The Farmington Civic Center delivered an evening of lights, action and physical fitness as it concluded the Spring into Fitness competition on Sunday at the Centene Center with Keith Schweigert taking home $1,000 dollars for his first-place finish.
After 10 weeks of pushing himself harder and further than he thought possible, Schweigert beat out 112 other competitors when he dropped 61 pounds during the weight loss competition, which featured Jay Sheets of the NBC reality show, “The Biggest Loser: Second Chances” as mentor and coach for the contestants.
“I don’t know what to say,” Schweigert said. “I’m grateful to Jay for sharing his experience and helping me through my workouts. It’s a great feeling.”
Schweigert’s impressive showing was not the only victory during the 10-week weight loss program that brought athletes of all ages and sizes together. The competition sparked its share of victories for many of the 113 people that began the 10-week program.
Mary Tongay took the challenge and pushed herself to lose more than 21 percent of her body weight by dropping 38.6 pounds. As a result of her work and motivation, Tongay placed second in the competition and walked away not only healthier but $800 richer as well.
“I needed something like this to get me motivated,” Tongay said. “I did not like Jay very much the first evening. He told us we were overweight by the choices we make. No one wants to hear that, but I kept that in the back of mind the whole time and kept pushing myself.”
In addition to Schweigert and Tongay taking first and second, Emily Savner took the third place price of $600, Nora Calkins finished fourth place and received $400 and Becky Barnes finished fifth and won $200 for her efforts.
The rest of the top eleven finalists were Janet Lashley, Brandie Cochran, Cathy Hogen, Mike Bracken, Kristin Cooper and Sara Peak.
Although the evening only drew attention to the top 11 contestants, it was also about the significant progress made by all 113 athletes that began the event back in April. As a whole, they lost in excess of 1,300 pounds over the course of their training.
According to Jay Sheets, his mentor and fitness guru Jillian Michaels was quite impressed by the significant steps the competitors took in becoming fit.
“When I told Jillian about it, she was just tickled,” Sheets said. “When we started this program, we only expected 35 people not 113. So we changed our plans up and made it work.”
Along with celebrating the success of the Spring into Fitness contestants, the Sunday night festivities highlighted a theme of “you’re never too old to get fit” with performances from a cavalcade of athletes. Farmington’s own Innovative Force opened the night with one of their patented, electrifying dance routines that had the audience in awe of their dance talents and aerial stunts.
Other performance during the evening were designed to highlight the activities available at the Farmington Civic Center. Kristin Yow demonstrated cross training and Julie Power and her class gave a powerful Zumba dance performance. During the hour plus show, Tanner Lynn, a recent graduate of Farmington High School, and Ed Pultz, a local attorney and municipal judge, worked out on a treadmills that were strategically placed on each corner of the stage.
“The thing that strikes me is this was just such a positive event,” said Mit Landrum, mayor of Farmington. “Jay comes back to his community to help his neighbors and the community joins together to give its support. I hope we have more events like this.”
For more information on events or classes at the civic center, call 573-756-0900 and to read more about this event, read the Thursday edition of the Farmington Press.
Craig Vaughn is a reporter with the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or at email@example.com