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CHAMPIONS of the 2023 Orchard Powerlifting Meet…

The 2023 Orchard AAU Powerlifting Meet was held this past Saturday, April 1st with an awesome line-up of 160 registered lifters from across the midwest.  This year’s meet was the largest sanctioned AAU meet ever in Nebraska, so 3 lifting platforms were required to accommodate the extremely large crowd in the Orchard gym!  It was the 16th year for the Orchard Meet.  Thirty-two Niobrara-Verdigre powerlifters competed in this year’s AAU Championships.  These 32 lifters had an outstanding day breaking twenty-four total State & American records and one Niobrara-Verdigre school record.  Not to mention many lifters setting numerous personal bests which is impressive considering the high school lifters only had 6 days of rest coming off the Class D state meet on March 25.  The entire field of competition saw twenty-nine different lifters set a total of 56 State records, 10 American records, and even one world record (Amelian Hakl bench press from Boyd County) on Saturday.  Among that group was our very own Anna Rudloff, Gabrielle Pavlik, Sydney Kumm, Melody Bonham, Chelsey Rohrer, Raquel Morales-Montalvo, and Alex Motacek, .  Anna set the State record for female 181 lb. teen class deadlift (358 lbs) and total (694 lbs).  Gabrielle set the female 198 lb. teen state and American record squat (309 lbs), deadlift (402 lbs), and total (865 lbs).  Sydney set the female 97 lb class raw record deadlift state record (171 lbs).  Melody set the state record 105 lb teen raw deadlift in push-pull (209 lbs.)  Chelsey set the 165 lb teen raw record push-pull deadlift (209 lbs).  Raquel set the state record 198+ lb weight class squat (276 lbs) and push-pull deadlift (320 lbs).  Alex set the AAU state record in his 105 lb weight class for squat (226 lbs.) and deadlift (258 lbs).  Niobrara-Verdigre also had the Elsie Magwire memorial female outstanding lifter of the meet based on strength index.  Gabrielle Pavlik won this award with an index of 4.51.  Another special award was presented to Gunnar Shabram.  He won the Conner Jackman Memorial Warrior Spirit Beastmode Mentality special award for his commitment to the sport of powerlifting and helping others.  This brought the crowd to their feet!  The school record that fell was Lorenzo Denny’s strength gain of 238 lbs over the course of the year.  After the busy day of lifting was finished, the Niobrara-Verdigre team earned the 2023 Nebraska AAU championship trophies in the High School AND combined Jr. high/High School  team divisions!

The top 6 high school teams… 1st place Niobrara-Verdigre (86 points); 2nd Grand Island (73); 3rd Summerland (55); 4th Silver Lake (51); 5th Boyd County (33), 6th Lutheran High Northeast.

The top 5 combined high school/jr. high teams… 1st place Niobrara-Verdigre (100 pts); 2nd place Boyd County (67); 3rd place Summerland (61); 4th place Centura (27); 5th place Westwood, IA (10).

The top 3 combined student/adult teams… 1st place Team Schellen (100 pts); 2nd place Ainsworth (20); 3rd place Osmond (13).


