Power Lifting as a sport has been institutionalized at Basehor-Linwood High school. Their Annual meet has brought as many as 850 lifters to the competition, but this year that number was closer to 650.
“It’s grown, it’s nice because where we are it’s nice because we pull from Missouri, we’ve even pulled from Nebraska, and obviously a lot of Kansas High schools,” said Ross Schwiso, Basehor-Linwood Strength and Conditioning coach.
The meet consist of three events where the total weight moved by a lifter is added up to the aggregate score for the day. The events included are bench press, back squat, and a hang/power clean.
One athlete that competes and represents Basehor-Linwood is Austin Salazar, a senior who also plays on the football team.
“Since my sophomore year, when I started lifting, I fell in love with it,” said Salazar. “When you fall in love with something you want to keep doing it no matter what.”
But last year when preparing for the Kansas State Championship Austin suffered an injury that could have stopped his lifting career in it’s tracks.
“So for the week going to that event he is just working technique and he had a technical breakdown,” said Schwiso. “ He put himself in a bad position, using too much weight on what he was saying was technique, and the bone couldn’t handle the stress.”
Austin broke his arm, which dangled at a 45-degree angle. As if that wasn’t enough when his arm was set in the cast the arm healed incorrectly resulting in the doctors having to re-brake his arm to correctly set it.
“So 6 weeks of healing actually turned into 12 weeks of healing,” added Lesa Salazar, Austin’s mother.
The injury sidelined Salazar till the fall of his senior year, almost 6 months. But now his coach believes that the injury has helped him realize the importance of technique.
“I think that he tightened up everything,” Said Schwiso. “He tightened up technique.
The fact is, his numbers aren’t there quite yet, but he’s building the foundations and he’ll end up getting it.”
Injuries like these are what Sports Medicine Physician Luis Salazar M.D, no relation, specializes in. However he looks to do more than just heal when athletes come into his office.
“I use that as an opportunity to usually educate,” said Dr. Salazar.
Dr. Salazar also worries about the ideals of power lifting. “Know your limitations, just because someone is yelling at you in a stressful competition or a one max lift, know where pain is true pain”
Which is exactly what Coach Schwiso thinks, “I think everything needs to be for the other result, for what the performance will then parley to (in) your sport.”
Austin is looking to increase his numbers as his Mother and Father watch hoping that what happened almost a year ago does not repeat itself.
The following video is of Austin breaking the Basehor-Linwood School Record on the Hang Clean before he broke his arm:
** Supplemental video and photos courtesy of Lesa Salazar.