North Beach powerlifters bring home state titles

Lady Hyak lifters repeat with two individual crowns to go with championship


The Girls Powerlifting Team from North Beach High School claimed its third State Championship and two Lady Hyaks set records as they grabbed individual state crowns in the smallest (97 lbs.) and largest (Unlimited) divisions in the competition at Northwest Christian High School in Lacey Saturday.

Volunteer coach Ric Dycus accompanied 14 girls and six boys as the Lady Hyaks defended their state title in the powerlifting sport, which is based on the combined total of weight lifted from the best of three lifts in each of three styles: squat, bench press and dead lift.

Junior Skylar Duncan took the championship in the 97 lb. division with a lift total of 440 lbs. that included her best-ever dead lift of 215 lbs. Dycus said she suffered two injuries last week playing softball and he was unsure about her risking further injury. Undeterred, she “fought through it and still won state and set a new state record.” When she knew she had won, she was “tearfully joyful,” the coach said. At a mere 89 lbs., “she was the smallest competitor in the place, and at the end of the day, she had the biggest smile!”

Later, with the state championship still undecided, senior Natasha Früh “was very jubilant,” Dycus explained, because she knew she was 60 lbs. ahead after two dead lifts in the Unlimited division.

“There was a smile on her face and the last thing she said was, ‘I got this.’ Then she went out and just ripped it off the ground.” With a 375 lb. dead lift, she totaled 795 lbs. and notched a new state record, leading the Lady Hyaks to their third state championship, and qualification for the AAU National meet in Tacoma on May 26-27.

Sunday night, Dycus received word that Früh’s total had also qualified her for the AAU World Championship meet in Laughlin, NV in September. And he thinks another young Hyak may join her.

As an eighth grader, Maggie McPherson could not be an official team competitor in the Unlimited division, but her numbers would have made her second in squat and dead lift, and her total of 760 lbs. would have made

her second overall and only 15 lbs. shy of the world championship qualifying level of 775 lbs.

The Lady Hyaks also had a trio of second place finishers, Taylor Eang at 148 lbs., Maria VanHorn at 181 lbs. and Isabel Harnagy at 198 lbs.

“This was truly a rebuilding year,” the coach said, “so to come out with a state championship is a testament to the hard work these kids have put in on a daily basis.” He added, “We had so much community support at the state meet! We were really blown away by how many people showed up who didn’t have kids lifting.”

Six Hyaks competed for the boys team, with junior Patrick Heyd’s third place finish at 132 lbs. their best performance on the way to a 12th place team finish. Dycus also noted that former Hyak Ben Bridge, who transferred to Elma High School last year when his father, Todd Bridge became that school’s athletic director, won the state meet in the 242 lb. division.

Washington State High School Powerlifting Championships

North Beach High School Boys Results

Robert Oban, 114 lbs., scratch (injury).

Jared Wilkerson, 123 lbs. (8th grade, would have been 6th).

Patrick Heyd, 132 lbs., 3rd.

Matthew Thomas, 148 lbs., 6th.

Byron Britt, 165 lbs., scratch (injury).

Gauge Mealey, 242 lbs., 9th.

North Beach High School Girls Results

Skylar Duncan, 97 lbs., 1st, state record.

Joanna Duncan, 114 lbs., 7th.

Taylor Eang, 148 lbs., 2nd.

Letty Carcaise, 148 lbs., 7th.

Maryah Winser, 148 lbs. (8th grade, would have been 7th).

Emmilee Findlay, 165 lbs., 8th.

Maria VanHorn, 181 lbs., 2nd.

Alexis Potter, 181 lbs., scratch (injury).

Isabel Harnagy, 198 lbs., 2nd.

Natasha Früh, Unlimited, 1st, state record.

Maggie McPherson, Unlimited (8th grade, would have been 2nd).

Arianna Salmond, Unlimited, 4th.

Randi Wenger, Unlimited, 7th.