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Weightlifters off to 'strong' start

posted Jan 18, 2019, 11:02 AM by Andrew Tichy
The Weightlifting team boards the bus ahead of a meet at Little Falls
Photo: Rogan Isbell | The Spud

By: Rogan Isbell

Last year was just the second year of Olympic weightlifting being a varsity sport at Moorhead. That didn’t stop Moorhead from placing third in the junior varsity division and first in the varsity division for the 2017-18 season.

Many people are not aware of the differences between powerlifting and weightlifting. Powerlifting is the three standard strength exercises most people are familiar with: bench press, back squat, and deadlift. Weightlifting uses the snatch and clean and jerk; both exercises use nearly every muscle in your entire body. The weights an athlete successfully lifts in both exercises are added together; they then qualify for state if they match or exceed the qualifying total, which is based on age, weight, and gender.

The weightlifting team has only participated in one meet so far, the Mustang meet in Sheyenne on Saturday, December 15th. These meets start pretty early in the morning; weigh-in can be as soon as 7:00 A.M. Moorhead had eight individuals who matched the qualifying total and are automatically eligible for state, with senior Hailey Sonnenberg also having a high enough total to qualify for nationals in Chicago later this year.

Weightlifting is not the most recognized or the most popular winter sport, but that doesn’t stop senior Jameson Cozad, who offered some insight about the team and their season.

“I definitely think more schools should offer it [weightlifting]... it definitely teaches you how to work hard, and the gains that you make here can help you in other sports. I wouldn’t be as good of a football player without weightlifting,” Cozad said about the benefits of weightlifting.

Because Moorhead won the state championship last season, there may be a temptation to sit back and take it a little bit easy; that is not the attitude of this squad.

“We’ve got a good group of hard workers, both the veterans and the new guys. Coach Hermann and all the others do a good job of preparing us, and hopefully we just continue to get better and build off of the last meet,” Cozad said.

Cozad earned second place at the state varsity meet last year in the 105+ kilogram weight class. He did not participate at the Mustang meet due to a college visit at St. Cloud State University, but he will be looking to potentially get over the hump this season. He and the rest of the team have confidence, but more importantly, they can back up that confidence. The Moorhead weightlifting team has their next meet Saturday, January 12 at Little Falls.