Eisenhower senior wins powerlifting state championship

By: Thomas Franz | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 28, 2016

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — In just two years, Utica Eisenhower senior Madison TenHopen has gone from never previously touching a weight to becoming a state champion powerlifter.

TenHopen had always been active with working out for Eisenhower’s swimming and softball teams, but that didn’t include strict weightlifting. When she began crossfit training with trainer Burt Beauchamp in 2014, that changed almost immediately.

“That was all new to me. I’ve always been into sports. I played softball and I swam, but I never touched weights,” TenHopen said. “Out of everything I did in crossfit, lifting always came to me the best, and when you’re good at something, you run with it.”

Although she began crossfit training two years ago, TenHopen didn’t begin a strict powerlifting program until this past October. In December, she created a powerlifting club at Eisenhower so that she could compete against other high schoolers in regional and state competitions.

After lifting a total of 865 pounds at regionals, she lifted 815 pounds at the state finals on March 11. In doing so, TenHopen also set three new state records, which can only be set at the state meet.

She squatted 300 pounds to break the previous record of 275, and her bench press of 175 pounds broke the previous record by 20 pounds. She deadlifted 340 pounds to bring her total weight to 815 pounds, which beat the old record of 755. She won her weight division at states by 65 pounds and had the highest pound-to-pound ratio of any powerlifter in any division.

While her bench press at states tied a personal best, her squat lift of 310 pounds and deadlift of 365 pounds were personal bests set at regionals.

TenHopen and Beauchamp said the circumstances surrounding the state meet didn’t allow for TenHopen to reach her maximum weight.

“States was kind of ridiculous with how many people they had. For her to do what she did was pretty remarkable with that many people,” Beauchamp said.

TenHopen said the meet took about six hours to complete the required nine lifts, three in each category. There were 30 lifters in her weight class. To stay loose, TenHopen said she flipped tires and used dumbbells in a nearby hallway.

“I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so not being able to reach my high numbers or set a new personal record was a little discouraging, but still knowing I can get that high with the wait time and the number of lifters in my weight class was definitely like a new benchmark that I hit for myself,” TenHopen said.

“For me, it was very satisfying,” Beauchamp said. “Madison is very critical of herself, so she always thinks she can do more. Going up to states was extremely satisfying; she knew she was doing very well given the circumstances at states. She wanted to hit bigger numbers even though they are state records, but the circumstances just didn’t allow for it.”

Since beginning the powerlifting program set out by Beauchamp, TenHopen said she has seen her bench press improve by about 40 pounds, while she has added 20 pounds and 10 pounds to her squat and deadlift, respectively.

“Not too many people are as hard of a worker as Madison,” Beauchamp said. “That was evident day one. For her, probably for the first year she was working with me, everything was moving up, and you get to a point where it’s harder to make gains because you’re that good.”

TenHopen, who is a third baseman, catcher and co-captain of Eisenhower’s softball team, said that her improvements in squatting and deadlifting have helped improve her power hitting the most.

“It definitely keeps me in shape and keeps me responsible for keeping a training regimen. I’ve definitely noticed that when my squat and deadlift numbers go up, I have a lot more power with my hitting. I was never a power hitter before, but now I can see I can hit the ball farther with a lot more power,” TenHopen said.

TenHopen said she is considering attending Ohio State University or the University of Michigan for college to study kinesiology.