With each passing year, the New Richmond powerlifting team strengthens its claim as one of the premier programs in the state.

At the 2020 USA Powerlifting Wisconsin State Championships, the New Richmond girls were champions, the Tiger boys placed second, and the Tigers took second place in the new combined team total category.

There were major changes in how the state meet was held this year. In past years there were three divisions based on enrollment. This year, divisions were eliminated and all schools competed against each other, so the Tigers were competing with the largest schools in the state.

New Richmond’s girls won the state title by earning 46 points, which was four points more than second place Neenah. Winneconne was the champion in the boys’ division with 49 points, where the Tigers earned second place with 39 points. In the combined division, Winneconne won with 82 points, followed by the Tigers with 70 points.

The top individual performance for New Richmond came from senior David Anderson, who won the boys’ state championship in the 132-pound division. Anderson’s success was one of the biggest surprises for the Tigers at the meet. Tiger assistant coach Brad Hildebrandt said Anderson was cutting weight to compete at 132 and that appeared to be cutting into his energy level. Instead, Anderson was unstoppable, lifting everything put in front of him.

“He hit every possible lift he had,” Hildebrandt said, saying Anderson reached several personal records during the meet. “He had the best possible meet; great strength, great willpower.”

New Richmond senior David Anderson is shown at the top of the state podium after he won the 2020 state powerlifting championship at 132 pounds. Photo courtesy of New Richmond Powerlifting
New Richmond senior David Anderson is shown at the top of the state podium after he won the 2020 state powerlifting championship at 132 pounds. Photo courtesy of New Richmond Powerlifting

With so many schools competing, points were extremely difficult to earn. Points are awarded through tenth place, but each school can only score two lifters in each weight class.

The Tiger girls were able to win the state title by getting five girls to earn points. The top finish for the girls was produced by Rhea Warner, who captured second place in the 105-pound division. The girls had to third place finishes, with Hannah Jensen third at 155 pounds and Lizzie Dimick third at 198 pounds. Gabby Langer was a fifth place finisher at 181 pounds and Emma McVitty placed fifth at 148 pounds.

McVitty was involved in a dramatic battle, as he attempted to set an American record in the deadlift for her division. She and another girl in her class both attempted the record weight, but neither was able to achieve a clean lift.

“It was such a cool battle. They both went for it,” Hildebrandt said.

Anderson was joined on the boys’ award podium by freshman Andrew Trandahl, who placed fourth in the 165-pound division.

The Tigers had 33 lifters competing at the state. That tied the program record for the most Tigers competing at one state meet. This year’s state meet was held March 7-8 at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Appleton.

The Tigers are in a good position to continue their success in future seasons. There were 10 seniors on the team roster this season, along with 23 juniors.

The national meet was scheduled for the upcoming weekend, but has been postponed. Hildebrandt said the meet has been rescheduled for late June. Jensen and Dimick were registered to compete and he said he thinks they will compete at the rescheduled meet.

Hildebrandt said the team’s success wouldn’t be possible without the support of the team’s parents, along with the support the team received from the school administration and from the community.