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Left: St. James Academy senior Zack Rodina stands at the top of the podium after winning the 173-pound weight class at the Kansas 5A state powerlifting meet on March 3 at Bonner Springs High School. Middle: St. James Academy seniors Nick Farnsworth, left, and Rio Martinez, right, pose for photos on the podium after placing second and first, respectively, in the 242-pound weight class at the Kansas 5A state powerlifting meet on March 3 at Bonner Springs High School. Right: Mill Valley junior Abby Berner shows off her medals from the Horton powerlifting meet. Berner finished as the runner-up in the 140-pound weight class at the Kansas 5A state powerlifting meet on March 3 at Bonner Springs High School.

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SJA's Rodina, Martinez win state powerlifting titles; MV's Berner earns state runner-up honors

Lifting weights serves as a way to build strength for all different sports, but for some athletes in the Shawnee area, it's much more than that. More than a dozen athletes from the area competed at the Kansas 5A state powerlifting meet on March 3 at Bonner Springs High School. St. James Academy seniors Zack Rodina and Rio Martinez highlighted the meet by winning state titles in their respective weight classes. Rodina and Martinez led St. James to third place. Mill Valley junior Abby Berner was the state runner-up in the 140-pound girls division. Berner earned at least one medal in all three of her meets in her first season of powerlifting.

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