Marinette Powerlifting Powerhouse

Published: Apr. 9, 2023 at 10:12 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 9, 2023 at 11:06 PM CDT
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MARINETTE, Wis. (WBAY) - More than 700 athletes competed at the USA Powerlifting High School Nationals earlier this month, including several from Marinette’s team.

“We started Marinette Powerlifting in 2016. We started out with four lifters, and now we had a team of over sixty,” Marinette head coach Brigit Pettit said.

“I originally got into lifting with my dad because he’s a physical trainer,” Marinette sophomore Lance Lurz said. “Then I came and lifted after school one day and powerlifting was going on, and I figured why not join. Then I went to my first meet and I realized powerlifting is for me because it was a great experience.”

“I got into it for football. I wanted to get bigger, faster, stronger as coach Anderson always says. Then I heard about powerlifting and this is a great way to get bigger, faster, stronger,” senior Gordon Langer said.

It’s not just a way to train for another season - powerlifting is growing as a sport throughout the state and nation.

“It’s similar to wrestling where there are different weight classes. Then there are three different lifts; squat, bench or deadlift. You get three attempts at each lift. They take your best lift out of each one, and add them all together and that’s your total,” Langer said.

Success wasn’t immediate for Langer.

“I was very happy to just see how far I’ve come, because my freshman year I failed. I got disqualified. I couldn’t compete for any medals,” he said. “Now, just to see I’ve now won state my senior year just shows how much I’ve improved.”

Eventually he worked his way to become champion, not just at the state level but at nationals.

“Kind of on top of the world that I did it. Everything I worked for, has been complete. It wasn’t for nothing,” Langer added.

“It’s just such a tribute to Gordy as a person,” Pettit said. “He’s a team captain this year, and he’s always trying to help everybody else. He has such a sweet personality. The heart and dedication that he has, this is something he absolutely deserves.”

State championships and national championships are already checked off the list, so what about the world? You can check that off the list too.

“The original world record was 540 pounds, and I deadlifted 545 to break the world record,” Kurz said. “I was like contemplating if I would be able to break the state record, and I broke the state record. I was like let’s see what the world record is and it was obtainable. I reached my goals and I worked towards it, and I broke the world record of my deadlift for my age and weight.”

“My goal is to win state eventually, hopefully next year,” Kurz added. “My overall goal is to be a national champion by the end of high school. Makes me realize that it’s possible. Having someone push me to be a national champion because they’re already been a national champion, it pushes me more.”