Day 2 (Saturday) – The intensity at the USAPL High School Powerlifting Nationals was brought to a new level today at the Killeen, TX convention center.  We witnessed great depth in many weight classes and several last attempt deadlifts for win.  It was exciting!

(Skip to Day 3)


Kailee Guth (Adams Friendship)

Kailee Guth (Adams Friendship)


44kg/97lb Class

With Taylor LaCappelle lifting in the junior varsity division, the opportunity for this meet to get intense was opened.

The battle between Stephanie Rattunde (Necedah), Marian Marrero (Racine Horlick) and Ashley Mitchell (ASH) set the tone for the weekend.

About 20 minutes before start time, openers were posted for everyone to see. At the bottom of the list was Marian Marrero; she was opening 15kg/33lbs higher than Stephanie Rattunde. Marian finished with 120kg/264lbs squat on her second attempt. That was 15kg/33lbs higher than Stephanie.

Stephanie Rattunde

Stephanie Rattunde (Necedah)

Both Ashley and Marian bench pressed 50kg/110lbs. Stephanie cut into the Marian’s lead with a successful 60kg/132lbs attempt on her third.

Marian Marrero

Marian Marrerro (Racine Horlick)


The intensity of the meet escalated from mild to ferocious during the 97lb class deadlift.

Marian’s lead held after the opening and second attempts of deadlifts. It all came down to third attempt deadlifts. Marian attempted 125kg/275lbs on her third attempt and missed. Stephanie then successfully pulled 127.5kg/281lbs to move into first place.

Not to be forgotten was Ashley Mitchell (ASH) sitting in third after second attempt deadlifts. The ASH coaching staff decided that this was an opportunity that could change the momentum of the meet.  They loaded 137.5kg/303lbs on the bar for the win. Ashley came quite close to pulling it, but she got on her toes early in the pull and could not recover at the top. That attempt set the tone for the next two days.

1st Stephanie Rattunde – Necedah – 292.5kg/645lbs
2nd Marian Marrero – Racine Horlick – 290kg/639lbs
3rd Ashley Mitchell – ASH – 267.5kg/590lbs
4th Amanda Rodriguez – 255kg/562lbs
5th Alena Trinidad – Necedah – 242.5/535lbs

Ashley Mitchell (ASH)

Ashley Mitchell (ASH)



48kg/105lb Class

From start to finish Tristyn Hutchins (Necedah) dominated this class. She went 9 for 9 with a nice deadlift of 137.5kg/303lbs.

With this win, Necedah took the first two weight classes and a huge leap forward in the race for the girls team title.


Tristyn Hutchins (Necedah, WI)

Tristyn Hutchins (Necedah, WI)


The other team in contention for the team title was Lutcher (LA). Ashley Tucker had a nice day finishing in second place.

1st Tristyn Hutchins – Necedah – 332.5kg/733lbs
2nd Ashley Tucker – Lutcher – 290ks/639lbs
3rd Janell Carrizales – Carrizo Springs – 287.5kg/634lbs
4th Sabra Warren – 272.5kg/601lbs
5th Amanda Heredia – 265kg/584lbs


52kg/114lb Class

The battle in this class was everything it promised to be!

Brytany Ybarra (Brooks Academy, San Antonio, TX) and Ashley Garay both missed their opening squats. However, their nerves were calmed after they made their second attempts.

In reality, the difference in this class came down to third attempt squats. Kailee Guth (Adams-Friendship) missed with 137.5kg/303lbs and Brytany Ybarra missed with 152.5kg/336lbs. However, Ashley Garay squatted 150kg/330lbs, which gave her the advantage at the end.

Ashley Garay

Ashley Garay (San Benito)

Brytany was in the lead, but missed her third attempt deadlift of 147.5kg/324lbs (she made 140kg/308lbs on second). Ashley then successfully made 150kg/330lbs to move into the lead.

Kailee Guth

Kailee Guth (Adams Friendship)


Like the 97lb class, an attempt for a lifter to jump from third to first on the last pull was a possibility. Kailee Guth, the defending champion, attempted 180kg/396lbs, but was unsuccessful. She finished with a 160kg/352lbs deadlift and bronze medal.

Ashley Garay comes away in a very competitive class with a 367.5kg/810lbs total and 2nd place standing for Outstanding Lifter of the meet.

Krystie Kettlewell (Omro) and Dontoria Butler (ASH) both attempted deadlift to move into third place, but were unsuccessful.

This was one of the most competitive classes all weekend.

