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New workout equipment worth the 'weight' at John Marshall



With one counting off "uno, dos , tres," a handful of John Marshall High School students cut a ribbon to dedicate the school's newly equipped weight room Tuesday, made possible through alumni donations.

Bob West, a 1957 graduate of the school who went on to start as quarterback at the University of Tulsa, gave more than $70,000 to provide college-quality equipment for the room, including four platforms, four benches, two pull-down machines and three glute/hamstring machines.

On a walk-through of the space two or three months ago, much of the larger equipment was broken, according to Terry Harris, John Marshall High School Foundation president. West, whose father was the first principal of the city's John Marshall High School, said there had only been about two dumbbells.

"I said this is totally unacceptable, and that's how this started," West said, adding his intention was that the equipment would make the room a "work place," not "fun place."

"You guys use it; use it well," he told the students.

The weight room, which also benefited from a $10,000 donation from Richard Bogert, according to Harris, was designed and outfitted by Texas-based Marathon Fitness. It will accommodate 45 to 55 athletes " and possibly more " at a time at three stations.

Sophomore Tavion Fleeks said he has been using the new bench, dumbbells and leg machine in the room, thick with the aroma of fresh rubber, for about a week and a half.

The 16-year-old, who wants to play basketball and football next year, said the most difficult exercise had been squats, but that, he added, made him want to do more. "Emily Jerman

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