2014 USAPL Powerlifting High School Nationals Preview (with Predictions)


I am just as ready as each of you are to throw these formulas away and load the weight on the bar in Killeen.

It looks like this weekends USAPL High School Nationals is going to be special. Approximately 300 lifters (145 Girls & 155 Boys) will be competing over three days at the Killeen Convention Center.


Legendary Coach Duane Urbina (Alexandria Senior High, LA)

Legendary Coach Duane Urbina and ASH Lifters .


Great job by Johnny Graham and Joe Marksteiner for getting the LIVE STREAM going.  Here is LINK.

We will be reporting live from Killeen all weekend. We will be active on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram.

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Reminder: Each state lifts under different rules and circumstances. For example, Wisconsin lifters do not wear bench shirts until nationals. We have done our best with mathematical formulas to compare apples and oranges; we think we are close, but not perfect yet.




97lb Class

When the chalk settles at the end of the year, Taylor LaChapelle should finish as a top 3 ranked girls in the nation (as a freshman). I have been hesitant to put a lock next to her name all year. However, I am ready to do it now (regardless of what division she is in).

The real battle in this class will be for second place between Stephanie Rattunde (Necedah) and Ashley Mitchell (ASH).

Alexandria Senior High (ASH) will make a run for the podium in the team competition and this could be a very important class for them.

Several other outstanding lifters will be in the mix: Alena Trinidad (Necedah), Blaike Lee Ordes (Slidell), & Marian Marrero (Racine Horlick).

Top Seeds
1. Taylor LaChapelle (Adams-Friendship, WI)
2. Stephanie Rattunde (Necedah, WI)
3. Ashley Mitchell (ASH, LA)
4. Alena Trinidad (Necedah, WI)
5. Marian Marrero (Racine Horlick, WI)
6. Blaike Lee Ordes (Slidell, LA)


105lb Class

With Ashley Garay most likely moving up to the 114lb class, this leaves the door wide open for Tristyn Hutchins of Necedah to take the title. Ashley Tucker (Lutcher) will be close behind. Jennifer Martinez (North Side HS, Fort Worth, TX) is currently listed in the JV division. However, if she lifts in the varsity division, then she could give Ashley Tucker a run. Sabra Warren could surprise a few people.

Top Seeds
1. Tristyn Hutchins (Necedah, WI)
2. Ashley Tucher (Lutcher, LA)
3. Jennifer Martinez (NorthSide, Fort Worth, TX)
4. Sabra Warren (Gatesville, TX)


114lb Class

WHOA!!! This could be the best battle in Texas ALL weekend.

Returning champion Kailee Guth (Adams-Friendship) has her work cut out for her Saturday morning. With the likely move up to 114lb class by Ashley Garay, and the presence of the experienced Brytany Ybarra, this is going to be a wild one that ends on the last deadlift of the flight.

Will Dontoria Butler (ASH) or Breanne Housworth (Necedah) move up to the 123lbs class for better placement? Someone definitely will.

Top Seeds
1. Ashley Garay (Los Fresnos, TX)
2. Brytany Ybarra (Southside HS, San Antonio, TX)
3. Kailee Guth (Adams-Friendship, WI)
4. Dontoria Butler (ASH, LA)
5. Krystie Kettlewell (Omro, WI)
6. Breanne Housworth (Necedah, WI)


123lb Class

Lauren Lent (Whitnall, WI) is a solid lock. I look forward to her competing for a few records this weekend. Lauren will also be the favorite to take home the female outstanding lifter trophy. Last year she let it slip out of her hands with a 4 for 9 day. Look for her to put on a show.


Lauren Lent after her successful state record squat of 405lbs.

Lauren Lent (Whitnall HS)


Remember, several lifters could be moving up to this class for better placement and team points from the 114lbs class. Butler, Kettlewell, and Housworth are possible candidates. It is a risky move based on the 123lbs class list.

Marissa Martinez (Calhoun, Port Lavaca, TX) is a great lifter and looks to be the heavy runner-up favorite. Destiny Walker (Lutcher) will be ready to defend any weight class moves for third place. I was impressed after watching her last weekend.

Top Seeds
1. Lauren Lent (Whitnall, WI)
2. Marissa Martinez (Calhoun, Port Lavaca, TX)
3. Destiny Walker (Lutcher, LA)
4. Cicely Ripley (River Falls, WI)
5. Sam Kroll (North, Eau Claire, WI)
6. Taylor Klemmensen (New Richmond, WI)


132lb Class

Kristian Villegas (Calhoun, Port Lavaca, TX) looks to be the favorite coming into the competition. She has experience and has improved from her title in Denver last year.

