Kenedee Rowen quickly becoming one of the nation’s top powerlifters

Karl’s TV & Appliance Athlete of the Week
Power lifter a state champion and national contender just two years into the sport
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 11:16 PM CDT
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HURON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Some weight lifters are loud and demonstrative.

“Yeah that’s not her! She’ll lift a barbell and she’ll put it down and she’ll just walk away. There’s no yelling. I’m yelling in the stands!” Betsy Clemente says.

It might have something to do with the fact she only began power lifting two years ago while also competing in cheer, cross fit, gymnastics and even some rodeo.

“My gymnastics coach thought that I’d be a really good fit so she introduced me to the power lifting coach out of Mitchell and that’s kind of how it started. Yeah I like being strong.” Rowen says.

And she didn’t have to look far for someone to push her, working out with her mom Betsy...

“We kind of started it together and just kind of kept on it and it’s something we really enjoyed. There’s things that she’s way better then me at and there’s things that I push her to grind a little bit harder at.” Betsy says.

...and training for the three staples of competition, squat, bench press and deadlift, with former lifter Larry Young five days a week in his small home gym in Huron.

“Come over and start lifting, just a few little pointers, and it worked! She gets strong really easy and it just kind of took off.”

“My first competition was State in 2021 and I competed and I got second and I was very surprised so I thought I could keep going.” Kenedee says.

Rowen went up this year, taking the 132 pound state title with a winning weight of 725 total pounds that was better than most of the boys who competed at the same weight.

“Yeah if I was in the boy’s division I would have gotten second in my weight class.” Rowen says.

The 17-year old also made her first trip to Nationals this year in Chicago.

“I was way more nervous! And the competition was so different than any other competitions we have in state!” Kenedee says.

“Just told her, you know, we made it, so lets just do the best we can do and go from there.” Betsy says.

Much as she did in her first state meet, Rowen excelled, finishing fifth in the country.

“The grind, she shows up, she puts the work in, and that’s the most important thing-consistency.” Young says.

As she prepares for a busy senior year, this quiet and reserved lifter isn’t shy about her goal for 2023.

“I’m hoping to win Nationals this year!” Kenedee says.

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