After wrapping up grueling football and wrestling seasons, it would be understandable for Levi Petroske to take it easy these days.
That’s not the case, however, as the Waupaca High School senior, fresh off of a fourth-place finish at the state wrestling meet, placed second in his weight class March 8-9 at the Wisconsin High School Powerlifting Association State Championships in Osceola.
Petroske placed second at 165 pounds with a combined lifting weight of 1,240 pounds. That total includes a new state record of 335 in the bench lift, 440 in the squat lift and 465 in the dead lift.
He also qualified for the USAPL Powerlifting High School Nationals, set for March 28-30 in Killeen, Texas.
Not bad for someone competing in his second meet ever.
“I get up at 5 every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and go to the gym and lift,” said Petroske, who placed fourth at 160 pounds in Division 2 earlier this month at the State Individual Wrestling Meet in Madison.
The state meet, held at Osceola High School, was only his second competition. He qualified for state earlier this year at his first meet in Neenah.
That inexperience doesn’t seem to hurt Petroske.
“A lot of it is technique,” he said. “I really think I have a shot at placing at nationals.”
Petroske competed against almost 30 other lifters at state.
“It was really fun and competitive,” he said. “Powerlifting is the only sport for a lot of these kids. I didn’t meet any other wrestlers, but I know some of the other bigger guys play football.”
Petroske took a break from lifting because of wrestling, but he recently started a new workout schedule to prepare for Texas.
“I’ll lift from 5:30 to about 7:15 and from 3:30 to 6 Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” he said. “Tuesday and Thursday are my stretching days. It’s a steady increase and my diet has to be really healthy.”
Petroske said the bench lift is his favorite event. The old state record of 295 that he broke in Osceola had stood since 2008.
“I’m not bad at the squat or dead lift, but I’m more better at bench,” he said.
There’s a chance that Petroske’s powerlifting experience will end at nationals, but he plans to get into bodybuilding and wants to wrestle at the University of Wisconsin-0shkosh.
“Their coach reached out to me,” he said. “I know I got stronger during the football season and lifting helped a lot with wrestling.”