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Powerlifters on to nationals

May 12, 2010 - Goodrich High School senior Kristen Schmiedeknecht and sophomore Candace Smith lifted their way to the top on May 1 in Flushing's YMCA for the Iron Man national qualifier powerlifting competition.

The girls had to have a total of 430 pounds and 479 pounds, respectively in the bench, squat, and dead lift competitions to qualify for the national competition. Both were well over the requirement, Smith had a total of 546 pounds and Schmiedeknecht, 523.

"I'm super excited," said Schmiedeknecht, who has been lifting for two years. "I just want to go out there, do the best I can, and be happy with what I get."

Coach Daniel Gustinis, his second year coaching the powerlifters, is already happy with the girls' accomplishments. "If anyone has perseverance, it's these girls. They're both so involved with soccer, school, and family activities, but they still make it to practice from 6 to 10 on school nights and the weekends. I am very proud of them."

Smith is thankful for having the coaches and teammates she does and is very excited to be going to nationals her first year in the sport. "Kristen and I have been pushing each other all season, it helps to have support from someone, so I'm really glad were going together. And Coach Danny has helped so much, he puts in a lot of time to make us better. We wouldn't be qualifying if it wasn't for him."

Powerlifting nationals will be in Cleveland May 22 and 23.

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