By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Despite freezing temperatures that keep some participants and spectators at home, Dave Ridlen rated the first-ever “Pounds for Pennies” event a success.
In fact, Ridlen wants to see the weight lifting event become an annual affair.
This year’s event raised $5,500 through competitor fees, sponsorships, admission, a silent auction and bake sale.
Ridlen split the proceeds, with half funding equipment and repairs for the school’s weight room and the other half to “The Gift,” the community’s program to help families in need during the Christmas season.
School students who participated in the event sought pledges based on their performance. Eighth grader Noah Griffin raised the most money in pledges, Ridlen said.
In addition, Ridlen said he got great support from the community with items for the silent auction, trophies and donations.
Trophies for the event were donated by Frenchman Valley Produce. Ridlen added that Rob Schilke received recognition as the largest donor to the event.
Ridlen also gave away some of the national weight lifting trophies he’s won since he began lifting competitively in 2008.
In 2010, Ridlen won the national championship belt in the bench press, lifting 518 pounds.
Ridlen competes in the National Athlete Strength Association, a drug-free association promoting the weight lifting sport.
He has been helping students and athletes at Chase County Schools hone their weight lifting skills. He said he really enjoys working with the kids.
He helped run the summer weight lifting program for the football team, which led to him becoming an assistant coach this past season,
His efforts have also made the weight room a hub of activity.
Reps and max-outs
The Dec. 8 competition featured two events: repetitions and max-out.
In the repetition competition, lifters try to make the most repetitions of a bench press.
The weight lifted is determined by the body weight of the competitor. Ridlen said the lifter will lift a total weight that’s 50-70 percent of their own body weight.
In the max-out competition, the lifter seeks to lift as much weight as possible in one repetition. When successful, the lifter can add more weight to the bar for another repetition.
The winner of the repetition competition was Jamie Hanes, with 42 reps.
Justus Wallin won the max-out competition at 345 pounds. He tried 355 to set a new school record but couldn’t quite make the lift.
Sheldon Bartholomew earned lifter of the meet honors for his efforts.
Ridlen did not compete in the event but did complete some exhibition max-out lifts, including one at 585 pounds.
Winners in the various age divisions are as follows:
Jr. High winners: 7th grade-Reps, Cole Wilson; Max-out, Braden Space. 8th grade-Reps, Bryce Zuege; max-out, Jack Bauerle.
High school winners: 9th, reps, Hunter Bartels; 10th, reps, Carlos Chavez; max-out, Chase Reasoner; 11th, reps, Sheldon Bartholomew, max-out, Jeff Dickey; 12th girls, reps, Jodi Koellner, max-out, Jodi Koellner. 12th boys, reps, Khris Kuhlman, max-out, Justus Wallin.
Adult winners: reps, Mike Sorensen; max-out, Dan Schluckebier, Palisade.
Team champions: Flying Gorillas (CCS seniors)
Lifter of the meet: Sheldon Bartholomew.
Max-out bench champion: Justus Wallin, 345 lbs.
Total reps champion: Jamie Hanes, 42.