will lead to the third piece of the goal, a place on the national powerlifting team.

Haag had one of the most dramatic lifts. He was in third place going into the final round of the deadlift in the 198-pound class. Haag went for a person record, trying to lift 584 pounds. At 183 pounds, he was attempting to lift more than three times his body weight. He completed the lift, drawing a large cheer from the amassed crowd. The lift moved him into second place in his class.

“He’s an elite dead lifter, there’s no doubt,” said New Richmond coach Brian Kaczmarski.

Miers and Carver both competed in the first day of the tournament last Wednesday. Miers competed in the 123-pound division, setting personal bests in three of his four lifts.

Freshmen and sophomores compete in the junior varsity portion of the national tournament. That’s where Carver was able to take second place in the 198-pound division. He had personal best lifts in the bench and squat, missing the national title by 30 pounds.

Wienke competed in the same class and Wothe and she were one of the biggest surprises of the tournament for the Tiger coaches. Kaczmarski said they were hoping that Wienke could somehow get in the top five, but she exceeded everyone’s expectations by taking third place in the 181-pound division.

Keyes and McNitt were both competing on Friday in the 198-pound class. They were both able to notch two personal bests in lifting their best totals of the season in finishing third and fourth. Keyes was hoping to earn her second straight national championship.

Messer was competing in the 198-pound class. He was able to gain a sixth place finish despite not lifting at full health. He was lifting while dealing with a tweaked hamstring.

More than 500 lifters from 37 states competed in the national tournament. The Tigers competed in the raw portion of the national meet last Wednesday through Friday. The geared portion, where lifters can wear body and joint wraps, was held Friday through Sunday.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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