Hyak powerlifters head to world championships

  • Wed Sep 26th, 2018 7:34am
  • Sports

By SCOTT D. JOHNSTON

For a group of nine North Beach High School athletes, the 2018 real life experience of chasing the impossible dream will conclude this weekend. That’s when they will become the first Hyaks ever to compete in a recognized world title event, the AAU Powerlifting World Championships, Sept. 28-30 at the Harrah’s hotel and event complex in Laughlin, Nev.

The North Beach powerlifting squad won its third girls’ team championship at the state meet May 5 in Lacey, then stunned the AAU Powerlifting world three weeks later by dominating 200 or so competitors from across the country on their way to winning the overall AAU National Championship Meet in Tacoma.

All 10 North Beach girls and both boys who qualified for the Nationals earned gold medals in their weight classes, four girls collected a total of 12 national overall records covering all age classes, and all qualified for the World Championships.

They planned to fly to Las Vegas Thursday, arriving in time for weigh-ins. Their main competition will take place Saturday. The Hyaks competing and their weight classes are:

• Skyler Duncan, 97 lbs.

• Robert Oban, 114 lbs.

• Maryah Winser, 148 lbs.

• Lettie Carcaise, 165 lbs.

• Alexis Potter, 181 lbs.

• Emillee Findlay, 181 lb.

• Isabel Harnagy, 198 lbs.

• Arianna Salmond, 220 lbs.

• Maggie McPherson, 220+ lbs.

Volunteer powerlifting coach Ric Dycus, who helped start the program at NBHS in 2010, shook his head as he marveled that the overachieving Hyaks have long since ceased to amaze him. Their success, he said, is “testament to the hard work these kids have put in on a daily basis.”

They’ve also achieved academic success. According to their coach, since 2013, the graduation rate for Hyaks powerlifters has been 100 percent. All eight seniors graduated this year, several with honors, including co-valedictorian Natasha Fruh, who qualified for worlds but chose to stay behind due to academic commitments at Grays Harbor College.

In powerlifting, athletes compete at various weight classes in squat, bench press and dead lift with the total of their best of three lifts in all three categories determining the winners. This year, 43 students made up the Hyaks teams, the largest group ever.

Next year’s powerlifters will start practice this November, and participate in their first meet in January. North Beach High School will host the Washington State Powerlifting Meet on Saturday, May 4.

The community has been very supportive of these young athletes.

North Beach Eagles secretary/trustee Lucy Bates said her club has conducted multiple fund raisers, and with the help of the Eagle Riders group, several businesses in the area and many contributors.

Almost $10,000 has been raised to help pay the many costs involved in going to the world championships.