Boomer Alexander with trophies won enroute to the state
championship in the 123-lb. class
Power Weight Lifting competition.
by Suzanne Vernon
For the Pathfinder
May 7, 1998
An 18-year-old high school senior from Condon recently won the state Power Weight Lifting competition for the 123-pound class.
Boomer Alexander broke three records to win the high school competition in April. He benched 250 pounds, lifted 365 pounds in the squat and 365 in deadlift competitions. Alexander, who also bested his own personal records at that meet, says regular training, attention to diet and having a good attitude all helped him make it to the top.
"I'm addicted," he said. "It's the funnest hobby for me that I've ever done," he added with a grin. "But it's strenuous work. I'm always sore for a couple of days after a workout or after a meet."
A heavy training program has been important, with emphasis on technique, he said. "Like a friend from Great Falls told me, 'It doesn't make me mad if you just can't lift it. But if you mess up on technique, that's what makes you mad.' He's right, totally right," he said.
Alexander trains three days a week, and has won trophies in both high school and men's competitions during the past two years.
His advice to weight-lifting hopefuls"Don't ever give up," he said. "A lot of guys are strong, but they don't have enough encouragement or think they can't do it. They just give up too easy," he explained.
Alexander is thankful for all the encouragement people have given him. He credits weight-training coach Scott Miller at the high school with inspiring him to compete. "I wouldn't have done any of it if it wasn't for him," he said. Miller is also a state champion power-lifter in men's competitions. Miller recognized Alexander's potential about two years ago, and was able to help him get started in competitions even though the sport is not a school-sponsored activity.
"Being really strong at a light weight is good in power-lifting," Miller explained. Miller helped Alexander learn how to do workouts, and then the young weightlifter took responsibility for his own training.
"I think it's awesome, what he's done," Miller said. "I'm really happy for him. I'm glad he got addicted like I did," he said, adding that weight lifting is probably the healthiest addiction a person can have.
With the help of family and friends, Alexander paid for his own equipment and paid his own way to weight-lifting events. A friend from Condon gave him a weightlifting suit. His parentsBill and Susan Alexander have given him "tons of support", he said, helping him travel to meets and training sessions. He has received money in the form of donations$100 from an anonymous donor last month. "I really want to thank whoever did that. It sure helps," he said.
Alexander is keenly aware of how weight training can also help athletes in other sports. In basketball, even though he stands only five-feet-four-inches tall in his stocking feet, Alexander's vertical jump has increased 14 inches since January, when he first started heavy training. "I'm only a half inch from the rim now," he laughed.
In track, Alexander said he has shaved a full second off his time in the 100-meter run because of weight lifting.
"I wish I would have started a little earlier, just because of the help weight training has given me in other sports," he said.
Alexander continues to set goals for the future. He plans to go into the Air Force in June. "I've already talked to my recruiter about weight lifting," he said with a grin. "They want me to compete for them, maybe all over the country." Alexander has high hopes of winning the national competition for bench press in his class. "It's not an unrealistic goal, to be able to compete in the nationals in a few years," he said.
Not unrealistic, that is, if you're dedicated to training, hard work, and success. Swan Valley residents will no doubt continue to follow this young man's career closely in the future.
Seeley Swan High School offers weight room training and advice to students during supervised classes. The weight room is also open to the public several days a week, even in the summer, for an intramural program. Scott Miller, and others, supervise the weight room and offer advice for beginners. For more information contact Scott Miller at the school.