Spending hour after hour in the weight room has certainly paid off for three local high school boys.
Anthony Dodd, an Oregon resident and a senior at Toledo Christian High, competed in the Division 4-5-6 state power lifting championships on March 12 at Kenton High School and set new state records in the squat and dead lift.
Dodd, who competed in the 210-pound weight class, had a 700-pound squat and a 605-pound deadlift. He won his weight class with a combined total of 1,630 pounds, which included a 325-pound bench press.
“That was my best meet by far,” Dodd said. “I felt really good going into that week. The week before, I felt good and I rested up. Opening up in the squat with my lifts, I knew I was probably going to hit a big number.”
Dodd does more than just lift weights. He was an all-conference defensive lineman and also started at offensive guard for coach John Miller's Toledo Christian football team last fall. On Tuesday, the left-hander was the winning pitcher in the Eagles' 4-3 win over Liberty Center.
TC baseball coach Ron Rightnowar playfully called the 5-foot-11 Dodd “a beast.”
“He's a freak,” the coach said. “He's a great kid, a fun-loving kid.”
Dodd, the grandson of former Oregon councilwoman Sharon Rudess, trains with Toledo Christian strength and conditioning coach Doug Nostrant, a former power lifter and bodybuilder, four days a week. He also trains at Maumee Bay Turf Center with his buddies, Canan Smith, a friend since childhood, Mike Burdges and Joe Upham.
“They all have different styles of lifting and that's helped me out on my bench press and stuff,” Dodd said. “There are lots of different ways and looks on how to get at it with different people's opinions.”
Dodd added that Nostrant and Rightnowar have been positive influences in his life.
“Coach Nostrant has helped me out more than just a coach,” Dodd said. “I stay at his house sometimes during the week and I go in the mornings and train with him. He's been a big influence in my life. He does more things for me than just being my coach.
“Coach Rightnowar, too, has been another big influence in my life and he has helped me out a lot. He's been really encouraging about weightlifting. We have baseball, but he's been cool about letting me go (compete).”
Canan Smith, a senior at Clay, competed at the Division 1-2-3 state power lifting championships on March 19 at Kenton High School and won the 155-pound weight class. Smith's 1,210-pound total included a 260-pound bench, a 485-pound squat and a 465-pound dead lift.
“I was happy,” Smith said. “I had a five-pound personal best on the squat and a 10-pound personal best in the dead lift. On the bench, I was kind of tired from squatting and I hopped out of my groove. I've gotten 270 in the gym, but I was happy with 260.”
Smith said he and Dodd trained together quite a bit last summer at Maumee Bay Turf.
“Pound for pound, we're pretty much the same strength,” Smith said. “He moves more weight than me, but he weighs 50 pounds more than me. But, he's a real strong kid for sure.”
Smith said he'll soon begin serious training for an International Powerlifting Association meet in July. He said he wants to have a good meet in memory of his late uncle, Troy Scott.
“He passed away a couple months ago, and he was a national power lifting champion and a multi-state champion,” Smith said. “I wanted to pursue a (power lifting) career for my uncle, who is looking down on me. I have some of his gear that I bring to meets with me, and it definitely helps me.”
Another Clay senior, Luke Powell, also competed in the state power lifting meet on March 19 in Kenton. Powell won the state title at 185 pounds. He had a three-lift total of 1,265 pounds that included a 500-pound squat, a 480-pound deadlift and a 285-pound bench.
Powell, an outfielder on Clay's baseball team, said he earned four medals and a plaque.
“I cut eight pounds to get to 185,” he said. “I thought I would have a better chance at that weight. I checked the totals from last year's meet and 185 was just a weak class. I did get a PR in the squat; my previous best was about 480.”
Powell, who also trains at Maumee Bay Turf with Smith, has won three of the four power lifting competitions he has entered.
“I've been at the regional at Northwood three times and won it twice at 195 (pounds),” Powell said, “and now I won at 185 at states this year. Last year I couldn't go to states because of baseball. This year, I pushed for it. I was hungry. I got to go this year and I didn't let them down.”
Powell's squat and dead lift totals are even more impressive given the fact that he has nine screws and three metal plates in his right hip, the result of a football injury in the seventh grade.
“It's a little nerve-wracking,” Powell said. “One wrong movement could end it for me.”