New facility helps St. Mary Catholic establish its own powerlifting team
NEENAH (WLUK) -- Until this year, St. Mary Catholic powerlifters joined Neenah High school lifters creating a co - op.
This season that changed as the Zephyrs opened a brand new 6,500 square foot facility in August of 2017.
Now the St. Mary Catholic lifters have branched off and established their own team.
"They're ready to represent SMC now as a whole," said head powerlifting coach Dellonta Mills. "Before they were lifting with Neenah, under Neenah's wing, now we're here at St. Mary's and now they're like alright, now we're representing Zephyrs and we're ready to go."
"It's awesome, honestly it's like a step up," said senior lifter James Schultz. "We're actually independent now it seems like."
The Zephyrs head coach, Mills was a Wisconsin State champion powerlifter in 1997 and has been coaching the sport since 2010.
"A lot of them use it as an outlet," he said. "They come in here after a stressful day, we turn up the music, they start lifting and by the end of practice they forgot what they did earlier in the day and they're ready to go home, eat dinner and hang out with the family."
"You get in this zone that's really hard to explain unless you've been in it," said senior lifter Jacob Kundert. "You're ready to go, you block out everything else so it's very exciting."
"It's pretty intense watching other people lift, it inspires you to do better," said Schultz. "It's a big atmosphere, a family atmosphere with your family lifting out there like brothers and sisters."
The team also has plenty of girls compete, like sophomore Olivia Tomasi who qualified for the state meet after just a year of competing.
"It's definitely something girls can get into and girls are very good at it," said Tomasi. "A lot of people look at girls and are like, oh you're a powerlifter? We can be a powerlifter too, it's pretty cool."
The 2018 USA Powerlifting High School National Championships will be held March 22-March 15 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.