RIVER FALLS, Wis.-- River Falls powerlifting club coach Jeremy Carlson describes this year’s team as very young, but very hungry.

The club hosted its largest powerlifting meet in history Saturday, Dec 14, with over 300 athletes from across the state competing. Carlson said he was impressed with the team’s preparation and it showed in the Wildcats’ execution.

“With grades 6 through 12, it was very cool to see some of the more mature lifters taking the younger ones under their wing,” he said. “It takes a lot to put on a meet of this size and our team did a lot to help one another out and lift each other up.”

Among the highlights of the meet were Anna Anderson taking first place in the girls’ 97 pound weight class and freshman Hailey Eggen breaking her own school record with a 180-pound deadlift on her way to a second place finish at 97 pounds. Both qualified for the state meet later this season along with team captains Kyla Kubera in the 132 pound weight class and Violet Plante in the 165 pound class.

On the boys’ side, Logan Zyduck qualified for state with a first place finish in the 114 pound competition, just missing the “Best Lifter” award for the meet. Freshman Tim Story will also be heading to state at 114 pounds while sophomore Sebastian Kempf qualified at 148 pounds.

The River Falls boys finished third in the final team standings while the girls placed fourth.

Carlson said all of the club’s lifters did a good job of encouraging each other at their only home meet of the season.

“It's so cool to see a first-time lifter come off the platform with a big smile on their face,” he said. “I'm excited to see what the rest of the season will bring with a group of kids that are willing to listen and work hard towards the goals they have set.”

The Wildcats will compete next on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Osceola High School