From the Tiger Stadium turf and surrounding track to the mirrored walls of the old weight room and continuing down the hall to the new weight room known as “The Jungle,” Farmington football’s Ironman competition showcased a summer’s worth of sweat, strain and success.
On Tuesday evening, 76 Farmington football players entering their sophomore to senior seasons gathered to test themselves in seven events: clean, 40-yard dash, back squat, L-drill, tire flips, bench press and vertical jump.
At stake: the Ironman title, an award bestowed for 19 years by Scott Meier, Farmington strength and conditioning coach and the National High School Strength Coaches Association state director.
Meier said his scoring system is based on track and field’s decathlon and is unique in the world of strength and conditioning.
“I get calls from coaches a lot,” Meier said. “Every pound a kid lifts adds points. Every hundredth of a second in the running events adds points. So you want to do the best you can in everything.”
Meier’s Ironman competition is a prime example of high schools throughout the metro area promoting methods of strength and conditioning that entice athletes to invest in themselves.
“All summer long the kids are looking toward this,” Meier said. “It’s a big goal-setting thing.”
Junior running back Zac Janz (pictured above, middle) entered Tuesday’s competition with big goals.
“I just wanted to win it because last year I got third and the two guys who beat me were seniors,” Janz said. “I felt like there was almost some pressure because before we started guys were saying, ‘You’re going to win.’”
As the competition wore on, Janz realized those encouraging teammates were right. He bested the field in clean, back squat and 40-yard dash, and tied for first in bench press.
Janz finished with 5,617 points, a new school record.
“Zac was unbelievable,” Meier said.
Senior safety Luke Weierke (above, left) placed second and senior offensive lineman Jake Nelson (above, right), who tied Janz in bench press points, claimed bronze.
Other event winners were Eli Green (vertical jump), Matthew Rogstad (tire flip) and Jack Savasten (L-drill).
Beyond individual achievement, this group of Tigers set new program standards. In back squat, a record 37 athletes posted a max of 300 pounds or more. A record 10 athletes soared to vertical jumps of 30 inches or better. And a record 21 athletes clocked five seconds or under in the 40-yard dash.
The next goal for this bigger, faster, stronger group of Tigers is improving on Friday nights. Farmington won just three games over the past two seasons. But if Tuesday’s results are any indication, this group is poised to compete and succeed.
“We all work out together every morning in the summer so this is the end goal,” Janz said. “Having it all in one day and having the whole football team creates a lot of energy and a cool environment.”
Senior offensive lineman Jack Baumbach placed third in back squat.
Senior offensive lineman Jake Nelson placed second in clean.
Senior offensive lineman Devan Christensen completed 28 tire flips in 60 seconds.
Senior Luke Weierke posted a 31-inch vertical leap, good for fourth.
Junior defensive back Jake Wisdorf clocked 4.94 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Junior defensive back Jack Savasten, running the L-drill, placed ninth overall in the Ironman competition.