The battle between Autumn Herried, Alex Ziepke, Amanda Zielinski, & Ja’Naija Miller will be entertaining to watch.

Top Seeds
1. Kristian Villegas (Calhoun, Port Lavaca, TX)
2. Autumn Herried (Necedah, WI)
3. Alex Ziepke (Neenah, WI)
4. Amanda Zielinkski (Necedah, WI)
5. Ja’Naija Miller (Lutcher, LA)
6. Taryn Antoine (ASH, LA)


148lb Class

I think this weight class is going to be closer than most people think. However, I’m going with Denisha Melancon for the win. I think it will take another amazing pull to do it. Coach Magendie will have it on the bar at the end.


Denisha Melancon


In August, on the very same platform, I watched Denisha deadlift the IPF Sub-Junior World Deadlift Record of 425lbs!

Carley Miller (MN) or Teagan Schwab (WI) may be in the lead heading into deadlift.

Top Seeds
1. Denisha Melancon (Lutcher, LA)
2. Carley Miller (Kasson, MN)
3. Teagan Schwab (Neenah, WI)
4. Bethany Haag (New Richmond, WI)
5. Jubilee Flores (Dilley, TX)


165lb Class

Nicole Lynch (Necedah) was probably the favorite as recent as two weeks ago. However, with Stephanie Brown’s addition to the weight class it is going to be an entertaining battle. This battle might give validation to my formula. We will have an experienced USAPL lifter in Nicole Lynch, who has qualified without a bench shirt, going head-to-head against a Texas champ. I’m going out on a limb and picking Nicole Lynch. A victory by Nicole, could potentially lock up the Team title for Necedah.

Top Seeds
1. Nicole Lynch (Necedah, WI)
2. Stephanie Brown (Wills Point HS, TX)
3. Emily Kopecky (Phillips, WI)
4. Amber Kierstyn (Adams-Friendship, WI)


181lb Class

I think I may have the most expansive database of High School lifters in the country. However, there are a couple of these competitors that I know very little about.

This class will rival the 114lbs class as the most entertaining battle of the weekend. Dominique Bourgeois (Pope John Paul, LA), Marissa Hinojosa (Pleasonton, TX), & Tamara Lusk (ASH) will be in the mix at the end.

Coach Mach (Necedah) seems to leaning toward Lacey Winters staying up in this class. She had plenty left in her after the Wisconsin State meet, especially in her (outstanding) deadlift. I predict that she has a solid day in squat and bench, and then successfully pulls for win on her last deadlift.

Top Seeds
1. Lacey Winters (Necedah, WI)
2. Dominique Boureois (Pope John Paul, LA)
3. Marissa Hinojosa (Pleasonton, TX)
4. Tamara Lusk (ASH, LA)
5. Karley Wyngaard (Neenah, WI)


198lb Class

Based on China Storks body weight last week, she will be moving up to the 198+ class.

That leaves the door open for Johannah Theisen (Regis) to potentially cruise to the victory. Johannah has experience at the international level. However, she is now classified as a Junior. This also leaves the door wide open for someone to stake first claim in the lead to make the Sub-Junior World Team.

It seems as if her nearest competitor (nearer than expected) will be Marisol Palacios (Poth, TX).

Top Seeds
1. Johannah Theisen (Regis, WI)
2. Marisol Palacios (Poth, TX)
3. McKenzie Curtis (River Falls, WI)
4. Bailey Rogers (West, TX)
5. Sarah Walker (Gatesville, TX)


198+lb Class

The most talked about female high school powerlifter this year has been Jaelynn Clark, from San Antonio, TX. I think we will see a historic day from her on Sunday. China Storks is also a great lifter, and is always entertaining to watch.

Top Seeds
1. Jaelynn Clark (East Central, San Antonio, TX)
2. China Storks (Lutcher, LA)
3. Everyone else


Team Competition


Necedah (WI) does not have to be perfect this weekend to take the team title. In addition to having a team fielded by quality and depth, they also have two extra weeks of rest and prep time over both Lutcher (LA) and ASH (LA). As the national field started shaping up, it became clear about a month ago that Necedah will be the front-runner and I moved them ahead of Lutcher for the #1 national ranking.


Necedah High School - Wisconsin State Champions

Necedah High School – Wisconsin State Champions


I’m not counting out Lutcher or ASH. With a few outstanding performances, and a little help from other lifters, they can definitely upset Necedah. Other great school such as Adams-Friendship (WI), Neenah (WI), & Calhoun (TX) will be in the mix.

