Niskayuna students compete at annual lift-off competition

Dylan Pantalone squats over 300 pounds in the  weight lifting competition at Niskayuna High School Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (PETER R. BARBER/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)Dylan Pantalone squats over 300 pounds in the weight lifting competition at Niskayuna High School Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (PETER R. BARBER/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)

BY MICHAEL KELLY
Gazette Sportswriter

NISKAYUNA — Upwards of 50 students from Niskayuna High School took part in a weight-lifting contest March 1 at the school.

Participants were broken down into weight classes and able to compete in as many as four different lifts. Freshmen and sophomores competed against one another, while juniors and seniors competed in a separate division.

The Warrior Project — a club at the high school which promotes healthy living and sportsmanship in athletes —  sponsored the event, which also served as a  fundraiser to make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.

This year’s “Max Out Day” contest was the second annual lift-off.

Paul Tan executes a bench press at the weight lifting competition at Niskayuna High School Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (PETER R. BARBER/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)

Paul Tan executes a bench press at the weight lifting competition at Niskayuna High School Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (PETER R. BARBER/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)

“This is a good time of the year for it,” said John Furey, The Warrior Project’s faculty adviser. “Kids are still in school as opposed to the summer, and most of them are in between [athletic] seasons. A lot of our kids lift during the winter, so it’s a good time for us to do it.”

In the division for ninth- and 10th-graders, nine students won lift-off titles in the various weight classes.

Alex Singsheim practices a dead lift at the weight lifting competition at Niskayuna High School Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (PETER R. BARBER/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)

Alex Singsheim practices a dead lift at the weight lifting competition at Niskayuna High School Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (PETER R. BARBER/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)

In the fewer-than-145-pound weight class, Paul Tan won the bench; Mike Wager won the clean; and, Matt Cutting won both the squat and deadlift.

From 145 to 169 pounds, Tyler Ferguson recorded lifts of the heaviest weights in both the bench and clean, while Sam Mrazik won the squat and deadlift.

At 170 to 189 pounds, Cole Pipa won the bench and clean, while Reggie Melvin won the squat and deadlift.

In 190 to 220 pounds, Sarkar Sourov won titles in the bench, clean, and squat. Meanwhile, Feras Daas won the deadlift.

In the division for 11th- and 12th-graders, seven students won lift-off titles.

In the fewer-than-145-pound weight class, Dennis Robinson recorded top results in the bench and deadlift while Andrew Hartana led in the clean and squat.

Coach John Furey goes over competition rules before the late afternoon session of the weight lifting competition at Niskayuna High School Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (PETER R. BARBER/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)

Coach John Furey goes over competition rules before the late afternoon session of the weight lifting competition at Niskayuna High School Tuesday, March 1, 2016. (PETER R. BARBER/DAILY GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER)

At 145 to 169 pounds, Justin Frankel won the bench and tied in the deadlift with Alex Singsheim, who also won the clean and squat.

From 170 to 189 pounds, Sean Haffner won all four lifts.

At 190 to 220 pounds, Dylan Pantalone won the squat, the only contested category.

And, above 220 pounds, Tyler Senecal won the bench and clean, the only contested categories.

Furey said he expected the event to come back for a third edition next year.

About the Author

Michael Kelly
Michael Kelly is a sports reporter for Your Clifton Park and Your Niskayuna, weekly print publications of The Daily Gazette. Kelly grew up in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School in 2006. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Journalism. Kelly's work has been honored by the New York News Publishers Association, the New York State Associated Press Association, and the Associated Press Sports Editors. His work has previously been featured in The (Amsterdam) Recorder, The Saratogian, and Albany Times Union.