Preview & Predictions – 2015 USAPL High School Powerlifting Nationals

Milwaukee, WI



The time has come!

Lifters and coaches from around the country are getting on buses or packing suitcases as I type this post. Everyone is also creating mental expectations and questions about what is going to happen this weekend in Milwaukee. Some questions will be: What will the equipment be like? How big is the ballroom? Is there enough warm-up stations? Will the scales be available? Will there be pizza within walking distance after I lift? Will it be live streamed for my family to watch?

Let me say this…Yes!, Yes!, & Yes! I am confident that you will be satisfied in all of your expectations when you arrive to the site. I have personally visited the site (in November and two weeks ago), and I can’t say enough about the work the WHSPA and meet director Tonya Lambeth have put into the preparation in making this a wonderful experience for all involved. Save your energy for the platform!


Live Streaming

Every session will be live streamed on YouTube. I hear it could be “different”.

Friday – Session 1 –
Friday – Session 2 –
Saturday – Session 1 –
Saturday – Session 2 –
Sunday – Session 1 –
Sunday – Session 2 –



There will be a movie and dance on Saturday night. Details upon arrival.



Before I list top seeds (and predictions) for this weekend, let me tell you what we consider unknowns (which is more than will fit on this page).

1. Once again, we are not that familiar with the Pennsylvania lifters (primarily Glen Mills) and several independent lifters from across the country (such as Wyoming, Iowa, and Indiana). We do expect Glen Mills to have a stronger team this year.

2. It is hard to predict who exactly will be moving up or down a weight class, but expect several significant weight class changes to happen this weekend. Here is the link to the nominations (and flights):


Preview and Predictions

REMEMBER: THIS IS JUST OUR OPINION! Ask any of our regular readers and they will confirm we are far from having this figured out. That is why everyone comes to one meet and steps up when the bar is loaded for them.


Junior Varsity (Day 1)

Assuming that everyone stays where they entered, the Junior Varsity division on Friday will be very entertaining. There are many talented (proven and unproven) lifters and we will see several American Record attempts throughout the day.

Girls Outstanding Lifter Seeds (Junior Varsity)
1. Alyssa Kuss (Adams-Friendship HS, WI)
2. Miranda Chambers (Pennridge HS, PA
3. Karina Garay (Carrizo Springs HS, TX)


Girls Team Seeds (Junior Varsity)
1. Necedah HS, WI
2. Carrizo Springs HS, TX
3. Horlick HS, Racine, WI


Boys Outstanding Lifter Seeds (Junior Varsity)
1. Matt Devine (Abington Heights HS, PA)
2. Ryan Sanders (Beaver Dam HS, WI)
3. Andre Dusek (River Falls HS, WI)


Boys Team Seeds (Junior Varsity)
1. Woodward Academy (for 10 years straight)


Girls Varsity


97lbs Class

Let’s jump straight to the first pivot point in regards to the girls team title. When openers are posted after weigh-ins, the intensity begins. The 97lbs class battle between Stephanie LaVoy (Necedah) and Zyana Price (ASH) for potentially 3rd place may take center stage. Yes, every placing will be important and count for team points this weekend. With a world class total, Stephanie Rattunde should be far enough in the lead after bench to hold off a big pull by Ashley Mitchell.

97lbs Class Seeds
1. Stephanie Rattunde – Necedah
2. Ashley Mitchell – ASH
3. Stephanie LaVoy – Necedah
4. Zyana Price – ASH
5. Delaney Ortiz – Neenah


105lbs Class

Taylor LaChapelle has this class on lock down. Taylor did not have her best performance two weeks ago at the WI State Meet, look for her to put up a serious run for outstanding lifter and take back the #1 national and world ranking. Kara Brightwell and Makala Miller battle for third should, be fun to watch at the end.

105lbs Class Seeds
1. Taylor LaChapelle – Adams-Friendship
2. Alena Trinidad – Necedah
3. Makala Miller – ASH
4. Kara Brightwell – St. Mary Central
5. Annika Angelo – Phillips


114lbs Class

Throw “Hutch” in the discussion as potentially the best lifter in the country. She is primed for a huge bench and total.

114lbs Class Seeds
1. Tristyn Hutchins – Necedah
2. Dontoria Butler – ASH
3. Katelyn Svoboda – Phillips
4. Erika Peralta – Carrizo Springs
5. KC Ketzer – Horlick


123lbs Class

Lauren Lent (Whitnall) was unstoppable two weeks ago while crushing all of her third attempts. We could see a “never been done before” total from her after the addition of a bench press shirt. Load it up coach! Whipple vs. Plantz will be fun to watch again.

