Myles ready to lead lifting program into inaugural event

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 8, 2022 in Men's Powerlifting

LIVE STREAM – MidAmerica Nazarene Open

SEWARD, Neb. – History will be made this weekend as the weightlifters of the Concordia University Lifting Sports program enter into competition at the MidAmerica Nazarene University Open in Olathe, Kan. It will be the inaugural event for a program led by Freddie Myles, announced as the first head coach of Bulldog Lifting Sports back in December 2021. The program is broken down into both powerlifting and weightlifting. Concordia powerlifters will weight until the Midland University Warrior Open on Oct. 8 to officially begin the 2022-23 season.

Since his hiring, Myles went to work on building up a roster that now numbers at 19 strong, when including both men’s and women’s weightlifters and powerlifters. Seven of those athletes will be headed to Kansas for action on Saturday (Sept. 10).

“I’m excited about it with it being our inaugural event as a program,” Myles said. “We have a lot of big aspirations now that we’re finally off the ground and competing, which is what every coach loves to do. I can’t wait to see our athletes compete. This is a fast turnaround after having started school three weeks ago. I think they’re all ready to have a good showing.”

The MidAmerica Nazarene Open will include collegiate athletes from institutions such as Concordia, Iowa State University, host MidAmerica Nazarene and Missouri Valley University. The event will also include competitions for youth and adult lifters. As is the standard, lifters will test their might in snatch and clean and jerk. The two disciplines are combined to determine place finishes.

The seven Bulldog competitors in Olathe will be:

·        Mary Berris (Windsor, Colo.)

·        Emily Guter (Rocklin, Calif.)

·        Rylee Kara (Osseo, Minn.)

·        Kayleigh Maloney (Nampa, Idaho)

·        Mitch Myers (Lakeville, Minn.)

·        Joe Vega (Middleton, Idaho)

·        Sydney Wadsworth (Meridian Idaho)

All seven athletes will be making their collegiate and Concordia debuts. While they each bring strong credentials to the gym, Myles doesn’t want his Bulldogs to feel any pressure heading into the first competition.

Said Myles, “This is the first time the athletes and I have worked together for a meet. It’s a process for athletes to understand what I’m looking for in terms of warmup expectations. It’s a big deal in weightlifting because it’s about timing. The bar goes up and it’s the coach’s job to get the athlete ready to take the weight they need to open with when it’s on the bar. Coaches have slightly different ways of doing it. I want this to be a successful steppingstone for their college careers. We’re looking for a lot of made lifts. We’re not looking for new records. It’s a starting point for the season. The regional meet in November is when we want to be at our best.”

To highlight some notable pre-collegiate achievements among Concordia individuals, Berris was a five-time Colorado state champion, Kara won three state titles, Maloney and Myers both garnered a state championship apiece and Guter was a third-place finisher at nationals.

Myles will be pushing them to reach new heights during their careers at Concordia. Once the semester began, the Bulldogs immediately dove into intensive training. Said Myles, “It’s rigorous. We do five days a week for an hour-and-a-half. Saturdays and Sundays are rest days. This week is different with us resting up for a competition. On Monday we’ll be back to our normal schedule, so they’re working hard.”

Following this weekend, the next meet on the weightlifting schedule will be the Midwest Regionals hosted by Iowa State on Nov. 5. As for powerlifting, the Warrior Open will be a precursor to the Midwest Regionals at William Jewell University (Mo.) on Nov. 19-20.