CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa. — Christian Lezinski is a senior at Abington Heights. He is part of the Comets football team and holds a 330lb bench press, squats 520lbs and dead lifts 540 lbs for the powerlifting team. They just returned from the National meet in Chicago. 12 competitors went and 6 returned with a 5th place finish or higher. Lezinski finished 3rd at Nationals. This was his 2nd trip to a National meet competing with other powerlifters from across the country.
"Oh! Yeah it is awesome doing both. The lifting and the football goes hand in hand so it's great to be able to do both sports. And I love to be able to get into the weight room and love the feeling of getting stronger," said Christian.
Claude Welcome is the Abington Heights powerlifting coach. 1/3 of the team are girl's. Amelia Gurcken a 10th grader finished 2nd at Nationals in the 165lbs weight class. She benches 140lbs, squats 290lbs and dead lifts 270lbs. Impressive numbers there in the windy city.
"It's really nice because a lot of it is leg strength so in volleyball it's a lot of running around, and then it's like jumping high for the net and everything like that. So it helps with that and then it is just something to do all year around. So when volleyball is off season so then I have this all year so it's fun," said Amelia.
Junior Lindsey James was in 2nd place going into her dead lift but a cramping issue caused her to drop out, but not before a great effort.
"There was a lot of like girls that I met and everything that are from Pennsylvania that I have been able to connect with and everything and kind of grow relationships with them," said Lindsey.
Claude has been around powerlifting here at Abington Heights in some way shape or form for over the last 35 years and he says this year he has had the most kids he has ever had in this program.
"You just get out of it what you put into it. We have an old saying that quality over quantity. Every workout they put their total effort into it and they compete against gravity. It's very objective. They know if they get better. No one is fooling them. Gravity doesn't cheat. It's the same thing over time if they do 5lbs more you know that they have done 5lbs more," said Claude.
Steve Lloyd Newswatch 16 sports Lackawanna County.