The River Falls girls powerlifting team set high standards for their club team after taking second place at the 2017 Division 2 Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Association's state meet. This year, those standards were not only met but also raised when the team brought home its first first-place state finish since 2013 on Sunday, March 11 at Mauston High School.
"The girls on this team went to Mauston to compete and that is just what they did," first-year head coach Jeremy Carlson said. "We had girls fight through injury, illness, and instead of making excuses they went out and gave their all. That was the difference."
The team was led by returning state champion Hailee Markey who dominated the heavyweight division, earning another individual state title and setting a new school deadlift record of 413.4 lbs.
Skyler Ross (132 pounds), Anna Cernohous (132), Laura Schlee (132) and Kyla Kubera (114) all took fifth place individually, while Karina Frisbee (123) finished in seventh place and McKenna Ross (114) recorded an eighth-place finish. Carlson was especially impressed with Kubera who took fifth place as a freshman powerlifter.
"Captains Hailee Markey, Coryn Davidson and Anna Cernohous really took leadership roles in improving the culture of this club and the sky is the limit for them if they keep it up," Carlson said. "The girls on this team have just set the bar for where we want to be as a club and how to achieve it. They put the team before themselves, they prepared relentlessly, they persevered through the ups and downs that came in a season with a new head coach and new expectations."
On the boys side, Kevin Karras took fourth place in the super heavyweight division setting a new school record in deadlift with a pull of 529.1 lbs and the bench press record with 297.6 lbs.
Eli Froeming (242) and Max Masog (123) both finished in seventh place and Dylan Daly Schreiner (114) took eighth.
"We could not have done this without our excellent coaching staff and our booster club," Carlson said. "Coaches Ray Curtis, Ulice Payne, Jaden Maas and Courtney Johnson brought their considerable experience to practice every day and challenged these kids to become better versions of themselves. Our booster club has been a constant source of support and constantly and selflessly took burdens off our coaching staff and allowing us to focus on coaching."