1st Ashley Garay – San Benito – 367.5kg/810lbs
2nd Brytany Ybarra – Brooks Academy – 362.5kg/799lbs
3rd Kailee Guth – Adams Friendship – 347.5kg/766lbs
4th Krystie Kettlewell – Omro – 332.5kg/733lbs
5th Dontoria Butler – ASH – 322.5kg/711lbs


56kg/123lb Class

Hands down, Lauren Lent is currently the best high school lifter in the country. She will finish #1 in our year-end rankings that will be released next week. As a only a sophomore, she walked away with the outstanding lifter trophy at the end of the weekend.

Lauren was called for depth in the squat during her first and third attempt squats. The crowd got a little rowdy when 177.5kg/391lbs was turned down. She will use this as a learning experience, and the experience will help her to develop into a better international lifter. She finished with 165kg/363lbs in the squat.

Lauren cruised the rest of the day making the next six attempts. She finished with a strong 170kg/375lbs deadlift and a 415kg/915lbs total (at body weight of 119.2lbs). Look for her to improve this total at Women’s Nationals in Baton Rouge, LA.

Lauren Lent

Lauren Lent (Whitnall, WI)


In second place was Marissa Martinez from Calhoun, TX. Marissa is an outstanding lifter. She placed third as outstanding lifter of the meet (behind Lent and Garay). She had a very respectable total of 390kg/860lbs and should be one of the highest lifters on the alternate list for SubJunior Worlds.

Wisconsin lifters Cecily Ripley (River Falls) & Sam Kroll (Eau Claire North) finished 3rd and 4th.

1st Lauren Lent – Whitnall – 415kg/915lbs
2nd Marrissa Martinez – Calhoun – 390kg/860lbs
3rd Cecily Ripley – River Falls – 365kg/805lbs
4th Sam Kroll – Eau Claire North – 357.5kg/788lbs
5th Breanne Housworth – Necedah – 342.5kg/755lbs


60kg/132lb Class

Kristian Villegas did not lift to her potential today. However, her bad day was still enough to comfortably win. She totaled 397.5kg/876lbs.

Kristian Villegas

Kristian Villegas


Second place through fifth place was only separated by 12.5kg/28lbs. The calculators got paid overtime during this class.

The pair of Louisiana girls, Taryn Antoine (ASH) and Ja’Naija Miller (Lutcher) had great days and finished ahead of three Wisconsin girls, Alexandra Ziepke (Neenah), Amanda Zielinski (Necedah), and Autumn Herried (Necedah).

With the last pull of this flight (170kg/375lbs), Taryn Antione (ASH) finished a perfect 9 for 9 day, silver medal, and nice 365kg/805lbs total. I believe she is only a sophomore.

(Look at how deep this class was)
1st Kristian Villegas – Port Lavaca – 397.5kg/876lbs
2nd Taryn Antoine – ASH – 365kg/805lbs
3rd Ja’Naija – Lutcher – 357.5kg/788lbs
4th Alexandra Ziepke – Neenah – 355kg/783lbs
5th Amanda Zielinski – Necedah – 352.5kg/777lbs
6th Autumn Herried – Necedah – 342.5kg/755lbs
7th Aubrey Lyons – Philo HS – 340kg/750lbs


67.5kg/148lb Class

Last week in our Preview we predicted:   This was going to be very close, Carley Miller (Kelly Walsh, MN) and Teagan Schwab (Neenah, WI) would probably be leading at subtotal, and Denisha Melancon (Lutcher, LA) would pull a monster deadlift for the win.

I thought the wild card in this class was going to be Carley Miller. She definitely impressed and jumped into the lead with her 175kg/385lbs squat.

Heading into deadlift Teagan Schwab and Carley Miller were in the lead. However, Coach Magendie and Denisha opened deadlifts with conservative numbers (waiting on a big pull on the third). A competitors coach even described it as “sandbagging”.

After Teagan and Carley finished their third attempts, the magic number for Denisha was 187.5kg/413lbs. She went out and absolutely destroyed it. Denisha is one of the best clutch lifters I’ve ever witnessed at the high school level.

Denisha Meloncan

Denisha Meloncan (Lutcher, LA)


Bethany Haag (New Richmond, WI) went 9 for 9 for the fourth place finish. She was sitting in seventh place at subtotal.

1st Denisha Melancon – Lutcher, LA – 420kg/926lbs
2nd Carley Miller – Kelly Walsh, MN – 420kg/926lbs
3rd Teagan Schwab – Neenah, WI – 107.5kg/898lbs
4th Bethany Haag – New Richmond, WI – 372.5kg/821lbs
5th Lena Schuster – Neenah, WI – 362.5lbs/799lbs



52kg/114lb Class

Dalton LaCoe (Abington Heights, Clarks Summit, PA) was magnificent today. He has hit a few big totals during the high school season. However, he put together a monster total today.

