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CHAMPIONS of the 2024 Orchard Powerlifting Meet…

The 2024 Orchard AAU Powerlifting Meet was held this past Friday & Saturday, April 5th & 6th with an awesome line-up of 170+ registered lifters from across the midwest.  This year’s meet was a National meet, so two days of competition were required to accommodate the crowd of lifters striving for State, American and even World records!  It was the 17th year for the Orchard Meet and the largest one ever.  Forty-two Niobrara-Verdigre powerlifters competed in this year’s AAU Championships.  These lifters had an outstanding day breaking sixteen total State, American, and World records and one Niobrara-Verdigre school record.  Not to mention many lifters setting numerous personal bests.  The entire field of competition saw 18 different lifters set a total of 36 State records, 8 American records, and even 4 world records by age/weight class.  Among that group was our very own Levi Hoferer, Alex Motacek, Melody Bonham, and Raquel Morales-Montalvo.  Then Mykel Murray steped up to the platform and established new AAU American & World records in the bench press & deadlift!  Niobrara-Verdigre also had the Elsie Magwire memorial female outstanding lifter of the meet based on strength index.  Holly Pavlik won this award with a strength index of 4.24.  Another special award was presented to Lorenzo Denny.  He won the Conner Jackman Memorial Warrior Spirit 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 Isaac Pavlik re-setting his own record in the squat with a lift of 408 lbs.  After the busy day of lifting was finished, the Niobrara-Verdigre team earned the 2024 Nebraska AAU championship trophies in the Jr. High/High School Co-ed AND Jr. high/High School Boys team divisions!

The top 6 jr. high/high school co-ed teams… 1st place Niobrara-Verdigre (91 points); 2nd North Platte (78); 3rd Summerland (77); 4th Boyd County (76); 5th Columbus (43), 6th Centura (37).

The top 3 combined jr. high/high school boys teams… 1st place Niobrara-Verdigre (80 pts); 2nd place Boyd County (68); 3rd place Summerland (40); 4th place Centura (27); 5th place Ainsworth (13); Johnson-Brock (12).

The top 3 combined student/adult teams… 1st place Team Schellen (97 pts); 2nd place North Platte (78); 3rd place Tri-County (61).


Niobrara-Verdigre had an amazing 11 individual AAU champions:   Levi Hoferer 88 lb (raw) class, Charles Frame 97 lb (raw) class, Parker Frank 114 lb youth (raw) class, Mykel Murray 132 lb youth (raw) class, Lorenzo Denny 308 lb (raw) class, Christine Mechaley 97 lb (raw) class, Sydney Kumm 105 lb (equipped) class, Holly Pavlik 132 lb (raw) class, Emmarie Pavlik 148 lb (raw-bench only) class, Raquel Morales-Montalvo 220 lb (raw) class, and Emilee Babcock 220+ lb youth (raw) class.  Sixteen lifters won the silver medal in their weight class... Alex Motacek 114 lb (raw) class, Logan Collingsworth 132 lb youth (raw) class, Danny Pease 132 lb (raw) class, Zackary Rohrer 148 lb youth (raw) class, Wyatt Shabram 148 lb (equipped) class, Jacob Motacek 181 lb (raw) class, Isaac Pavlik 220 lb (raw) class, Gunnar Shabram 242 lb open (raw) class, Jeff Shabram 242 lb masters (raw) class, Gwen Bonham 105 lb (raw) class, Melody Bonham 114 lb (raw) class, Billie Pritchett 123 lb (raw) class, Miranda Stohlmann 165 lb (raw) class, Taylor Pavlik 181 lb (raw) class, Nellie Jean Denny 198 lb youth (raw) class, and Chelsey Rohrer 198 lb (raw) class.  Four lifters won the bronze medal in their weight class… Landyn Frank 123 lb (raw) class, Praeson Klub 275 lb (raw) class, Kami Simons 148 lb (raw) class, and Amaryah Block 165 lb (raw) class.  Other Cougar medalists were… Murdock MacAskill 4th place 123 lb class youth, Carson Janak 132 lb class youth, Westin Bauer 4th place 165 lb class, Jase Kotrous 4th place 181 lb class, Jordon Ingebo 4th place 198 lb class, Aliyah Yunker 4th place 181 lb class, Beckett Wessendorf 5th place 181 lb class, Heidi Hollmann 5th place 148 lb class, Izaak Vakoc 6th place 181 lb class, Coy Wickersham 6th place 198 lb class, and Arlan Lammers 7th place 165 lb class.  It was an impressive display of power this weekend !

Saturday’s meet was the last of the 2023-24 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 hard-working 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.aaunebraskapowerlifting.com website under the 2024 Orchard Meet link.  Saturday was an overall amazing display of power for many of the competitors.  The heaviest total this year was lifted by Brian Benshoof of Bellevue with 1614 pounds!  Other highlights included American and State records set in the bench press by two girls from Boyd County... Amelia Hakl & Kaylee Bennett.  Congratulations to all lifters!  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, Jordan Volden, Monte Shabram, Jack Allemang, Grant Magnuson, Jacob Behnk, Mike Kirby, Savanna Ferris, Gunnar Shabram, Justin Reiley, and RaeLynne Nelson.  Spotters & loaders Heydon Strope, Deric Sayers, Kelly Wagner, Justin Reiley, Trey Sucha, Kaiden Bauer, Kevin Leininger, Lorenzo Denny, Paul Krutz, Kellen Vesely, Isaac Hoferer, Wyatt Shabram, Gunnar Shabram, Joseph Kittleson, Amelia Hakl, and Kaylee Bennett.  The scorer’s table consisting of Amanda Shabram, Larissa Thomson, Brittney Krutz, Karla Uhlir, Ann Holz, Olivia Holz, Kristi Rohrer, Jennifer Pritchett, Maura Hoferer, Sydney Kumm, and Miranda Stohlmann kept this large meet running smoothly.  Ticket table and t-shirts Rita Shabram and Sally Cronk.  Video was run by Cassidy Denny.  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 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…

2024 Orchard Powerlifting Meet Sponsors

Shabram Grinding                                                                                                            Antelope County Visitors Committee

Finch Contracting                                                                                                             Tip Top Lawn Care

Hi-Way 20 Seed/Plains Cover Crop                                                                           Diamond S Insurance/DSPix

Bank of Orchard                                                                                                               Hammer Insurance

Brunswick State Bank                                                                                                     Ferguson Ag

Two Cedar Fencing                                                                                                          Cut it Up

Ag Services – Page                                                                                                          Willie’s Service

Around the Horn Sportscards                                                                                     TJ’s Market

Lazy T Tire & Implement                                                                                               Simons Trucking & Pumping

Summerland Advocate-Messenger                                                                         Gordon Shrader Farms

Antelope County News/Orchard News                                                                  Robert Johnston Farms

The Verdigre Eagle                                                                                                          Orchard Old School Thrift

Corner Hardware & More                                                                                            Josh & Angela Gray

Central Valley Ag                                                                                                              Jack & Karen Allemang

Butch’s Body Shop                                                                                                          Grant & Dian Magnuson

Dusty’s                                                                                                                                 Jeff & Amanda Shabram

Orchard Lumber                                                                                                               Monte & Rita Shabram

Sugarz Café