2015 Powerlifting High School Nationals


2015 USAPL High School Powerlifting Nationals

Crowne Plaza Hotel – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
March 27-29, 2015


Huge congratulations to everyone who competed at the 2015 USAPL High School Powerlifting Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The level of competition was spectacular and will be one to remember for many years to come. The Wisconsin State High School Powerlifting Association, meet director Tonya Lambeth, and staff raised the bar on how future championship meets will be run.

Three platforms and 355 lifters (184 females & 171 males) may have never been run so smoothly!


Day 1 Recap – Junior Varsity Division

Friday’s competition included the Junior Varsity division for Freshman and Sophomores. Two rising stars, Alyssa Kuss and Matt Devine, had great days.

Alyssa Kuss is part of a young and talented team from Adams Friendship (Adams, Wisconsin). Alyssa totaled 848lbs in the 148lb class. We look forward to seeing her progress over the next two years.

Matt Devine (880lbs at 114) follows in the footsteps of one of the greatest High School lifters in history (Dalton La Coe) from Abington Heights HS (Clarks Summit, PA). Matt has the inside track (and fortune) of finishing a storied high school lifting career during his Senior year with the 2017 USAPL High School Nationals being held in his hometown!

The 2017 USAPL High School Nationals will be held in Scranton, PA by experienced meet director Steve Mann. Steve was also coached by the legendary Claude Welcome at Abington Heights High School (Class of 1994).

The treat of the day came from watching Woodward Academy (Iowa) secure their 10th consecutive JV team boys championships. Congrats to Coach Guthrie and his staff! Leading the way was Julious Walker with an impressive 1,520lbs total at 210lbs.


Top 5 Junior Varsity Girls (by Wilks)
1. Alyssa Kuss – Adams Friendship HS (WI) – 848lbs at 148lbs
2. Jessica Larson – North HS (Eau Claire, WI) – 750lbs at 132lbs
3. Jordan Lewandowski – Cudahy HS (WI) – 716lbs at 123lbs

Top 5 Junior Varsity Boys (by Wilks)
1. Julious Walker – Woodward Academy (IA) – 1,521lbs at 220lbs
2. Matthew Devine – Abington Heights HS (PA) – 881lbs at 114lbs
3. Zaven Ouzaounian – Horlick HS (Racine, WI) – 1,168lbs at 165lbs

Team Champions
Girls – Horlick HS (Racine, WI)
Boys – Woodward Academy (IA) – 10th Consecutive
Combined – Horlick HS (Racine, WI)


Varsity Girls

Total domination by the state of Wisconsin!

Don’t make the assumption that the reason for the domination was because the meet was in Milwaukee. They would have dominated no matter where the meet was. Wisconsin currently has one of the best groups of female lifters that any state has ever seen. There are 5-6 world class lifters here (with several others in the making).


Passing the Greatest High School Powerlifters in history (Jenn Maile – 2000, Carley Nogle – 2004, Michelle Van Dusen – 2011, and others) with the highest Wilks score at a High School Nationals was Whitnall (Greenfield, WI) lifter Lauren Lent.

Lauren Lent went 9 for 9 with a 1,020lbs total at a 121.7lbs bodyweight.
Squat – 419lbs
Bench – 198lbs
Deadlift – 402lbs

(Mobile readers skip to 43:51)

We might not see another performance like this at a high school nationals until…next year. Lauren is just a Junior and will look to improve next year in Orlando (2016).


It would not be right to mention Lauren’s historic performance without recognizing several other historical performances.

Stephanie Rattunde (Necedah, WI) was able to hold off Ashley Mitchell (ASH) in the 97lb class. Both of these lifters will be back next year while pushing each other to new levels. We could possibly see an 800+lb total to win the 97lb class next year.

Adams Friendship’s (WI) Taylor LaChapelle has not been 100% all year due to a nagging injury. Regardless, she put up a great total of 827lbs at a bodyweight of 104!

Tristyn Hutchins (Necedah, WI) continues to impress with her focus on the platform. Arguably the best bench presser in the country (204lbs at 114), she also posted the second highest total (by Wilks) at this years competition. Tristyn totaled 898lbs to run away with the 114lb class title.

Other great performances from the state of Wisconsin included Sam Kroll‘s (North HS, Eau Clare) victory in the 132lb class, Taylor Klemmensen‘s (New Richmond) silver (123lbs Class), Amber Kierstyn (Adams-Friendship) in the 165lbs class (finishing with silver), and Curtis McKenzie (River Falls) controlling the 181lbs class after squats.

