Gartner is a talented two-way lineman for Gothenburg and this summer is about hitting his goals or breaking the records. Recently he broke the 10-year squat record that was held at his high school by a former Nebraska offensive lineman.
"I set the squat record at my high school," Gartner said. "The record was 515 pounds and I did 535 pounds to break it. I actually did 535 pounds again yesterday after I had already broken it. The record was set by Brandon Coe who played at Nebraska, he was an offensive lineman. He set the record back in 2001."
Gartner almost hit the mark last year as a sophomore-to-be and he know that he would be even closer this year. The record gives some idea to how high the ceiling might be with Gartner, but most of all gives you an idea about how hard he works off the field to be better on it.
"It means a lot and it shows a lot because I am just a junior. I tried to get it last summer and I was only about 25 pounds away last year. I knew that my chances were high that I would get it this year.
"Getting a record like that means the world to me. It just shows people that I can play, that I am committed to do this, committed to make myself a better player and it means a lot to me to do this."
The squat record was nice, but there is another on in Gartner's sights. He would like to make a serious run at breaking the single season tackles record this year. That's saying something considering Gartner knows he will have to fight off multiple blockers on basically each play.
"I would like to break the season tackling record. The record for my school is 95 tackles in a year and I actually had 65 tackles last year. I know that I am going to get double and triple teams, but I can fight through those."
Gartner had a good camp in Lincoln and after the camp at Nebraska he was headed to Iowa City for their one day camp. Gartner came away impressed with what Iowa had to offer and he had a good time hanging out with a pair of other players from the state of Nebraska.
"After Nebraska I headed to Iowa for their day camp. It was an awesome camp to go to. It was a great experience. They have great facilities and the coaches and players just come in and start talking to you making you feel comfortable and you really feel like part of it. I was there with Mike Shoff and Drew Ott.
"The coaches said that I was really good and that I was very coachable; I wanted to learn and I wanted to listen. That has always been my dad's pet peeve with me. He has always told me to listen and learn out on the football field. Other than that I have just been working out and lifting."
The summer is winding down, fall camp opens up in the next month or so, but that isn't stopping Gartner from making a couple more trips. Tomorrow he will be in Stillwater and on Friday he will be in Fort Worth. After that he will head over to Ames for one last camp.
"I head down to TCU camp this Friday. I will also visit Oklahoma State unofficially before the TCU camp. I will be in to visit Oklahoma State tomorrow at 2:00. I will go to Iowa State for their camp next week after I get back from TCU and Oklahoma State."
Gartner has done more than some seniors-to-be. Blame it on the drive to get better. You can also blame it on a desire of Gartner for the schools to get to know him off the field as opposed to just on it.
"I've really just wanted to get my name out there. I want to give each school a chance to get to know me. It's something for the school to see film of you, but it's another to get in there so they get to know you, know your personality and know what you are like.
"I think that I have shown this summer that I am willing to learn. If I had every offensive line and defensive line coach in a room I would want to sit down with them and absorb every bit of information that I can."