Dalton LaCoe (flash credit goes to someone else)

Dalton LaCoe (flash credit goes to someone else)

Dalton powered through a big squat of 192.5kg/424lbs on his third attempt. After that third attempt squat, I saw something from Dalton that I have never seen before. Dalton expressed emotion and excitement.

He then hit a perfect third attempt bench press of 112.5kg/248lbs.

During the deadlift, Dalton put on a show and had the audience (and coaches) buzzing. After an easier opener of 197.5kg/435lbs, Dalton pulled an easy 215kg/474lbs at a body weight of 51.4kg/113lbs!

Coach Claude Welcome loaded up 227.5kg/501lbs for his third attempt. As Dalton was unaware the amount of weight that he was about to attempt, myself and a few others starting counting the number of times 227.5kg/501lbs has been pulled by an American at 52kg/114lbs. Dalton was one of the youngest we discussed.

Denisha Meloncan

Dalton LaCoe (Abington Heights, Clarks Summit, PA)


Dalton ripped 227.5kg/501lbs off the ground just as quick as his previous two attempts. However, his grip faltered again and the weight popped out of his hands. Dalton is steadily improving his grip, and he will pull that weight in the near future.

Dalton finished with a 520kg/1,146lbs total and the highest Wilks to take home the outstanding lifter trophy.

Will Dalton pass Michael Rodriguez and Josh Bickham for the year end #1 High School lifter in the country? It’s going to be extremely close.

Finishing in second place was Kenny Johnson from Racine Horlick. Kenny had a great day finishing with a 447.5kg/986lbs total. That total was very significant. Kenny is a sub-junior and 447.5kg/986lbs is the standard to make the Sub-Junior world team. Kenny is currently holding the position, however, the USAPL Mens Nationals (June) will be the final meet for someone to exceed Kenny’s total for the team spot.

Kenny Johnson

Kenny Johnson (Racine Horlick, WI)


Glen Mills lifters, Angel Martinez-Gonzalez and Alexander Roeun did not score as many team points as I expected.

1st Dalton LaCoe – Abington Heights, PA – 520kg/1,146lbs
2nd Kenny Johnson – Racine Horlick, WI – 447.5kg/986lbs
3rd Andrew DeWet – Neenah, WI – 345kg/761lbs
4th Angel Martinez-Gonzalez – Glenn Mills, PA – 342.5kg/755lbs
5th Trace Lawson – ASH – 310kg/683lbs


56kg/123lb Class

Jorge Saldana (Natalia, TX) moved up to this class from the 114lb class. This set up an epic battle with Danny Voelkel (Whitnall).

Jorge Saldana had the lead going into deadlift. With a huge jump from his second attempt (165kg/364lbs) to his third attempt (182.5kg/402lbs) was Danny Voelkel. This become of the loudest and exciting moments of the entire meet when Danny successfully pulled for the win.

Danny Voelkel

This was Danny Voelkel after squat, he was 10x more excited after deadlift!

The Whitnall team will be talking about this lift for many years to come!

Bobby Teel (Arrowhead) finished with the bronze medal and a total of 392.5kg/865lbs

1st Danny Voelkel – Whitnall, WI – 437.5kg/965lbs
2nd Jorge Saldana – Natalia, TX – 437.5kg/965lbs
3rd Bobby Teel – Arrowhead, WI – 392.5kg/865lbs
4th Corbin Langrell – Racine Horlkick, WI – 377.5kg/832lbs
5th Hunter Hicks – ASH – 375kg/827lbs


60kg/132lb Class

One of the guys I underestimated the most was Rudy Martinez from Carrizo Springs, TX. Rudy had a near disastrous day in the squat. Regardless of only making his last squat, it was the highest of the class (190kg/419lbs).

Michael Voelkel (Whitnall) cut into Rudy’s lead after bench press. The potential for the Voelkel brothers to sweep (Danny at 123lbs) was starting to brew.

The top seed coming in was Jacob De La Paz (Calallen, TX). He also had a tough day in the squat; this really hurt his total. With the combination of cutting down to 132lbs two weeks in a row and only making one squat, this was going to make his last pull for the win a tough one.


Jacob De La Paz

Jacob De La Paz (Calallen, TX)

Rudy seemed to be in the driver seat until he missed his second attempt deadlift. This put a buzz in the air, then everyone realized that this was far from over.

Michael was the first one to attempt to pull for the lead. He attempted 197.5kg/435lbs (3rd attempt), and got on his toes and he couldn’t lock it out.

Then Jacob De La Paz loaded 212.5kg/468lbs for the win. He too was just not able to lock it out.

Rudy Martinez only went 4 for 9, but he finished with the highest squat and deadlift of the class giving him the win.

The entire class was tight. 1st – 5th was only separated by 25kg/55lbs!

