Weightlifting takes center stage at festival

July 5, 2018

By Steve Landon
Correspondent

The sport of weightlifting has been around since the time of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Chinese civilizations, however it wasn’t until the 19th Century the sport really took off internationally, in fact weightlifting was one of the sports featured at the 1896 Athens Olympic Games in Athens Greece – best know for being the first modern Olympic games. Today men and women of all ages enjoy weightlifting recreationally and in competition.  Last Saturday Clare Family Fitness debuted the sport to downtown Clare in their second powerlifting event.

Kurt Kroczaleski, age 13, lifted 205. His expression clearly shows determination.

Kurt Kroczaleski, age 13, lifted 205. His expression clearly shows determination.

Through the help of a dedicated volunteer crew and some fine sponsors C.F.F was able to set up a lifting stage, warm-up area, tent and cooling fans on fourth street for the mid afternoon deadlift competition. Thanks to the shade from the nearby buildings the 90 plus degree heat was not as bad on athletes and fans that gathered to cheer them on.

Why have a weightlifting competition outside in downtown Clare?

“We chose to run the meet in downtown Clare to attract spectators from Clare’s Music Festival. We really enjoyed the outdoor environment but intend to run next year’s meet in our own parking lot at C.F.F. so we have access to the facilities and our new restaurant CULA fit FOODS.

Participants of this years Power on the Pavement include: Back Row: Colt Johnson, Brayden Harsh, Larry Bidigare, Cody Finney, Garett Curtis, Nick Krell, Zachary Taubitz; Front Row:  Kristin Wladysiak, Misti Haring, BettyJo Knorr, Claire Kaiser, Katie Osborne, Kurt Kroczaleski, and Tuesday Geeting.

Participants of this years Power on the Pavement include: Back Row: Colt Johnson, Brayden Harsh, Larry Bidigare, Cody Finney, Garett Curtis, Nick Krell, Zachary Taubitz; Front Row:  Kristin Wladysiak, Misti Haring, BettyJo Knorr, Claire Kaiser, Katie Osborne, Kurt Kroczaleski, and Tuesday Geeting.

Power On The Pavement – a deadlift only meet was Clare Family Fitness’ second powerlifting event, our first one was held indoors at the C.F.F. back in March. Thanks to the leadership and vision of Greg McMillan (deadlift world record holder of 650#) and Kris Nash (deadlift PR 545#), we are bringing two competitive opportunities to our community each year.

This kind of meet gives dedicated athletes a chance to compete and reach their goals.  They work day-after-day to build strength and master form so this is their game day. We have had two successful events for heavy lifters.  Our last meet was “full power” which includes bench press, squat, and deadlift.  “Power On The Pavement” was deadlift only.

Nick Krell, 2nd place, lifted 475 (PR).

Nick Krell, 2nd place, lifted 475 (PR).

The heat did not deter our lifters and may have had a positive effect on many reaching their personal records.  We also had five first time competitors.  In fact, Zachary Taubitz took first place in men’s division in his first ever meet, weighing 162 pounds and pulling 520 pounds at age 22.  Tuesday Geeting has only competed in four power lifts; she placed first in the Women’s division pulling 335 pounds, more than twice her body weight!  We have several teenagers that love the sport and find that it gives them a real boost of confidence, like Brayden Harsh, age 16 pulling 305 pounds, he can’t wait for the next event to go for more.  Cody Finney ‘17, is deadlifting 495 pounds but shooting for the teenage record of 545 pounds.

Women Top Lifters: Misti Haring 2nd, Tuesday Geeting 1st, Claire Kaisler 3rd.

Women Top Lifters: Misti Haring 2nd, Tuesday Geeting 1st, Claire Kaisler 3rd.

Not all of the 14 competitors were from C.F.F.  We attracted lifters from Midland, Edmore, Farwell, Harrison, Beaverton, Coleman, West Branch, Lake and Ironwood.  We would encourage surrounding gyms to promote this kind of competition to create a culture of goal-oriented, all-natural, friendly completion to showcase a lifters’ quiet yet challenging work.

We’re very pleased with the success of our first two events and looking forward to next year”, Kimberly Denton of Clare Family Fitness said.

Men Top Lifters: Garett Curtis 3rd, Zachary Taubitz 1st, Nick Krell 2nd.

Men Top Lifters: Garett Curtis 3rd, Zachary Taubitz 1st, Nick Krell 2nd.

While the heat may have kept spectator attendance down a bit, overall the event was a success, hopefully more comfortable temperatures will return for next years event.
If you’ve never had a chance to watch competitive weightlifting make sure to check it out in the future or if you would like to get into weightlifting recreationally or competitively get in touch with the fine folks at Clare Family Fitness their professional staff.

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