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Strong high school athletes earn gold

GREAT FALLS — Six Polson High School athletes had an impressive showing at the Montana State Power Lifting Competition held on Saturday, March 4 in Great Falls. 

Don Toth, PHS physical education teacher and assistant football coach, has enjoyed helping students improve their lifting skills.

“We did really well ... it was a good showing for Polson to compete

against AA schools,” Toth said. “We had three of our six athletes place and one actually set a new state record.”

Junior Danny DiGiallonardo took first place in the men’s 123 class and set the new state record for the Romanian dead lift at 390 pounds. 

Senior Nick Marquardt placed second in the men’s 220 class.

DiGiallonardo and Marquardt also have All-American status when it comes to the amount they can lift compared to their body weight.

Also taking first place, senior Julia Sanderson beat her competition in the Women’s Upper Division.

The Montana State Power Lifting Competition gives these athletes a goal and a reason to keep training, according to Toth.

“The athletes that competed started really focusing about mid-December,” Toth said. “They had to start working on the lifts that they would be judged on at the competition.”

The athletes had three primary lifts — bench press, dead lift, and squat — that they trained for in preparation for the competition. Toth also teaches a weightlifting class that helps students with proper form and technique.

 “These kids actually get the opportunity to lift during school,” Toth

said. “We have a weight lifting class which is five days a week and I have them on a cycle working a different body part every day. The students that decided to compete definitely put in hours after school as well.”

Although the athletes placed well, they did not have enough participants for team competition.

“We were four lifters short of making a team,” Toth said. “Our athletes had to compete as individuals.”

Toth mentioned that “help from an ex-body builder and judge gave us a low-down on what to expect.” 

Next year he would like to have enough athletes to compete as a team.

 

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