Among the 55 competitors at the sixth annual Maine Games State Powerlifting Championships March 26-28 at the Brewer Auditorium were two Midcoast residents who proved they were worth their weight in silver and gold — medals that is.

17-year-old, first-time competitor Aedan Norvlaan, a Searsport District High School student, secured gold in the 16-17 year-old, 181-pound class full meet. He squated 325 pounds, bench pressed 248 pounds and deadlifted 462. Overall, Norvlaan lifted 1,035 pounds during the competition.

Also Woody Moore, 34, of Thomaston, who is Rockland District High School’s varsity football coach, won the silver in the Men’s Open 220-pound class bench press competition March 26. He lifted 407 pounds.

Perhaps more impressive was the fact that Norvlaan broke three state records. Previously, in his class, the record for the bench was 226, the record for the deadlift was 440 and the record for total pounds lifted was 992.

It was Moore’s first lifting competition since 2001. For him, the meet was exciting and challenging. “I had actually forgotten how difficult that is,” he said about training for the competition.

He joined the competition in hopes that he would inspire his football players to compete as well. Unfortunately for him, none of his students showed up, but that didn’t let him down.

“My plan now is to go back to the drawing board and try and figure out how to get kids inspired to aspire to something a little bit more than what is happening locally,” he said.

Moore wants his athletes and other students to get involved in strength training because of the benefits it provides.

Moore said lifting weights teaches children how to be disciplined, how to commit themselves, and how to aspire for something great.

Most important to Moore is the discipline of the sport. He said that it is the best benefit you can gain from lifting. According to him, in order to be competitive in the sport, an athlete must make a weight class by having a regimented diet, training plan, and rest schedule.

“It’s not all about pushing more weight, it’s about doing it the right way,” he said. “You have to stay committed to what you are doing. If you are not you won’t compete.”

Commitment is important because the training not only requires individual commitment, but the commitment from training partners and the team. “You are doing it for yourself, to get bigger and stronger yourself, but it’s all for the betterment of the team,” he said.

Moore also said lifting in competitions such as the Maine Games gives the students higher aspirations. According to Moore, normally the young athletes would try and meet or break RDHS records, but he wants to expand their horizons.

“Being in an environment where there is the best of the best in Maine you get to see how important commitment is and how important the discipline is,” he said.

An example of the kind of youth Moore is alluding to is the self-motivated Norvlaan, who won the gold in his class and broke state records despite the excitement of competing in his first meet.

“It was very intense,” Norvlaan said about the competition. “All the people had their eyes on me so it gave me an extra drive to work harder.”

He said that he enjoys lifting as a hobby and a sport in itself rather than to train for another.

“I like to control the situation. I like to be my own boss,” he said. “When I lift weights it’s me and the weight itself, it’s just me and the concentration that I put into it.”

He also said that he would like to keep getting better and make it to the National State Games of America Competition in 2011 in San Diego and farther.

“I can keep on improving. I can keep on trying harder,” Norvlaan said. “I usually progress, I don’t really reach a plateau effect.”

Norvlaan said he can see himself lifting for the next 10 years at least and with his young age and determination, he may see much more gold in his future as well.

Village NetMedia Sports Reporter Frederick Freudenberger can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at fritz@villagesoup.com.