From outside the state of Wisconsin (barely), Carley Miller (Kasson-Manroville HS, MN) finished up her High School lifting career with an outstanding performance. Competing in the 165lb class, Carley had the highest squat of the entire meet (457lbs) setting a path to the highest total of the entire meet with a dominating performance. Carley totaled 1,086lbs at the bodyweight of 159. Congrats Carley!

The 198+lbs class was decided during the deadlifts. Heather Callejas from Covington HS, LA was able to hold off both Tiara Thomas (Riverdale, WI) and Cerrina Stokes (Omro, WI) for the title.


Weight Class Champions
97lbs – Stephanie Rattunde – Necedah HS (WI)
105lbs – Taylor LaChapelle – Adams Friendship HS (WI)
114lbs – Tristyn Hutchins – Necedah HS (WI)
123lbs – Lauren Lent – Whitnall HS (Greenfield, WI)
132lbs – Sam Kroll – North HS (Eau Claire, WI)
148lbs – Samantha Sherwood – Adams Friendship HS (WI)
165lbs – Karley Miller – Kasson-Manroville HS (MN)
181lbs – McKenzie Curtis – River Falls HS (WI)
198lbs – Lacey Winters – Necedah HS (WI)
198+lbs – Heather Callejas – Covington HS (LA)


Varsity Boys


Louisiana teams take the headlines and team titles!

Winning the majority of the weight classes, Louisiana lifters turned many heads after the long travel to Milwaukee. The intensity of the meet centered around the rematch of Covington High School (LA) and Alexandria Senior High (LA) which have traded places in our National Team poll in the last few weeks.

With one of the most dominating performances of the weekend, Horlick HS (Racine, WI), Kenneth Johnson had a perfect day and posted a total that may find him making a return trip to the IPF Sub-Junior World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. Kenneth totaled 1,008lbs and overshadowed his peers.

Romellow Dawson (Adams Friendship HS, WI) is a character! However, Terrance Phillips (ASH) and Spencer Perry (ASH) may give him a run for his money. Congrats to all three of these young men, for winning their respective weight classes (123, 132, & 148) and entertaining the crowd with their lifting and personalities. Romellow totaled 1,433lbs at a bodyweight of 148lbs.

Teddy Gildersleeve (Osceola) ran out of gas during deadlift, but the meet was already over before deadlift started. Teddy totaled 1,416 at a bodyweight of 158lbs.

Coach Carmouche (ASH) dropped the #FreshReceipt of the meet with William Lewis in the 165lbs weight class. 530lbs was turned in for William’s last deadlift to pass the battling Sam Janssen (Little Chute, WI) & Riley Porath (Neehah, WI). He pulled it easily moving from 4th to 2nd! ASH had already racked up significant points in the first session, but the momentum heading into Sunday was officially in ASH’s favor.

William Lewis ASH Powerlifting


Tyran Garrett (Covington HS) would be overshadowed by his teammate on Sunday (Josh Bickham), but Tyran posted third best total of the entire meet with an impressive 1,615lbs total to cruise for the victory in the 181lbs class.

The win was not a walk away for Tyran! Easton Schuster (O’Gormon HS, WI) nearly took the lead at sub-total with arguably the best bench press of the meet with a 430 second attempt at 178lbs. Easton finished with the silver and a very respectable total of 1,560.

Congrats to Keaton Rodriguez from Northshore High School of Slidell, Louisiana. He was able to hold off Christian Grow (Covington) for the win in the 198lb class.

Weighing in slightly over the 198lb class limit (199lbs) was Josh Bickham of Covington High School. Hands down the best lifter of the meet in the boys division.

Josh had a stunning day:

Squat – 661lbs
Bench – 485lbs
Deadlift – 716lbs
Total – 1,863lbs

Josh had a near perfect day. The one lift he missed will easily be his most memorable. Coach John Burford loaded a monstrous 755lbs deadlift for his third attempt. Remember, he weighs less than 200lbs! It was as close as you can come to an amazing pull, but his grip was lost at the last moment.

Watch below (mobile readers skip to 4:04).

That lift would have given Josh a 1,900lbs total and the highest Wilks formula in the history of the High School Nationals (held by a guy named Jesse Norris – 2011).


Sunday’s lifting was dominated by the performance of Alex Stoll, Caleb Alsteen, David Verzwyvelt, and Milton Jones!

Not the day that he was expecting, but after missing his first two squats, Alex Stoll (Osceola HS, WI) was able to recover and cruise to victory with 1,698lbs total to win the 242lbs class.

