SST event brings out the fire in local schools

“It’s grueling.”


“It’s a killer.”

“You have to stick around and watch it.”

Those were the words that many were using to describe the “Fight Gone Bad” contest in the Nikiski High School gym Wednesday night at the Speed Strength Training competition.

Of course, “FGB” is only one part of the SST event, which focuses on building speed, strength, agility, stamina and technique for high school students in lifting.

Nikiski, Skyview and Kenai Central schools all provide the SST curriculum, which comprises the competition that over 75 students participated in Wednesday. In order to partake, students must enroll in the class that teaches the proper techniques in the clean, snatch and squat lifting events, and also focuses on speed and agility training. The speed and agility portion of the SST competition is scheduled for the fall semester.

For some students, like Nikiski sophomore Christian Riddall, SST is a way of training for high school sports in the offseason.

“After football, everything’s offseason,” Riddall said on Wednesday. “Other sports are just for fun.

“My dad put me into lifting in seventh grade, and it’s a great stress reliever. If I get angry during school, I’ll come lift and have fun. It definitely keeps me not fat, because I eat a lot. This burns the calories.”

Riddall reached 255 pounds in the clean on Wednesday, which beat out his friend Luke Johnson, also a sophomore.

“I felt pretty good, I wish I could’ve done more on those squats,” he said. “I kind of let myself down there. I beat my friend Luke so that’s good.”

Johnson hit 245 pounds in the clean and 165 in the snatch contests.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to get out here and get experience lifting,” Johnson said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to show how hard we’ve worked in the class.”

Skyview coach Eric Pomerleau brought the idea down to the Peninsula after using it at Service High School in Anchorage in connection with longtime strength and conditioning coach Steve Kenyon. Pomerleau involved Jeff Baker from Kenai Central and Ted Riddall from Nikiski in the program, and the three schools use video conferencing as a part of the curriculum.

“Steve Kenyon used it and we adopted it here at Skyview about four years ago,” Pomerleau said. “It’s the third year of the program with all the schools, and it’s worked out well.

“It’s a good platform to showcase it. Other programs like band hold concerts and performances to show those talents, and now we have SST.”

Most everybody else holds the same opinion. Skyview sophomore Adam O’Guinn said Pomerleau has helped him to improve in the areas he needed it.

“I think it’s well planned out and good, and I think all schools should do this,” O’Guinn said. “Kids need to be active, and it’s good for sports.”

Wednesday, the underclassmen were separated into their own division apart from the juniors and seniors, and each event featured two representatives from each school. The “Fight Gone Bad” event was the final contest of the night, and it featured five segments — box jumps, kettlebell swings, bar raises, medicine ball slams and throwing weighted balls over a line on the wall.

Athletes must attempt as many reps in 60 seconds before moving on to the next, and after the five minutes are up, repeat twice more. It comes out to 15 minutes of strenuous exercise.

“I did that once for a test in weight training,” O’Guinn said. “I didn’t really like it. It’s challenging for sure, it’ll push you.”


11th-12th grade girls

Squat — 1. Katie Costello, Nik, 245 pounds; 2. Ashley Perry, Ken, 240; 3. Madison White, Sky, 225; 4. Cat Schoessler, Sky, 185; 5. Jenna Calhoun, Ken, 175; 6. Bailey Buchholz, Nik, 165.

Cleans — T1. Cat Schoessler, Sky, 145; T1. Taylor Calderwood, Nik, 145; T3. Sidney Roumagoux, Sky, 135; T3. Justice English, Ken, 135; T3. Bailey Buchholz, Nik, 135; 6. Ibby Hawkins, Ken, 95.

Snatch — T1. Ashley Perry, Ken, 95; T1. Sidney Roumagoux, Sky, 95; T1. Madison White, Sky, 95; T1. Taylor Calderwood, Nik, 95.

FGB — 1. Justice English, Ken, 525; 2. Jenna Calhoun, Ken, 408; 3. Sam Reynolds, Sky, 353; 4. Sienna Wallis, Nik, 335; 5. Jodi Cook, Nik, 313.

11th-12th grade boys

Squat — 1. Lincoln Johnson, Nik, 425; 2. Stephen Hartley, Nik, 415; 3. Duncan Brewer, Ken, 405; 4. DJ Tourtelot, Sky, 375; 5. Jace Daniels, Ken, 335; 6. Austin Cunningham, Sky, 275.

Cleans — 1. Stephen Hartley, Nik, 285; 2. Riley Edwards, Sky, 255; 3. Gabe Holley, Sky, 245; T4. Garrett Feller, Nik, 235; T4. Jace Daniels, Ken, 235; 6. Jake Meyer, Ken, 205.

Snatch — 1. Gabe Holley, Sky, 195; 2. Lincoln Johnson, Nik, 185; 3. Duncan Brewer, Ken, 170; 4. Brad Smithwick, Ken, 165; 5. Tommy Johnson, Sky, 155; 6. Seth Carstens, Nik, 150.

FGB — 1. Jesse Ross, Nik, 616; 2. Devan Berry, Nik, 547; 3. Riley Edwards, Sky, 505; 4. Brad Smithwick, Ken, 475; 5 Tyler Brown, Ken, 456; 6. DJ Tourtelot, Sky, 392.

9th-10th grade girls

Squat — 1. Cipriana Castellano, Ken, 225; 2. Kiana Harding, Ken, 175; 3. Amanda Lawson, Sky, 165; 4. Hallie Riddall, Nik, 145; 5. Aurora Derflinger, Sky, 135.

Cleans — T1. Hannah Barcus, Ken, 125; T1. Beverly Schindler, Ken, 125; 3. Cierra Mahan, Sky, 120; 4. Amanda Lawson, Sky, 95; 5. Hallie Riddall, Nik, 90.

Snatch — 1. Kiana Harding, Ken, 90; 2. Heidi Perkins, Ken, 85; 3. Aurora Derflinger, Sky, 65.

FGB — 1. Beverly Schindler, Ken, 438; 2. Hannah Barcus, Ken, 395; 3. Rachel Thompson, Nik, 342; 4. Heather Tolliver, Sky, 222.

9th-10th grade boys

Squat — T1. Christian Riddall, Nik, 350; T1. Daniel Evans, Ken, 350; T3. Adam O’Guinn, Sky, 325; T3. Taylor Macrae, Sky, 325; T5. Chase Logan, Ken, 305; T5. Rory Hoeldt, Nik, 305.

Cleans — 1. Christian Riddall, Nik, 255; 2. Luke Johnson, Nik, 245; T3. Jace Baker, Ken, 225; T3. Daniel Evans, Ken, 225; 5. Sage Hill, Sky, 205; 6. Charles Gibsons, Sky, 185.

Snatch — 1. Luke Johnson, Nik, 165; 2. Adam O’Guinn, Sky, 160; T3. Jace Baker, Ken, 155; T3. Kyle Hunter, Ken, 155; 5. Taylor Macrae, Sky, 135; 6. John McCormick, Nik, 130.

FGB — 1. Travis Cooper, Ken, 536; 2. Kyle Foree, Ken, 481; 3. Tyler Handley, Nik, 464; 4. Charles Gibson, Sky, 406; 5. Nico Castro, Nik, 404; 6. Austin Craig, Sky, 399.


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