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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/RANDY MOLL Showing off their national championship powerlifting rings from the last season on Thursday (Aug. 1, 2019) are Gentry powerlifters Ethan Xiong (front, left), Jason Mendoza, Gavin Taylor (back, left), Mason West, Dylan Kilgore and Jackson Mcafee. Not pictured are Hunter Mills, Kerlose Ruzek, Coach Kaven Flesner and Coach Sean Seligman.

GENTRY -- The Gentry High School powerlifting team won its fifth national powerlifting championship at the 35th annual NASA High School Powerlifting National Championships in Oklahoma City on March 23-24. But their championship rings (which had to be remade due to a manufacturing error) didn't arrive until late July and were distributed to the lifters on Aug. 1.

"Ethan Xiong was our lightweight best lifter of the year," said powerlifting coach Sean Seligman. "Mason West was our middleweight best lifter of the year. Kerlose Ruzek was our heavyweight best lifter of the year. Our overall lifter of the year was Gavin Taylor. This was our fifth championship in a row," he said.

"We've had great success these past five years and hope to bring home a sixth title this coming year," Seligman said.

"I would like to thank everyone who supported our program this year and in the past years. I would especially like to thank Mr. William Gammill with Advanced Energy for his donation towards our lifters' rings," he said.

The powerlifters finished first in 10 divisions and fourth in one division to earn 128 team points and the championship in March.

"We had seven lifters this year, five seniors and two juniors," said Seligman.

Junior Ethan Xiong lifted in the 132-pound class and finished in first place in all five divisions, set six state records and one national record in the push-pull, according to Seligman.

Senior Mason West lifted in the 148-pound class and finished first in two divisions, third in two and sixth in one. He also set a state record in the curl.

Senior Hunter Mills lifted in the 148-pound class and had two second-place, two fourth-place and one seventh-place finishes.

Senior Jason Mendoza lifted in the 165-pound class and had four second-place and one fourth-place finishes.

Returning senior Gavin Taylor lifted in the 165-pound class and finished with four first-place and one second-place awards. Taylor set three new state records and broke two national records in push-pull and power press.

Senior Dylan Kilgore lifted in the 220-pound class and finished with three first-, one second- and one sixth-place awards.

Returning junior Kerlose Ruzek lifted in the 308-plus pound class and finished with four first-place and one second-place awards. Ruzek also set six state records and three national records in push-pull, bench press and power press.

Seligman thanked Keeten Jones, Khang Yang, Kaven Flesner, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, and Mr. and Mrs. Kilgore for the help and assistance with this year's season.

"We could not have had a successful season without your help and support," Seligman said.

Sports on 08/07/2019

Print Headline: Powerlifters receive championship rings

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