Strong Tigers: Summer strength, conditioning program brings promising seasons for Summit athletic teams

Karl Barth instructs a student athlete during a Summit strength and conditioning session on Monday, Aug. 1. Athletes have attended weight training sessions, three times a week, throughout the summer in order to better themselves and prepare for their upcoming sporting seasons.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

When witnessing a successful sports season, it is often easy to overlook the preparation that is put in by the athletes prior to the start of the season. It is easy to see a team, like the 2021-22 Colorado Avalanche, win a championship and not consider the hours of hard work that were spent prior to a skate ever touching the ice.

It is during offseason workouts that school records, playoff berths or state championship runs are born, and the athletes at Summit High School have fully bought into this philosophy. 

Since June 6, some of Summit’s best athletes have willingly gone to the high school during their summer vacation in order to participate in Summit’s strength and conditioning program. 

The program is spearheaded by Karl Barth, who coaches for several teams at Summit High School and teaches health and physical education.

Many athletes have shown up to the program throughout the entire summer — showing up three days a week at around 7 a.m. in the morning. For the Summit football program, which ended last season with its first winning record in 10 years, athletes use the weight room four times a week to be ready for hopefully another successful season.   

Under the watchful eye of Barth, the athletes have access to a state-of-the-art facility that most high school students and even college athletes do not have the opportunity to ever see. 

The weight room is attached to an indoor turf facility, both of which were built prior to the pandemic in order to provide a place for the Summit athletic teams and students to train on a year-round basis. 

It is in the weight room that Barth feels many school records and successful seasons have taken shape throughout the past few years. Summit High School is known for its many multi-sport athletes, and it is no coincidence that many of them are in the weight room during the summer months in order to get a jump on their competition. 

“The teams that are in here are making the playoffs. It’s no coincidence,” Barth said. 

Summit High School’s Eli Krawczuk prepares to perform a front squat while lifting during one of Summit’s strength and conditioning sessions on Monday, Aug. 1. Krawczuk has been a regular in the weight room throughout the summer and along the way has broken several weightlifting school records.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

For senior football captain Eli Krawczuk, the Summit weight room allows him to push himself to be a better athlete. 

“It’s a really good comfortable environment to try to better yourself and show your dedication to your sport,” Krawczuk said. “Barth makes it a really good environment to come in and no matter what sport you do, you are going to have something to do.” 

Krawczuk hasn’t just become stronger throughout the summer. He has broken several Summit High School weightlifting records in the process. 

Krawczuk has lifted 645 pounds for the trap bar deadlift, around 585 pounds for the straight bar deadlift, 325 pounds for bench and around 487 pounds for the squat —setting school records in all four lifts. 

Summit senior Kelley Duffy, junior Ashley Misch and Krawczuk feel like their work in the weight room throughout the past few summers has greatly helped them in their respective sports. 

Duffy won’t begin a season at Summit High School until the winter girls basketball season, but she consistently comes to the Summit strength and conditioning sessions.

“I am really in here trying to keep up with injury prevention and be strong,” Duffy said. “I want to be able to overpower my opponents because I am putting in the extra work. Being here makes me feel better about myself and have body positivity.” 

Summit High School senior Kelley Duffy preforms an exercise during a summer strength and conditioning session at Summit High School on Monday, Aug. 1. Like many others, Duffy enjoys the summer program because it keeps her injury free and gives her an extra edge in her sports.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

For Misch, she feels like the time she spends in the weight room helps her to be a more competitive athlete. 

“I like to do it (summer weightlifting) because of the competition,” Misch said. “ Fighting for those higher spots on varsity is something that will hopefully reflect a lot in the weight room too.” 

Outside of Summit’s athletes bettering themselves and becoming stronger athletes, the Summit weight room also allows student athletes to continue to cultivate relationships prior to the season and school year. 

“It’s nice to see everyone here and see all my friends and make new friends,” Duffy said. 

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