The crash of iron hitting the floor, the grunt of a lifter grinding through a rep, the haze of chalk dust floating in the air: these are some of the sights and sounds of a powerlifting meet. Participants compete in only three movements: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. After the chalk clears, the lifter with the highest sum of the weight lifted in each of the three wins the weight class.

This past Saturday the 24th, more often than not, it was a Jesuit powerlifter who took first. Out of ten different weight classes, ranging from under 123 to over 275 pounds, six were won by a Ranger. Sophomore Connor Thomas took first place in the 132 lb. class, sophomore Daniel Van Amerongen in the 148, junior Steven Mancillas in the 165, junior Evan Jackson in the 198, senior Ryan Brooks in the 220, and junior Andrew Miskell in the 242. Additionally, Joseph Stautner ’16 placed second in the 198s, and Jordan Odulio ’17 took third in the 220s. Every single Ranger at the meet made the podium in their weight class. Said Ryan Brooks, “Despite the HP meet being one of the larger ones we attend, our goal was to place first in team points and the goal was met.” Indeed, Jesuit finished first in the overall team competition with 50 points (7 points are awarded for a first place finish, 5 for second, 3 for third, 2 for fourth, and 1 for fifth). This trumped Highland Park’s score of 35 and J.J. Pearce’s 26 points. It was a dominant performance through and through.

Brooks was awarded best heavy lifter, the award given to the athlete in the heavier weight classes with the most weight lifted per pound of bodyweight, totaling 1,570 lbs lifted for the day. “[But] special shoutout to all the junior football players who competed in the meet Saturday despite having offseason workouts Friday,” he added. Jackson, Miskell, and Odulio were all fatigued from Friday training but still performed in the morning Saturday.

Also, Mancillas and Van Amerongen said that they were happy with their personal performances as well as the overall team showing. “My goals for the meet were to just achieve my personal bests and represent Jesuit in a positive way…I was able to meet those goals and I believe that this meet taught me a lot about myself and gave me a lot of confidence moving forward,” said Van Amerongen. Concurring, Mancillas commented, “After 10 weeks of working closely together, the Powerlifting team has grown to identify and isolate each other’s weaknesses and strengths. In the HP powerlifting meet, we looked to focus on those strengths to reach our maximum potential as athletes. ” He himself improved his total by 75 pounds even with his back bothering him.

The Jesuit Powerlifting team pulled together an impressive team win at Highland Park, the lifters happy to take down a rival in their own house. Describing the camaraderie, Mancillas said, “As each Jesuit lifter performs his set, he’s always got 2-3 guys standing behind him, yelling at him to finish his rep.” The Rangers will be back again next year to repeat this year’s excellent performance.

Full meet results: http://www.thspa.us/meetdetail.aspx?&passedDivisionID=3364

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