Girls Team Seeds
1. Necedah, WI
2. Lutcher, LA
3. Alexandria Senior High, LA





114lb Class

Senior Dalton La Coe is virtually a lock. “Virtually” doesn’t count for anything. He is going to have to lift just like everyone else. The defending IPF Sub-Junior World Champion totaled 1,080lbs last month under USAPL rules. That is huge!

We will definitely witness a nice battle between Kenny Johnson (WI) and Jorge Saldana (TX).

There are two Glen Mills lifters, Alexander Roeun and Angel Martinez-Gonzalez (which we know very little about) that will be key to Glen Mills title run. Historically, Glen Mills (PA) knows how to score big points on the “book end” weight classes (114, 123, 275, & SHW). Those classes are primed for them this year.

Top Seeds
1. Dalton LaCoe (Abington Heights, Clarks Summit, PA)
2. Kenny Johnson (Racine Horlick, WI)
3. Jorge Saldana (Natalia, TX)
4. Glen Mills Lifters


123lb Class

As predicted nearly two months ago, the 123lbs class is a black hole (No disrespect to the lifters who will be lifting this weekend).

This is what I wrote then, “The 123lb class could be a black hole when the nominations for high school nationals come out. If I am a coach looking for a place to score team points, this is the flashing neon light!

This class is completely up for grabs. Once again Glen Mills has Jevan Richardson-Adams & Salik White who will mostly likely get a chance to pull for the win.

I’m going with the experienced Danny Voelkel in a wild one.

Top Seeds
1. Danny Voelkel (Whitnall HS, WI)
2. Glen Mills lifters
3. Bobby Teal (Arrowhead, WI)


132lb Class

Last month at the Wisconsin State Championships, I was on my phone following the TX Regional meets. When I was saw Jacob De La Paz’s regional numbers, I had a gut feeling that he would be in the mix this weekend. I even mentioned it to Whitnall’s coaches Schubert & Luckow.

Two other great lifters competing (huge team implications) are Michael Voelkel (Whitnall) and Shawn Warren (Covington) which have very similar totals. Don’t count out Rudy Marinez!

This class is too close to call. However, I am going to go with my gut and give Jacob the top seed.

Top Seeds
1. Jacob De La Paz (Calallen, Corpus Christi, TX)
2. Shawn Warren (Covington, LA)
3. Michael Voelkel (Whitnall, WI)
4. Rudy Marinez (Carrizo Springs, TX)


148lb Class

Another great class of competitors! I’ve seeded Cory Adamczak first based on his head-to-head battle with Romellow Dawson at the Wisconsin State Meet.

This is the hardest weight class to predict. Brett Benedix (Pensecola) is the wild card. Brett lifts both raw and equipped. I’ve looked back historically on how he has progressed in the raw division with his previous equipped totals and I think he could surprise a lot of people (Sorry for letting the cat out of the bag Brett).

Top Seeds
1. Cory Adamczak (Necedah, WI)
2. Romellow Dawson (Adams-Friendship, WI)
3. Brett Benedix (Pensecola)
4. Scott Reviere (Covington, LA)


165lb Class

Tristan may currently have the edge here. However, he had a battle last weekend at the Texas State Championships. I am also not sure if Dustin Van Asten has played his cards this year.

I’m watching the battle between Draven Collins (Covington) and Trevor Fuller (Whitnall) for team implications.

Top Seeds
1. Tristan Pelitire (Jones, Beeville, TX)
2. Dustin Van Asten (Kaukauna, WI)
3. Jared Garcia (Calallen, Corpus Christi, TX)
4. Draven Collins (Covington, LA)
5. Trevor Fuller (Whitnall, WI)


181lb Class

It appears that Ashton Rouska (San Antonio, TX) will drop to the 181lbs class and give Ryan Gray and Tyran Garrett all that they can handle. I can only “predict” who I think will win. However, I can “guarantee” several 3rd attempt changes at the end of deadlift.



Ryan Gray (North HS, Eau Claire, WI)


Top Seeds
1. Ashton Rouska (Brandels, San Antonio, TX)
2. Ryan Gray (North, Eau Claire, WI)
3. Tyran Garrett (Covington, LA)
4. Raynard Taylor (Canyon, TX)


198lb Class

Josh Bickham is obviously in a league of his own. He pulled 725lbs last week with ease (body weight of 194lbs). If you have never seen him lift, you are in for a treat.

Unfortunately, Jordan Plantiko (WI) and Keaton Rodriguez (LA) will be overshadowed by Josh. Without a doubt these two young men are two of the strongest high school lifters in the country.