With the largest squat (683lbs) of the competition, Caleb Alsteen (North HS, Osh Kosh, WI) was able to stay greater than arms length from the rest of the 275lb class, including Horlick’s Declan Dilley.

Moving up to the 275+lbs class to secure easy points for Alexandria Senior High was David Verzwyvelt. He was able to keep a comfortable lead in front of Big Milton Jones (Glenn Mills, PA), regardless of his last pull of the meet (683lbs) for the tie.


Weight Class Champions
114lbs – Kenneth Johnson – Horlick HS (Racine, WI)
123lbs – Terrance Phillips – ASH (LA)
132lbs – Spencer Perry – ASH (LA)
148lbs – Romellow Dawson – Adams Friendship HS (WI)
165lbs – Teddy Gildersleeve – Osceola HS (WI)
181lbs – Tyran Garrett – Covington HS (LA)
198lbs – Keaton Rodriguez – Northshore HS (LA)
220lbs – Joshua Bickham – Covington HS (LA)
242lbs – Alex Stoll – Osceola HS (WI)
275lbs – Caleb Alsteen – Osh Kosh North HS (WI)
275+lbs – David Verzwyvelt – ASH (LA)


Team Competitions


With the win in the 97lbs class (Rattunde over Mitchell), Hutchins dominating performance at 114lbs, and the depth by the young lifters (Lavoy & Trinidad), Necedah once again quickly closed the girls team conversation after the first session of lifting. Lacey Winters opening deadlift (securing the final 12 pts) sealed the deal during Sunday’s lifting.

Girls Varsity
1st – Necedah HS (WI)
2nd – Alexandria Senior High (LA)
3rd – New Richmond HS (WI)
4th – Covington HS (LA)
5th – Carrizo Springs HS (TX)


Alexandria Senior High (ASH) was not able to post world class totals the way Garrett and Bickham of Covington did. However, from top to bottom, solid lifting in every class is the key to a team victory at High School Nationals. Yes, Terrance Phillips, Spencer Perry, and David Verzwyvelt scored 12 huge points each. However, it was the gutsy and sometimes overlooked performances by the other 6 point scorers that made the difference. Lawson (3rd), Hicks (2nd), Cooper (2nd), Lewis (2nd), Thompson (4th), & Kinder (2nd). Just like Necedah in the Girls division, solid lifters in every weight class is the key to winning the national team title.

Boys Varsity
1st – Alexandria Senior High (LA)
2nd – Covington HS (LA)
3rd – Glen Mills School (PA)
4th – Whitnal HS ( WI)
5th – Carrizo Springs (TX)


Combined (Boys & Girls) Varsity
1st – Alexandria Senior High (LA)
2nd – Covington HS (LA)
3rd – Horlick HS (Racine, WI)
4th – Neenah HS (WI)
5th – Carrizo Springs (TX)



PowerliftingHigh was fortunate enough to take our experimentation to a new level by providing livestream internet coverage of the competition. Video is the next logical step in our efforts to promote High School Powerlifting throughout the country. The stream was well received with our initial efforts. It was a great start and we hope to continue in the future. Thanks for all of your support.

Here are direct links to the livestreams:

Coaches Interviews

WHSPA YouTube Page with all 6 sessions of lifting LINK



Preview & Predictions Article LINK

Some of our most popular posts are predictions/seedings of major competitions. We put a great deal of time (throughout the year) into analyzing results and comparing lifters from many different states in order to create a seeding list for everyone before the national meet. Regardless of the time we put in, we would never have guessed that we would have come this close. We seeded several weight classes in the exact order (1st-5th) as they finished.

However, we also made a big error by going away from the formulas and spreadsheets and following our gut on one of the biggest predictions of the meet (Boys Team Title). Nearly every scenario and formula that we ran during research indicated that Alexandria Senior High would beat Covington (and admitted prior to). Well, the picture below is of Coach Carmouche (ASH) and I after the meet. He gently reminded me not to trust my gut again.



Girls top seed predictions vs final results:
9 of 10 top seeds won the weight class.
Top 5 seed performance rate: 82% finished with a medal

Boys top seed predictions vs final results:
8 of 10 top seeds won the weight class (100% if I would have followed my own hunch that Verzwyvelt (ASH) was bumping up for the easy points)
Top 5 seed performance rate: 92% finished with a medal


Here is the LINK to the official results of the 2015 USAPL High School National Powerlifting Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


See you in Orlando next April!