The 2012 Woodward Academy powerlifting team brought home its seventh consecutive USAPL High School National Championship this past weekend when they returned from Wisconsin Dells, WI with hardware in hand. The three day event that took place from March 23-25 is always the culminating event of the season and the team wrapped it up in style.
Read more after the jump.
All the lifters needed to qualify for the Nationals event, meaning they needed to demonstrate in a sanctioned meet that they could lift minimum amounts for their weight class combining the three events of squat, bench press, and deadlift. Earlier this month, Woodward Academy hosted one of those sanctioned events and we recapped the event. If you did not have a chance to take a look at it, you can jump to it by clicking here.
The sports programs at Woodward Academy rarely have returning athletes, but that does not mean that the powerlifters of this season didn't understand what was at stake. They fully understood from the beginning of the season that they were the heirs to a running 6-time National Championship program, and they fully took on the challenge. Coach Fritz noted that this was one of the hardest working teams who rarely complained in the weight room.
The team left the WA campus on Thursday morning and drove the 6 hours to Wisconsin Dells and got settled in for the meet, with lifting taking place on Friday. The Nationals meet takes on a quicker pace than other meets and is generally judged more difficultly. It is generally assumed that not all of the lifters will record all nine of their lifts (3 attempts in each event), but the key is to stay positive and always look toward the next one so as not to lose ground on the competition.
The competition from other schools was better this year compared to previous ones. Over 250 lifters competed in the freshman/ sophomore division with over 500 competing throughout the three day event. Dedrrick Johnson in the 132 pound weight class was the only individual National Champion this year. He led after the squat, was in 2nd place after the bench press, and dominated the deadlift competition by recording a new personal best of 403 pounds. Alex Smith was the only one to place in 2nd with two other lifters earning 3rd place honors and several others placing to score points.
The rest of the team performed well and nearly all of the them placed, which ultimately earned points for the team competition. They scored 79 total points with the second place team scoring only 35. Next year the USAPL Nationals event will be held in Denver, CO and Woodward Academy plans to be there once again to defend their title.