Top Seeds
1. Josh Bickham (Covington, LA)
2. Jordan Plantiko (Nathan Hale, West Allis, WI)
3. Keaton Rodriguez (Northshore, LA)
4. Colt Grow (Covington, LA)
5. Cody Anderson (North, Eau Claire, WI)
6. Caleb Happel (Spring Grove, MN)


220lb Class

Tyler Kinder (ASH, LA) has come on strong in recent months. He is only a sophomore and has amazing potential.

With the addition of a bench press shirt and two extra weeks of rest, I am going with Drake Ambroch in this class.

Top Seeds
1. Drake Ambroch (Whitnall, WI)
2. Tyler Kinder (ASH, LA)
3. Alex Stoll (Osceola, WI)
4. Blade Bronstad (Calallen, Corpus Christi, TX)


242lb Class

With the current #1 ranked lifter in the country, Michael Rodriguez, opting out of this meet, we could see a wide open competition.

Two competitors (both lifting last weekend), Dakota Cooksy and Chance Barney look to be leading the pack.

Top Seeds
1. Dakota Cooksy (Calallen, Corpus Christi, TX)
2. Chance Barney (Covington, LA)
3. Chris Castle (Beaver Dam, WI)
4. Mitchell Cowman (Whitnall, WI)


275lb Class

I’v never seen Bobby Gonzales lift. If he produces anything close to his numbers last weekend in Abeline, he should run away with the victory. Second place is completely up for grabs. Could Naje Lathan (Glen Mills) sneak in the top 3 and score some major points?

Top Seeds
1. Bobby Gonzales (Raymondville, TX)
2. Everyone Else


SHW Class

I was truly expecting Matt Harper to compete in Killeen this year. Last time we discussed, he was coming. However, he is not listed in the nominations.

Spencer Stokes and Tyshawn Anderson will be ready to take on the trio from Dilley, TX to claim the title.

Top Seeds
1. Spencer Stokes (Omro, WI)
2. Tyshawn Anderson (Glen Mills, PA)
3. Dilley lifters?


Team Competition


I believe three schools (three different states) have a legitimate shot at winning the boys team title!

Elephant standing in the corner of the room…The Bulls of Glen Mills (PA)!

We haven’t mentioned Glen Mills from Pennsylvania much this year. They are one of the most successful teams in the history of High School powerlifting, they have that title for a reason. Glenn Mills has had a history (20+ Years) of playing their cards tight and letting their lifts do the talking on meet day.

Boys Team Seeds
1. Glen Mills, PA
2. Covington, LA
3. Whitnall, WI

Yes, I am predicting Glen Mills to win. However, I believe Covington (LA) and Whitnall (WI) have better teams. I am not predicting Glen Mills to win a single weight class. However, they will be the only team scoring with a full roster. Both Whitnall and Covington will only be scoring 8 lifters. In this case, simple math dictates reality. Calallen (TX) could string together a couple of wins and score some serious points.


Covington HS, LA

Covington HS, LA


Remember, these are only predictions based on my opinion and research. There is a reason everyone meets at one place every year to decide the championship.

Can you tell I love this sport? Good luck to all the competitors!

Safe travels to everyone. I’m heading to the airport!


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About our Rankings

Our rankings are not based solely on totals.

Our rankings are based on a normative mathematical model using 11 distinct variables of measure. These variables (e.g. equipment, location, etc) have been carefully selected and back tested to create a proper ranking based on the ability and potential of the entire pool of lifters in the country.

Not all high school organizations follow the same rules. We are in constant communication with a network of high school coaches and administrators across the country that have helped distinguish the small subtleties of each state’s rules and practices (e.g. weigh-ins, equipment, squat depth, etc.).

One of our baseline measures used to evaluate lifters is based on the potential to be successful at the USAPL High School Nationals and/or the IPF Sub-Junior World Championships. These two meets will be held in Killeen, TX [More Info] and Oroshaza, Hungary [More Info].

What is NOT considered in the rankings? How much hard work each lifter puts in during the off-season and in-between each competition.

My qualifications:
1. Ph.D. in Human Performance & M.S. in Exercise Science.
2. Ph.D. Minor in Educational Research & Statistics (30 graduate hours), including multivariate, factor, and regression analysis.
3. During my time as head coach of Louisiana Tech Powerlifting team, the importance of networking with coaches, assisting high school lifters and meet directors, and identifying talent was part of a recruiting philosophy that led to great national and international success.
4. Powerlifting in high school clearly directed me on the career and life path that I am on today. This website is dedicated to the future paths created by Powerlifting!

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