Matthew Magette told the Eudora Times in February that he wanted to become a state champion powerlifter. 

He accomplished that goal Saturday at the 4A state powerlifting meet in Wellington. 

“All those long early morning practices and Saturdays at meets made it worth it,” Magette said. “Now I can start thinking about going back-to-back next season.” 

The men’s and women’s teams combined brought home four state championships and several top-three finishes in individual lifts. 

“The kids had their own expectations, and I had my own expectations going into it,” head coach Scott Russell said. “Both teams totally blew away all expectations for the first year doing this.” 

Magette was the overall champion of the 173-pound class, lifting 935 total pounds among his three qualifying lifts. He finished first in both squat and hang clean, and third in bench. While the individual success is great, Magette was thrilled to share that success with the rest of his team.

“The best part is that I’m not the only state champion,” Magette said. “It’s great to have a team to do this with and compete with.”

The two other state champions on the men’s team were Micah Barron (156-pound class) and Braylen Hoobler (198-pound class). Barron’s combined weight among his three lifts was 885 pounds and Hoobler’s was 975 pounds. 

The men’s team placed sixth out of 13 teams.

The women’s team was led by Madison Karten, who always knew she wanted to be a state champion powerlifter.

“Right as you walk in the weight room there are pictures on the wall of people who had been to state powerlifting,” Karten said. “And I knew I wanted to be one of them someday.”

She tried to get a powerlifting team started her freshman and sophomore years under the former weightlifting coach. She was the first student to ask Russell about getting a team organized once he arrived at Eudora.

“I knew he was coming from Basehor, and they have a huge powerlifting team,” Karten said. “I walked right up to him the first day I had him in class and told him I wanted to get a team started, and he put a lot of effort into making it an amazing experience.”

Karten placed first in all three lifts in the 165-pound class, lifting a total of 665 pounds.

“Getting that first medal, I was like, ‘Wow, I never thought this would happen,’” Karten said. “Then getting the second and third medal was all around amazing. Then hearing my name called for first overall in my class was surreal, and I was absolutely shocked.”

Karten wasn’t the only member of the women’s team to bring home hardware.

Liz Mueting had the third-best hang clean lift in the 132-pound class. 

Jaiden Burris placed second overall in the 180-pound class. She lifted a total of 550 pounds overall.

Reese Pattison and Brennan Moeckel finished second and third overall, respectively, in the women’s PWT class. Both women lifted 590 pounds among each of their three qualifying lifts. 

The women’s team finished third out of 13 teams and brought home a plaque to hang on the wall. 

“It was honestly amazing,” Karten said. “Everyone on the team was so supportive of one another during each other’s lifts, and I absolutely loved it.”

Now the team looks to continue building the championship culture they established this season.

“I’m hoping people will see the success and want to be a part of it, and I hope I get to see the team continue to grow,” Magette said. 

Some have already approached Karten with an interest in joining the team next season.

“I told them they 100% should join,” Karten said. “Everyone is so friendly and supportive of each other, and I think everyone should get to experience that.”

Reach reporter Dylan Funk at

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