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Local News and Views From Area Teams & Athletes

Second Annual Power Combine
proves to be a great success

A group of the strongest young men and women in West Virginia gathered at Braxton County High School for the High School Power Combine. This was the second year for such an event, and the teens faced six challenges ranging from basic powerlifting style lifts to much more unfamiliar tasks like racing while carrying giant steel blocks. Students from Richwood High School, Summers County High School and Braxton County High School competed in the event.
The first event was the classic bench press. The biggest female bench belonged to Victoria Utt of Braxton County at 125 pounds, the biggest male bench was put up by Blake Herron of Braxton at 285 pounds. Herron attempted the biggest bench at 305 pounds, but was unable to push the bar up enough.
The next event involved competitors racing against the clock to carry massive steel blocks and enormous balls of concrete. Cameron Wayne of Braxton had the fastest time of all competitors at 20.70 seconds.
The third event seemed medieval. The Deep Waters Hercules Hold requires competitors to hold onto handles outstretched while the device pulls in opposite directions, making the young lifters feel as if they are being pulled apart. Competitors need to have a strong grip and a high mentality to overcome the burning sensation in the arms and shoulders. Dylan Bragg of Braxton won his division by a margin of 15 seconds. Herron had another outstanding performance with the longest time of the day of 57 seconds. Matthew Nicholas of Braxton was able to hold out one extra second to win in his class.
The fourth event of the day was the Log Press. Two weight options of the log were available to the competitors: a heavy log and a lighter log. To put in perspective of how challenging this event was, no competitor reached double digits in repetitions on the lighter log option. Utt made two powerful heavy option lifts and one light option lift. Herron blew everyone away with four impressive lifts on the heavy log option.
The fifth event was the final single competitor lift. It involved deadlifting, but it had a twist that paid homage to the history of the area. As some may know, there are six special chairs around the county built and decorated like the famous Flatwoods Monster. The chair originally located at Holly Gray Park was borrowed for the event. The chair roughly weighs 500 pounds and bars were installed so competitors could attempt to deadlift.
As weight classes increased, steel boxes, weights and people were added to make the lift increasingly difficult. Bragg was able to squeeze out enough reps to win for his weight class.
The final event moved the competition to the parking lot where three tractors donated by Lockard’s Inc. Flatwoods Lawn and Garden waited to be pulled. This event was a an experiment since it had been forced to change a few times.
At the time of the event, teams of five had to try and pull the three tractors as far as they could within the time limit. As experiments go, the first try resulted in no tractors moving, so it went down to two tractors. That also did not work, but one tractor seemed to do the trick.
Summers County took 3rd on this event with 55.48 seconds, Braxton County took 2nd with 48.88 seconds and Richwood High took 1st with 47. 38 seconds.
The final tallies for Braxton County were as followed: for middleweight girls, Lauren Manns took 3rd, Mikayla Brown took 2nd and Victoria Utt took 1st place. For 175 boys, Justin Paletti got 2nd and Cameron Wayne walked away with 1st place. In the 200 weight class for boys, Chris Truesdale came out with 3rd place. At 231 boys, Michael King finished with 2nd and Blake Herron won 1st place. In the heavy weight boys division, 3rd place went to Jeff Garvin and Dylan Bragg won 2nd place. In the final team tally, 3rd went to Summers County, 2nd went to Richwood and the home team of Braxton County finished with 1st place.

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