123lbs Class Seeds
1. Lauren Lent – Whitnall
2. Taylor Klemmensen – New Richmond
3. Megan Plantz – Necedah
4. Jordan Whipple – Lincoln, Wisconsin Rapids
5. Amanda Heredia – Horlick


132lbs Class
Are you ready for this? Without a doubt, this will be the most entertaining battle of the weekend (unless Lusk goes 198). Bryttanye Erwin (Jena, LA) is coming to Wisconsin to make a statement. Sam Kroll (Eau Claire North), Amanda Zielinski (Necedah), and Morgan DeGuire (Necedah) are ready to defend home field advantage as they battle it out again. We have consistently had Sam ranked higher than Bryttanye all year. Even though Bryttanye may be holding back recently, we are going to go with Sam Kroll for the win. Regardless, 1st-4th is going to be extremely close!

132lbs Class Seeds
1. Sam Kroll – North Eau Claire
2. Bryttanye Erwin – Jena
3. Amanda Zielinski – Necedah
4. Morgan DeGuire – Necedah
5. Bailey Kratt – Cudahy


148lbs Class
Another deep class! 2nd- 6th placings will be extremely tight. Making attempts will be the key to this class. Samantha Sherwood (Adams-Friendship) is going to be hard to beat.

148lbs Class Seeds
1. Samantha Sherwood – Adams-Friendship
2. Faith Cothran – Covington
3. Tamarah Clemmens – New Richmond
4. Esther Theisen – Regis
5. Brittany Rabe – Waterford Union


165 lbs Class
This is the class Texas will be aiming for. Zena Esquivel (Carrizo Springs, TX) may get a chance to pull for the win. Carley Miller (Kasson-Mantorville, MN) has the experience on this big of a stage and that is why we believe she is the #1 seed. Not for one second should anyone count out Amber Kierstyn (Adams-Friendship, WI).

165lbs Class Seeds
1. Carley Miller – Kasson-Mantorville
2. Zena Esquivel – Carrizo Springs
3. Amber Kierstyn – Adams-Friendship
4. Julie Lutzen – Whitnall
5. Lakayshia Williams – ASH


181lbs Class
ASH has to have a few wins if they want to sneak up on Necedah. Tamera Lusk (ASH) is the front runner in this class. However, after the addition of a bench shirt, McKenzie Curtis of River Falls will be in the mix until the last pull.

181lbs Class Seeds
1. Tamera Lusk – ASH
2. McKenzie Curtis – River Falls
3. Kaija Newman – Osceola
4. Karley Wyngaard – Neenah
5. Olivia Osunkwo – South Milwaukee


198lbs Class
Could coach Urbina move Tamera Lusk (ASH) up to the 198lbs class to take on Lacey Winters (Necedah)? This would be a very risky move, but not out of the question. We would select Lacey as the #1 seed regardless of who goes up against her. Lacey’s last deadlift two weeks ago was quite easy. I look forward to Coach Mach loading up the bar after she has secured the win. Watching Lindsey Saacks (Covington, LA) and Melissa Reyes (Carrizon Springs, WI) battle for second will be entertaining.

198lbs Class Seeds
1. Lacey Winters – Necedah
2. Melissa Reyes – Carrizo Springs
3. Lindsey Saacks – Covington
4. Brittany Williams – ASH
5. Kaitlynn Hernandez – Necedah


198+lbs Class
Heather Callejas (Covington) put up an impressive total last week at the Louisiana State Meet. With these 12 points, Covington could be in the mix for third place team placing. Tiara Thomas or Cerrina Stokes could be in the lead at subtotal. Expect someone to pull big for the win.

198+lbs Class Seeds
1. Heather Callejas – Covington
2. Tiara Thomas – Riverdale
3. Cerrina Stokes – Omro
4. Lily Poisso – ASH
5. Carlie Walker – Whitnall


In the nearly 20 years that I have watched Coach Urbina’s (ASH) creativity, I have seen him “pull a rabbit out of a hat” on numerous occasions. He must buy them in bulk. I’ve even seen him load up a 50 pound personal record deadlift attempt (on the last pull of the meet) to win the national team title (most impressive lift I have EVER seen). However, I have witnessed the talent, discipline and focus of the Necedah team over the last 2 years and believe they will take care of business this weekend.


Girls Teams
1. Necedah HS, WI
2. Alexandria Senior High, LA
3. Covington HS, LA
4. Adams-Friendship HS, WI (with Kuss in JV)
5. New Richmond, WI


Boys Varsity


114lbs Class
IPF Sub-Junior Silver medalist Kenneth Johnson (Racine-Horlick) is a lock in this class. I look forward to watching his last deadlift.

We had a new #1 boys team this week! ASH knocked off Covington at the Louisiana State meet. I’ve looked at the point scoring and strategy (from both sides) for this upcoming weekend (throwing WI lifters in the mix) and I believe it will come down to a tie breaker or 1-2 points. It will be a razor thin margin either way. The rematch of Trace Lawson (ASH) and Trai Chatman (Covington) in this 114lbs class could end up being the deciding factor. Those 9 points (2nd place) have never been so critical and will set the tone for subsequent sessions!

114lbs Class Seeds
1. Kenneth Johnson – Horlick
2. Trace Lawson – ASH
3. Trai Chatman – Covington
4. Brandon Schaenzer – Appleton North
5. Bryce Londerville – Neenah


123lbs Class
Terrance Phillips (ASH) is listed in the 132lbs class. He has recently lifted as a 123. If he is not qualified in this class, look for Elizer Clune-Cobigting (Oshkosh North) to take the opportunity to stand on top of the awards podium.

