The ladies set the performance bar high for the men. We saw 9/9 performances, PRs, DG records, Ohio records, and American records from these strong women. The ladies 148# class was stacked with placings only being one to two kilos apart. Women were gutting out 300# squats, and 400# deadlifts looking for a podium spot. Would the men deliver? After seeing these women, what could the men do to "wow" the crowd? How about some top rankings, more records, National qualifiers, a World silver medalist, another stacked weight class and a spread of lifters from 15 years old to 58? Oh, and a marriage proposal...yeah...we got that.
Master's lifter Dale Lewis lead off for the men going 3/3 in the squat. I mentioned that Dale gives me hope, and he should give you hope too. Dale is 58 years old with a solid build and he is still powerlifting, that is awesome. Dale finished the day with a nearly perfect record of 8/9 and a total of 682. Rob Grissom is an awesome specimen competing in both bodybuilding and powerlifting. He owns Elite Force training and I am always ecstatic to see him and his lifters at our meets. Here is a 50+ year old man showing the young bucks how it is supposed to be done. Rob took a token in the squat, benched 335 and pulled a huge American record with 627.
Kevin Perdue is now a powerlifter and in his first meet he is already showing signs of professionalism beyond his years. He went 3/3 in the squat with each looking easy. The bench was rough for Kevin and only going 1/3 gave the idea his perfect squats may have been a bit of beginners luck. Kevin squashed that idea by going 3/3 in the deadlift and finishing with a PR 330 at 148. His next meet is May 16th and I predict he may just move up a class or two.
It would be impossible to mention John Roark without mentioning Frank Pianki. These guys both came into the meet wanting to test the waters. John had an amazing day, winning his class and not missing a single lift. He left a lot of weight behind but I am sure he will hit even bigger numbers in May. Frank, not to be outdone by John, also went 9/9 hitting PRs in every lift and a huge 440# deadlift at 157.
Nick Grothouse and Devin Kisor went lift for lift to see who would come out on top. Nick opened at 330 and missed on technicality while Devin made his squat of 352. Nick went up on his second to stay close and made 380#. Devin answered back with a good 396. Looking for the win, Nick went to 418 but missed. The bench would be another fight with both men opening at 275 with a good lift for Devin, but Nick missing on another technicality. Devin conservatively went to and made 280 while Nick made a huge jump to 302 and missed. The pressure was really on now for Nick to make his last lift. He went to 308 and made it to win the bench and stay in the meet! Both lifters went 3/3 in the deadlift and the tables turned when Nick made his final deadlift to seal his win. These two will be exciting to watch come May 16th where they will meet again.
Andrew Welch (165) had a good day hitting meet PRs and showing the crowd how a double overhand hook gripped deadlift looks. Andrew's technique is great and with his coach, Casey Strope, I expect big things from him in the future. His achilles heel is the deadlift simply because he had a terrible injury to his left hand resulting in the loss of a finger and general hand strength. He finished the day with a 1095 total at 165. Alex Meyers weighed in a full kilo under the 165 limit and on his opener broke the bench record for 15 year olds with a 235. He went on to break his newly earned record three more times with each weight looking like a warm up. It will be interesting to see what this young man does in the next few years as he very well could emerge as a national contender.
Nathan Opie, Captain Opie to be proper, had some rough squats going 1/3. He pulled it together and hit a meet PR bench and then crushed the deadlift going 3/3 and finishing with another meet PR of 467#. Chance Ciancola, of Everyday Athletics, made a good squat of 390, bench of 308, and deadlift of 539 in the 181s. Chance weighed in light and shows promise to do well as a full 181. Thomas Sodini had one goal this day, beat his fellow Marine Dave Swartz. He did not care about PRs, records, or even that Dave was in a different weight class, we wanted those life long braggin' rights. Sodini went 6/8 with 451, 280, and a 539 pull.
