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Farmington football completes 18th annual Ironman competition

Junior Jake Nelson, who's in the middle of a bench press rep, took fifth overall in the Ironman. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 6
Senior quarterback Alijah Moe starts his Ironman off with the tire flip. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 6
Senior Nate Roschen tied for the top clean max on the team, fourth in the back squat and won the bench press. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 6
Sophomore Zachary Janz ran a 4.67 40-yard dash and took third in the competition. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 6
Senior Nick Savisik, pictured in the middle of a clean, finished second in Farmington football's 18th annual Ironman Competition. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 6
Senior Adam Weed attempts the L-drill. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 6

Farmington High School was loud last Wednesday evening. Screams, yells and clangs rang out the entire evening as the Tigers' football team held their 18th annual Ironman competition under the direction of physical education teacher and strength and conditioning coach Scott Meier. The event first started out as a way for the football team to show off on the first day of practice the gains its players had made during offseason and grew from there.

"We used to do it on the first day of practice and it was a way for guys to show what they've done in the off-season to get ready," Meier said. "Typically, we spread out our testing over the course of a week, but obviously in-season teams don't have that kind of time. So we decided to do it all in one day and then came up with a decathlon-style point system and made a competition out of it. With MSHSL rules now that limit pre-season practices a little more, Coach Fischer (the head football coach) moved the Ironman to the summer instead."

The competition consists of seven events—the clean, back squat, bench press, tire flip, 40-yard dash, L-drill and vertical jump—and athletes earn points in each event that go toward their overall Ironman total points. The winner of the competition was senior Justin Gutsalyuk with a total of 4,991 points, almost a 100 more than second-place and fellow senior Nick Savisik (4,897). In third with 4,813 points was sophomore Zachary Janz, fourth was senior Luke Grengs with 4,743 points and fifth was junior Jake Nelson (4,638).

Nelson and senior Nate Roschen tied for the top clean max of 288 pounds, followed by Grengs with 276, Savisik with 270 and junior Luke Weierke with 269. Senior Brendan Gorr set a back squat max of 449 pounds, closely followed by Nelson with 443 and O'Brien with 429. Roschen set a mark of 417 and senior Zach Hanson had a max of 409. The third weight lift was the bench press, which was won by Roschen with a max of 286 and right behind him were Gorr with 279 and senior Jordan Schultz and Nelson with 276. Savisik benched a max of 256. The highest lift total (the combination of clean, squat and bench) belongs to Nelson with a total of 1,007 pounds.

The outside drills were the 40-yard dash, L-drill (aka the three-cone drill) and tire flip. In the tire flip, the athletes had one minute to see how many times they could flip a tractor tire. Three competitors tied with 32 flips—Janz, Nelson and senior Jameson Shrum—followed by Gutsalyuk, Grengs and juniors Tyler Norris and Hunter Hedlund with 31. Savisik, Hanson, sophomores Isaac Ask and Kyle Newham and senior Alijah Moe all had 30. Ask won the L-drill with a time of seven seconds flat, followed by Gutsalyuk in 7.04, Savisik with a 7.07, sophomore Hunter Jones in 7.12 and seniors Adam Weed and Grengs in 7.14. Gutsalyuk ran a blazing 40-yard dash with a time of 4.58 seconds to win the event, followed by Savisik with a 4.62, Janz ran a 4.67, junior Erick Pomrenke was just off with a 4.71 and Moe and Weierke each had a 4.85. Adam Weed ran a 4.55 but since he was limited as to what drills he participated in, he was not eligible to win an event.

Last but certainly not least, the vertical jump was held in the new "The Jungle" weight room. Moe almost hit three feet with a 34.5 inch vertical, followed by Gutsalyuk with 34, Weierke with a 30.5 inch jump, Savisik had a 30 and Janz, Nelson, senior Colton Weckworth and sophomore Max Darrington all had leaps of 29.5.

Once the results were tallied, Meier said that while they did not have the top-end numbers that previous years had, the team's averages across each event were some of the highest of the event's 18-year run. This year's clean averages ranked third out of those 18 years, the back squat was second, bench press tied for fourth, vertical third, L-drill tied for third and for 40 times it was the fastest year yet.

This year was the first year the event was opened to the public, but Meier said for the most part the event has stayed the same. Head football coach Adam Fischer said that he enjoys the environment the event creates and the competition it brings out in the players. Practice starts for the Tigers in mid-August and their first game is at home versus Woodbury on Friday, August 31.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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