The odds are pretty low that a town with a population of less than 2500 would produce two National Champion Power Lifters is unlikely. Logan Cleary and Kaden Downing beat the odds at the 2019 USA Powerlifting High School National championships last weekend.
“It was definitely humbling to see that all my hard work paid off and all my hours in the gym was put to good use,” said Downing.
Cleary and Downing, both sophomores at Nekoosa high school, are still pretty new to the sport.
“I was only in like 8th grade,” said Cleary. “I was competing with the guys in high school so i was like ‘alright, i’m pretty strong,’ so I did my first meet. I won and I was like, ‘alright I like this, I think i’m going to continue doing it.’ ”
As they worked the weight continued to grow. Which eventually led them both to becoming National Champions. However, Cleary had more than just winning the championship on his mind, he wanted to break records.
“Well I knew about the records,” said Cleary. “So i set my goals (and) I reached them.”
In Louisiana, Cleary set two new national records for his age group in both dead lift, where he lifted 661 pounds. He also took the record for total weight lifted through the three events,bench press, squat and dead lift, which totaled an astonishing 1758 pounds.
“Well you know, if you work hard and don’t slack off, it starts to pay off.,” said Cleary.
It’s sentiment that his friend and fellow National Championship winning partner echoes.
“If you try your hardest at a sport and you put enough dedication and work into that it’ll all pay off in the end if you try hard enough and believe in yourself,” Downing said through a smile.