Monday, December 29, 2014

Pumping Iron: new team lifts off

Sam Van Haute | Staff Writer for "The Mount"
Grit your teeth, be a Knight! Mount Michael athletics have a tradition of hard work and pushing yourself to the limit. “We lift with the goal of increasing our one rep max for three lifts: bench, squat and deadlift,” said senior John Gutsmiedl. A passion to get stronger has fueled the creation of a Mount Michael Powerlifting team.
Photo by Sam Van Haute
Senior John Gutsmiedl practices for what he hopes 
to be a start of a new sport at Mount Michael.
“Mr. Struckman thought about starting the powerlifting team after seeing so many people with the desire to lift,” said junior Michael Fischer. Fischer is one of seven members who have started practicing for the first competition.
Powerlifting is a sport where participants are split into different weight classes and perform three different lifts: bench, squat and deadlift. It was the willingness of Freshman Dean Tim Struckman and the interest of students that empowered the idea to compete in powerlifting competitions for the first time. In each lift, the participants attempt to lift the maximum amount of weight in one repetition. At the competitions there are three judges who make sure the lift is done with proper form, leveling the playing field.
Powerlifting is often confused with Olympic lifting. Gutsmiedl said, “Powerlifting is different from Olympic lifting because the lifts are different.” Olympic lifting consists of lifts such as: clean and jerk, front squat, and snatch.
Although official practices will start at the beginning of January, the members of the team have already begun to prepare. Since fall sports came to an end, the team has turned their focus on lifting. Gutsmiedl said, “Now that football is over, we have been able to start lifting heavier and really have been able to focus in on just lifting.”

There has been no official sign up for the team, but the list of team members is looking strong. The current team will be led by John Gutsmiedl, Jake Mumby, Andy Ernst, Elliot Fay and Chase Goddard. The team hopes to attract lower classman in coming years. The only non-senior lifter is junior Michael Fischer. The team will compete in their first competition at Roncalli on March 7.