By Meliyah Venerable / Delta Sports Editor 

Three of four Men’s Powerlifters qualified for nationals at the first meet of the season. The team traveled to William Jewell College (Liberty, Mo.) to compete in the USAPL Missouri State Championships. 

“My goals going into the meet were qualifying for nationals and placing top three. Also, to get a 600 lb deadlift that I hadn’t gotten yet,” Junior Kael Venerable said. “A week out of the meet I really started to focus on stretches and loosening my body up. Focusing on my knee staying warm and healthy. I cut back on a lot of calories and I ate small portions and I limited how much water I could drink.” 

Kael Venerable finished second in the 120kg raw junior division, followed by Joseph Markes who placed fourth. Both men qualified for nationals and hit personal records. Venerable finished with an overall total of 675kg and Markes with 620kg. 

“Some of my personal goals are to hit a 630 lb deadlift and to do great at nationals. I would love for the team to keep up the good chemistry with each other as well as keep the amazing energy we have at every practice,” Markes said. 

The two freshmen had productive meets, and one of them qualified for nationals. Jacob Walton qualified for nationals in his weight class. Dagan Barela won the 74kg raw division with a total weight of 540kg but was just short of the national qualifying total. 

“On the men’s side we were a bit more split with returners and freshmen,” Head Coach Casey Carpenter explained. “I expected our returners to be very competitive in their respective divisions and qualify for Nationals. For our Freshmen that were in this group I really just wanted to get them some experience lifting at the collegiate level and hopefully qualify them for Nationals as well.” 

The rest of the men’s team will get a chance to compete in two more meets before the National meet in March. 

“I want everybody to make it to nationals and do well there, and show that even though we are a small program and a lot of people don’t know what it entails, we are still strong and know what we are doing. I want us to get top three as a team at nationals,” Venerable said.