By Tyler Ohmann
For the second year, the Little Falls Community High School gym played host to the Mid-Minnesota Open
Olympic weightlifting meet.
This year, the Flyers hosted the event Saturday, Feb. 11.
Three other schools joined Little Falls in the competition — Grand Rapids, Armstrong and Brainerd.
The lifters each received three attempts in two types of lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. A combined weight of the two is used to determine a lifter’s final score.
One Flyers lifter joined the ranks of those lifters who have already qualified for the state meet, which is set for March 11.
Nicole Schilling, a LFCHS junior, lifted a personal record (PR) 88 total kilograms (kg) to qualify for state in her class. She was also first place in her weight class.
Several other Flyers joined her with first place finishes and PRs.
“I think it went pretty well,” said senior lifter Lauren Thielman. “As a whole, the team did really well compared to last meet, and we made improvements for sure.
“People made PR’s and that’s a good thing,” Thielman added.
Coach Nick Abbott said that 10 of 15 lifters for the Flyers (including junior varsity) lifted PRs, Saturday.
Joining Schilling with top finishes were Makenna Stoner with 71kg and Kayla Statema at 104kg.
McKayla Brezinka took second with 89 kg in her class, while Thielman was second in hers with 104 kg.
“It is much, much different and the nerves are a lot higher,” Thielman said about lifting at home. “Once you get your first lift in, it gets a lot easier, and you know that people are rooting for you.”
Thielman said the best part of lifting is how close all the lifters are regardless of where they are from.
“I like the family aspect, and that everyone roots for each other,” Thielman said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, I want her to miss, because she’s my opponent.’ I want everyone to succeed.”
The lone Little Falls boy to lift for varsity was junior Gage Larsen. He lifted in the 56 kg weight class.
He won his weight class by lifting a total of 115 kg (53 kg snatch, 62 kg clean and jerk).