Fierbach sets world powerlifting standards

Taylor Fierbach and her father-coach Shane Graveman celebrate at the United States Powerlifting Association National Championships. She has also made a national name for herself on the wrestling mat. Courtesy photo

SPEARFISH — Spearfish’s Taylor Fierbach carved her name into the world record books — and then some — at the United States Powerlifting Association National Championships held Aug. 28-30 in Vista, Calif.

Fierbach, 15, competed in the Junior and Open divisions and set four Junior Division records. She will be a sophomore at Spearfish High School this fall.

Record-setting numbers were 159.84 pounds in the bench press, 275.58 pounds in the squat, 325.18 pounds in the dead lift, and 760.60 pounds total. She placed first in the Junior Division and second in the Open Division.

“I had to be mentally prepared as well as physically prepared,” Fierbach said in describing the national event. She added she prefers to not really know what weight she is lifting beforehand.

Fierbach’s primary goal was to set all four world records. She was really happy to do so, but past experience indicated it was well within the realm of possibility.

“I’ve been training and lifting in local events, and I hit numbers higher than what the world records were at the time,” Fierbach said. “We thought we’d give it a shot and see if I could pull it off.”

Fierbach enjoys all three weightlifting disciplines equally, saying the activity helps her stay strong for wrestling.

She added her entire family lifts weights together.

The benefit Fierbach derives from weightlifting is quite apparent.

“It gives me a little bit of confidence knowing how strong I am and how it will go over into wrestling and help me out with that,” Fierbach said. She added that is especially apparent when she competes against male opponents.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely limited Fierbach’s summer wrestling schedule. She competed at a dual tournament in Beresford, S.D., as part of Team North Dakota and finished 2-3.

South Dakota’s state high school activities association voted to approve girls’ wrestling for the 2020-21 school year.

“I am absolutely excited for that,” Fierbach said. “People recognize girls’ wrestlers, and I actually have a chance to win a state title or something like that.”

Hard work and aggressiveness are two hallmarks of Fierbach’s wrestling philosophy.

Her mindset and training will not change at all when it comes to wrestling other female opponents. She said it would likely drive her even more.

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