Anthony Primozich kicked things off for the 198 class going 8/9 with some raw meet PRs, and a smooth 1,001 total. This was his first meet back and he did a great job selecting attempts and keeping his mind clear. Every one of his lifts looked great and He should become a real threat in Dayton at 181. Justin Oliver went 7/10 finishing with an awesome 595 deadlift and 1369 total. Dave Swartz had an amazing day hitting his first 500#+ squat in a meet, benching 303. and pulling 551 to defeat his challenger, Thomas Sodini. Tracey Linnabary is an interesting story. He was once over 300# and decided to shed some pounds. Once he found powerlifting, he educated himself and later fired his trainers as they told him he was "too old for heavy lifting." Well, his former trainers could likely learn how to deadlift from this "old man" as he deadlifted nearly 400#. Hopefully Tracey will send his former trainer a picture of him with his deadlift award.
The 198 class was the Adam Ferchen show. Adam arrived early from New York to check his weight. He checked his weight twice and missed, but by the time official weigh ins began, he was spot on. He finished the day with three huge lifts of 661 squat, 412.5 bench, and gigantic 710 deadlift! Adam won his class and best overall lifter.
In the 220s Justin Straight, of the Strength Lab, was an exciting lifter to watch. He went 3/3 in the squat and looked poised to have a huge day, until he ran into trouble. Justin missed his first two benches, made his third to stay in, and then slammed the biggest 220 deadlift that day, with a 600 for the win. James Goodwin went 8/9 with very balanced lifts of 467, 275, 517 for a total of 1254 at 220. Rounding out the 220s was Tim Spoonmore with some incredible benches. It is not just that Tim set the Ohio record, it is how he did it. Tim is an absolute power house with perfect form. He has no arch, no leg drive, and no problems. He opened with 402 and it looked absurd. He finished with 440 and that is actually were he should have opened. I can see him raw benching 500 at 220 eventually.
The 242s were a straight fight with William Greeley firing the first shot. Greeley went 7/9 with a 1364 total. Joseph Oakley answered back going 8/9 with a 1408 total. Joe's total put him in striking distance for a podium spot as an individual and for the strongest couple (paired with Brianna Molfetta.) "Silky Smooth" Lewis Miller makes everyone wonder if he's going heavy, especially when he goes 8/9 and totals 1496. Lewis is coached by Rob Grissom, out of Elite Force, and they both had stellar deadlifts this day, hitting American records in their respective Master groups.
The most exciting lifters of the 242 class were now up with the 17 year old Zack Carr, and the well known Luigi Fagiani. Carr recently took silver at the World Championships, but would it be enough to stand with Luigi? Youth and ambition versus age and experience, what would come about? Zack stunned all of us as we watched him, a guy who can't drink a beer legally, squat and deadlift 600# while benching 346. Lifters like Zack Carr don't come around too often, keep an eye on him. Luigi let the young gun have the spotlight for a bit and then set the platform on fire going 689, 435, 733 to total 1857 for the class win and strongest couple with Jordyn Schenk.
Anthony Bland was way under his weight class. He weighed in at 251 to lift at 275 and went 5/9. His squats looked great with a 627. He went 1/3 in the bench with 363 and 1/3 in the deadlift with 523. I'm sure he will come back strong at the next meet.
Mike Brown, of Westside barbell and WPO fame, has been on the raw warpath of late. Mike went 9/9 with a 600 squat, 517 bench (Ohio record), and a 682 deadlift. Mike's story is vast with highs and lows from Westside Barbell and Multi ply gear to coming back from a terrible bench press injury where his arm was broken and mangled. The fact that he not only recovered, but is back to setting records is amazing. Mike Brown is powerlifting.
In seven hours we saw men and women break PRs, Ohio records, American records, and overcome personal obstacles not even related directly to lifting. We saw new lifters fall in love with the sport, and experienced lifters setting the example. We also saw two powerlifters at one of their most special moments when Luis Miranda asked Emily Power for her hand in marriage.,Emily said "yes" and the crowd erupted. Congrats to Mr. Luis Miranda and Mrs. Emily Power-Miranda.
See you all at the next one.