1st Rudy Martinez – Carriso Springs, TX – 495kg/1,091lbs
2nd Michael Voelkel – Whitnall, TX – 492.5kg/1,086lbs
3rd Jacom De La Paz – Calallen, TX – 480kg/1,058lbs
4th Shawn Warren – Covington, LA – 472.5kg/1,042lbs
5th Alan Espinoza – Dilley, TX – 470kg/1,036lbs


67.5kg/148lb Class

Brett Benedix (Pensacola, FL) looked solid on his opening squat, but his day turned for the worse after that.

Brett Benedix

Brett Benedix

Brett did not complete a successful deadlift. He is an outstanding lifter, I hope to see him redeem his performance today in the near future.

The rematch from the Wisconsin State meet took place between Cory Adamczak (Necedah) and Romellow Dawson (Adams Friendship), but this time throw in Scott Reviere from Covington, LA.

Cory made a huge statement during the squat by making 250kg/551lbs on his second attempt.

Cory Adamczak (Necedah, WI)

Cory Adamczak (Necedah, WI)

Romellow had the second highest squat at 215kg/474lbs. This 35kg/77lbs lead allowed Cory to cruise the rest of the meet.

During deadlift, Easton Schuster (O’Gorman) attempted 227.5kg/501lbs for a potential 2nd place. Scott Reviere (Covington) attempted 227.5kg/501lbs for a potential 2nd place. However, they both missed. Romellow Dawson was too far away from Cory to try to pull for the win.

Cory Adamczak (Necedah) went 8 for 9 and totaled 605kg/1,334lbs for the win in the 67.5kg/148lbs class.

1st Cory Adamczak – Necedah – 605kg/1,334lbs
2nd Romellow Dawson – Adams Friendship – 572.5kg/1,262lbs
3rd Scott Reviere – Covington – 560kg/1,235lbs
4th Easton Schuster – O’Garman – 552.5kg/1,218lbs
5th Stanley Williams – ASH – 505kg/1,113lbs


75kg/165lb Class

Glen Mills (PA) lifter Wilfredo Juabre showed up today and surprised the class. He did miss two squats, but finished the day strong with a 637.5kg/1,405lbs total and the silver medal. His deadlift (257.5kg) will be remembered.

Wilfredo Juarbe

Wilfredo Juarbe (Glenn Mills, PA)


The champ in this class was Tristan Pelitire (Beeville, TX). He totaled 657.5kg on his was to a relative easy win. He is currently sitting as the top candidate to make the SubJunior world team. I look forward to the battle between him and Christian Dunn this summer in Philadelphia, PA.

Tristan Pelitire (Beeville, TX)

Tristan Pelitire (Beeville, TX)


1st Tristan Pelitire – Beeville, TX – 657.5kg/1,450lbs
2nd Wilfredo Juabre – Glen Mills, PA – 637.5kg/1,405lbs
3rd Dustin Van Asten – Kaukauna, WI – 625kg/1,378lbs
4th Jared Garcia – Calallen, TX – 590kg/1,301lbs
5th Trevor Fuller – Whitnall, WI – 582.5/1,284lbs


82.5kg/181lb Class

The battle between Ryan Gray (Eau Claire North, WI) and Ashton Rouska (Brandies, TX) was more like a heavy weight boxing match.

Ryan Gray came out slugging and hit a monstrous (American T3 Record) squat of 310.5kg/683lbs on his third attempt. Wow!

Ryan Gray

Ryan Gray (Eau Claire North, WI)


The middle rounds score cards came out pretty even, with Ryan still with the lead. Could he hang around in the late rounds?

Ryan finished with a 265kg/584lbs deadlift on his third attempt.

A split decision would have went in the favor of Ashton with a lighter body weight. So, Ashton and his coach loaded up the knock out punch on his third attempt for the tie (310.5kg/683lbs). It was a valiant effort but he swung and missed.

Ashton Rouska

Ashton Rouska


Ryan Gray wins the 82.5kg/181lbs class with a 753kg/1,660lbs total! Ryan also finished with the third highest Wilks formula of the weekend.

Ryan Gray

Ryan Gray (Eau Claire North, WI)


We have not seen the last of Ashton; he is currently sitting in the top spot as a SubJunior Team candidate.

1st Ryan Gray – Eau Claire North, WI – 753kg/1,660lbs
2nd Ashton Rouska – Brandies, TX – 735kg/1,620lbs
3rd Tyran Garrett – Covington, LA – 710kg/1,565lbs
4th Raynard Taylor – Canyon, TX – 682.5kg/1,505lbs
5th Benjamin Stojcevic – Whitnall, WI – 632.5kg/1,394lbs




DAY 1 – Junior Varsity Division