Manistee brings home hardware

Manistee’s Jesus Reyna-Cruz participates in the deadlift at the Michigan High School Power Lifting Association state finals at Lake Orion High School on Saturday. Reyna-Cruz was one of three Chippewa lifters to win state titles at the meet. (Courtesy photo)

Manistee’s Jesus Reyna-Cruz participates in the deadlift at the Michigan High School Power Lifting Association state finals at Lake Orion High School on Saturday. Reyna-Cruz was one of three Chippewa lifters to win state titles at the meet. (Courtesy photo)

Manistee crowned three new state champions, and made history, at the Michigan High School Power Lifting Association state finals at Lake Orion High School on March 9-10.

Trevor Johns won a varsity state championship and Blake Mikula and Jesus Reyna-Cruz took junior-varsity state titles for the Chippewas at the event. It was the first time that Manistee won three state championships in one year.

Manistee finished fifth as a team in the JV state finals.

Manistee coach Troy Bytwork said that the achievement showed the growth of Manistee’s powerlifting program.

“We won the team state title a couple of years back, but when we won the team state title we didn’t have any individual state champions,” Bytwork said. “It’s a big deal. For a school of our size to have those individuals win is a testament to the kids and how hard they work.”

Johns set new state records for his weight class (132 lbs.) in both the deadlift (460 lbs.) and total weight (1055 lbs), walking away with the state championship by 135 lbs. of total weight, a significant margin. He broke the state record that had held for eight years in the deadlift.

“The equivalent in football would be beating somebody 63-0,” Bytwork said. “Last year, his total was only 900, so he’s added 155 lbs. to his total in a year.”

Johns squatted 335 lbs. and bench-pressed 235 lbs. in the event, which he finished with the second-best pound-per-pound total of any lifter in the state, missing out on the top spot by a slim margin. Johns lifted 7.991 lbs. per pound of body weight, just behind Carson Kortas of Almont at 7.993.

Reyna-Cruz won the junior-varsity title at 132 lbs. lifting 830 lbs in the three events, 295 in the squat, 160 in the bench press and 375 in the deadlift.

Mikula won the 165-lb. class, squatting 325, benching 215 and deadlifting 465.

On the girls side, Manistee’s Tegan Wayward and Kaleigh Kamaloski each placed third in her weight class at the state finals.

Wayward, in the 198-lb. class, lifted 745 lbs. total and Kamaloski (155 lbs.) lifted 690 lbs. total.

“There’s no faking it, either you put the work in and lift the weight or you don’t,” Bytwork said. “It’s a testament to their work ethic, to say the least.”

avatar

Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply