Reed Witkoski brought an attitude and work ethic to powerlifting that not only should be shared, but it should bring a new wave of inspiration.

Witkoski, a 16-year old Mount Carmel Area sophomore, won a USAPL state championship at Temple University, on March 16.

The MCA student has come a long way after dealing with a plethora of injuries, including a broken right elbow that required a four-inch screw and a tethered wire, which, at one point, broke off and went into Witkoski’s right tricep.

Witkoski is not 100 percent healthy, however, he is working two hours per day and six days each week in the gym as he prepares for his next powerlifting competition in Alexandria, Louisiana, Thursday.

“I think about the hours and days spent in the gym and I don’t want them wasted,” Witkoski said about the motivation behind his pursuit of victory during competitions.

Witkoski did not expect to be in his current position, but his numbers cannot be ignored.

At the state championships, Witkoski benched 264 pounds, had a deadlift of 496 and a squat of 418.

Each contestant has their performance scored by three U.S. powerlifting officials; lifters must listen to what the officials are saying during the contest and two of the three judges must approve of a lifter’s performance in order for advancement.

Is Witkoski hoping his success helps bring more attention and participants to powerlifting?

“Definitely, I have buddies who have joined the same gym I go to and they’ve gotten into it,” Witkoski said about the immediate effects of his time lifting.

“I have a friend who is doing push and pull competitions and another might join him.”

Witkoski also finished first in the Pennsylvania Teenage PL Championships at Parkland High School, in Allentown. He also won first place in the 16-year old Raw Division at Clark Summit, Abington Heights. The sophomore is unequipped during lifting sessions and only wears a USA PL approved belt.

“I love the gym and I like to workout, but I never saw this happening. It’s humbling,” Witkoski said.

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