Niobrara-Verdigre had an amazing 14 individual AAU champions:   Alex Motacek 105 lb (raw) class, Danny Pease 114 lb (raw) class, Wyatt Shabram 132 lb (equipped) class,  Arlan Lammers 148 lb youth (raw) class, Jacob Motacek 165 lb youth (raw) class, Reid Teadtke 181 lb youth (raw) class, Gunnar Shabram 242 lb bench & push-pull (raw) class, Gavin Rardon 308+ lb (raw) class, Jeff Shabram 242 lb (raw) masters class, Sydney Kumm 97 lb youth (raw) class, Holly Pavlik 132 lb youth (raw) class, Anna Rudloff 181 lb (raw) class, Gabrielle Pavlik 198 lb (raw) class, and Raquel Morales-Montalvo 198+ lb (raw) class.  Six lifters won the silver medal in their weight class... Wade Pritchett 114 lb (raw) class, Beckett Wessendorf 181 lb youth (raw) class, Praeson Klug 242 lb youth (raw) class, Lorenzo Denny 308 lb (raw) class, Melody Bonham 105 lb (raw) class, and Taylor Pavlik 198 lb (raw) class.  Three lifters won the bronze medal in their weight class… Murdock MacAskill 123 lb youth (raw) class, Isaac Pavlik 220 lb (raw) class and Chelsey Rohrer 165 lb (raw) class.  Other Cougar medalists were… Cody Wickersham 5th place 148 lb class (raw), Westin Bauer 4th place 148 lb class (raw), Heidi Hollmann 5th place 148 lb raw, Kami Simons 4th place 148 lb raw, and RaeLynne Nelson 6th place 181 lb raw class.  Zack Rohrer 7th place 148 lb class, Jase Kotrous 10th place 165 lb class, Coy Wickersham 8th place 165 lb class, Miranda Stohlmann 8th place 181 lb class. It was an impressive display of power Saturday as many of the Cougar lifters increased totals and bumped up to stronger lifting clubs including Isaac Pavlik breaking the 1000 lb total!

Saturday’s meet was the last of the 2022-23 school year.  Next season then kicks off with the Lexington Powerlifting Meet in December.  Nice job and keep up the good work kids!  It is fun to watch you grow in both mind and body.  Seniors… you are an amazing group of lifters.  We will miss you at the high school only meets but hope to have you at some of the open meets.  Keep lifting!!  A complete list of results along with records should be posted soon on the www.aau-ne.com website and the www.nebraskapowerlifting.com website under the 2023 Orchard Meet link.  Saturday was an overall amazing display of power for many of the competitors.  The heaviest total this year was lifted by Anthony Nichols of Sioux City, IA with 1703 pounds!  Another highlight was 64 year old Monte Lofing (148 lb class) of Beatrice setting the American record deadlift with 443 lbs.  Please check out the complete list.

This meet would not have happened had it not been for our very generous sponsors and the help of many volunteers from our communities…  Judges Ethan Wondercheck, Kaci Schacht, Monte Shabram, Justin Allemang, Grant Magnuson, Jacob Behnk, Larissa Thomson, Scott Hansen, and world record-holder Steve Davenport.  Spotters & loaders Kelly Wagner, Caleb Krebs, Kaiden Bauer, Justin Reiley, Trey Sucha, Walker Kotrous, Levi Robinette, Cash Wickersham, and Landon McAllister.  The scorer’s table consisting of Amanda Shabram, Kristi Rohrer, Jenny Motacek, Katie Ryan, Karla Uhlir, Kerry Wickersham, Roni Robinette, Eve Kucera, Emmarie Pavlik, Taylor Teadtke, and Lina Bauer kept this large meet running smoothly.  Ticket table and t-shirts Rita Shabram, Sally Cronk, Pam Frank, and Abby Frank.  Video was run by various N-V lifters and parents.  The very popular concession stand was provided by Stephanie Cleveland with help from powerlifting parents and Orchard community volunteers.  All sponsored by Dusty’s.  Reiman Coffee Company was present with coffee and smoothies again!  The hospitality room for meet workers and coaches was provided by Orchard Old School Thrift.  It takes individuals from multiple communities to pull off this big of an event, and it was another wonderful highlight of a fun powerlifting season!  Go Cougars!

Here are our local sponsors…

2023 Orchard Powerlifting Meet Sponsors

Tip Top Lawn Care

Bank of Orchard

Brunswick State Bank

Two Cedar Fencing

Simons Trucking & Pumping

Gordon Shrader Farms

Robert Johnston Farms

Ag Services – Page

Plains Cover Crop

Hammer Insurance

Ferguson Ag

Lazy T Tire & Implement

Antelope County News/Orchard News

The Verdigre Eagle

Corner Hardware & More

Central Valley Ag

Cut it Up

Butch’s Body Shop


Willie’s Service

TJ’s Market

Orchard Lumber

Sugarz Café

Orchard Old School Thrift

Jack & Karen Allemang

Grant & Dian Magnuson

Jeff & Amanda Shabram

Monte & Rita Shabram