123lbs Class Seeds
1. Terrance Phillips – ASH
2. Ellizer Clune-Cobigting – Oshkosh North
3. Mike Miles – Whitehall
4. Nijere James – Glen Mills
5. Stefan Butterbrodt – Stoughton


132lbs Class
This class is wide open. Expect a wild finish (if Phillips is also in this class)! Could we see an all ASH awards podium?

132lbs Class Seeds
1. Spencer Perry – ASH
2. Hunter Hicks – ASH
3. Mark Miller – River Falls
4. Matthew Kuss – Covington
5. Joseph Mui – Neenah


148lbs Class
Romellow Dawson (Adams-Friendship) is the top seed, but he does not have the luxury of missing attempts. Jacob Cooper (ASH) and Shawn Warren (Covington) are both capable of pulling for the win. 12 points by either Cooper or Warren could be an earthquake size momentum shift for the team title.

148lbs Class Seeds
1. Romellow Dawson – Adams-Friendship
2. Jacob Cooper – ASH
3. Shawn Warren – Covington
4. Sawyer Haubert – Phillips
5. Nicholas Jones – Poynette


165 lbs Class
Draven Collins (Covington) has his work cut out for him. Teddy Gildersleeve should have a comfortable lead heading into deadlift. William Lee (ASH) could have 3rd place loaded on the bar.

165lbs Class Seeds
1. Teddy Gildersleeve – Osceola
2. Draven Collins – Covington
3. Sam Janssen – Little Chute
4. Riley Porath – Neenah
5. William Lewis – ASH


181lbs Class
It’s going to be hard to focus on anything else when Tyran Garrett (Covington) lifts.

181lbs Class Seeds
1. Tyran Garrett – Covington
2. Jason Hanson – GET
3. Brahlaun Thompson – ASH
4. Evan Koehnke – Neenah
5. Sheldon Fadness – Hayward


198lbs Class
With Josh Bickham (Covington) moving up to the 220lbs class last month, Keaton Rodriguez (Northshore) will have his day in the sun (two weeks in a row)! James Goebel (Whitnall) will have his hands full with Logan Rogers (Covington) for 3rd place.

198lbs Class Seeds
1. Keaton Rodriguez – Northshore
2. Colt Grow – Covington
3. James Goebel – Whitnall
4. Logan Rogers – Covington
5. Seth Calaway – Mauston


220lbs Class
Anyone who is remotely in the vicinity of the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Sunday will be talking about the match up between Josh Bickham (Covington) and Tyler Kinder (ASH). Note: there are several scenarios where a weight class change could occur. However, I believe we “should” see a historical battle for the 220lbs national title, the team title, and the outstanding lifter trophy during this flight. What a treat Sunday could bring! Kinder should be leading at subtotal, but the top seed goes to the guy with the big pull!

220lbs Class Seeds
1. Josh Bickham – Covington
2. Tyler Kinder – ASH
3. Deray Darensburg – Covington
4. Erik Eaton – River Falls
5. Kyle Pulvermacher – Benton


242lbs Class
Alex Stoll (Osceola) will be ready to take down Bickham or Kinder if they decide to bump up.

242lbs Class Seeds
1. Alex Stoll – Osceola
2. Mitchell Cowman – Whitnall
3. Andrew Montoya – Saint Thomas More
4. Jordan Zentzis – Osceola
5. Juan Ramirez – Carrizo Springs


275lbs Class
David Verzwyvelt (ASH) is the heavy favorite in this class (if he doesn’t bump up). Declan Dilley (Horlick) and Tyler Krajewski (Cudahy) could be the big winners here if a massive weight class shift occurs on Sunday.

275lbs Class Seeds
1. David Verzwyvelt – ASH
2. Caleb Alsteen – Oshkosh North
3. Declan Dilley – Horlick
4. Tyler Krajewski – Cudahy
5. Brady Chance – Bloomer


275+lbs Class
Bottom line, I would be surprised if Verzwyvelt or Alsteen does not bump to this weight class and take the win.

275+lbs Class Seeds
1. Milton Jones – Glen Mills
2. Eli Peterson – Adams-Friendship
3. Elijah Anderson – Whitehall
4. Marlo Chavez – Carrizo Springs
5. Douglas Walker – Hershey


Once again, I have analyzed results from all season, tried to anticipate moves, and looked at strategy from both sides. Most of my scenarios have Coach Carmouche and ASH taking the title. The excel spreadsheet says to type A.S.H., but my gut says to type Covington…

Boys Teams
1. Covington HS, LA
2. Alexandria Senior High, LA
3. Glenn Mills, PA
4. Whitnall HS, WI
5. Horlick HS, WI

Combined Team Winners
1. Alexandria Senior High, LA
2. Covington HS, LA
3. Whitnall HS, WI


Safe Travels!