Powerlifting holds first home invitational meet


Submitted photo

The boys powerlifting team poses for a photo after winning first place as a team.

Ava Swanson, Editor

The powerlifting team held the first home meet in Johnson’s history on Jan. 21. Coaches Lance Herring and Chris Armatta will host another invitational on Feb. 11, and they hope to continue the tradition in future years. 

“Having the first meet here in school history and having the good turnout that we had, there was just a lot of positive feedback and it was a good time,” Herring, the boys powerlifting coach, said. “The whole thing was pretty cool from beginning to end, and so it was just a very positive experience.” 

The boys team came out as victors with a first place finish in the meet. Moving forward, the boys will continue to prepare for regional qualifiers on Feb. 25, and then potentially the regional and state meets.

“We’re a pretty strong team that had some good competition,” Herring said. “Everyone’s kind of in different spots right now, but I feel really good about where we’re at.”

Out of the boys that are projected to qualify for regionals, there are six that are sure to make it to the state meet as long as they hit their marks at regionals. These six are sophomore Brandon Melendez, juniors Nate Cavarrubio, DJ Hamilton and Caleb Gomez, and senior Bradley Gonzalez. 

“Lots of very positive things are happening,” Herring said. “The next few weeks will be very interesting to see where we end up as a team.”  

On the girls’ side, their team, led by Armatta, finished the meet with a third place finish. Along with the boys, the girls will also prepare for their regional qualifier meet on Feb. 18. 

“The team did really well,” senior Karlie Randick said. “We’ve had some good coaching, especially this year, and we’ve all improved significantly. We had a lot of PRs.” 

Randick placed first in her weight class at the meet and was able to PR. In deadlift, she got a new PR of 235 pounds. Despite this, her favorite part of the meet was simply being able to spend time with the team.

“It was fun to just hang out with everybody there, even our own teammates who don’t always get to travel with us,” Randick said. “We had everyone there, and it was great to see everyone.” 

Part of the teams’ widespread success can be accredited to being able to host the meet at Johnson and feeling at home in their environment. 

“I think we definitely had less nerves because we were on our own turf,” Randick said. “So it was just a little bit easier. We had more adrenaline.”  

Overall, in terms of both competition and turnout, the Jan. 21 meet was an extremely positive experience for both powerlifting teams. Both the coaches and the lifters are looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish at the Feb. 11 home meet.  

“We had a solid crowd last time, but I would love to pack the whole thing,” Herring said. “We’ll have a lot of the same teams, and we’ll have some new teams here. It’s a lot of fun, so if you’ve never been to one, come on out.”