Portage Strength Classic
Well last week at this time we were ¾ of the way through the squats at the PSC 2015 competition. As is my habit with these reports I like to detail some of the work that precedes the actual day of the competition. For were it not for the effort of our volunteers these meets would be less successful and smooth running than they are. A week previous to the meet on about June 11/15 Rob Snow and his merry band of “Snowflakes” met with myself and Ben Langley at the 17 Wing to load up Rob’s van and trailer to transport the gear to Portage. Bob Waller had also agreed to help out but he had some car trouble which took priority that day but, Bob worked his butt off spotting and loading throughout the day of the competition. Rob and the kids had a day trip to Portage and schlepped the gear to Travis Mattice’s garage where I understand Travis and Vince Green met Rob and unloaded.
On the 19th Sue and I met up with Travis and Vince as they were setting up the venue at Southport. I have to add that the facility was an excellent venue and the staff at Southport treated us very well. Travis and Vince had done the bulk of the work so with the collective brain power of 4 we saw to the details and finished getting things ready.
I would like to extend a huge thank you to the three ladies who ran the score table. Megan Swidnicki and Tanya Banfield were keeping tabs on the attempts, computer and scorecards and Sherry Green (Vince’s Better Half) was thrust into the limelight by announcing the lifters and weights all day. These ladies worked very hard to make the meet a success. Keeping tabs at the score table is hard enough when you have done it a few times but even more challenging when learning on the fly.
The spotters and loaders for this meet worked very hard throughout the day to keep the right weight on the bar and the lifters safe. We had 31 competitors at the meet which translated into 268 attempts. That is how many times these men handled the weights and the equipment. Lifting at a Powerlifting meet is a test of your maximum strength on that day. Most of you trained no less than eight weeks to peek for this competition and significantly more to put forth a maximum effort on 9 attempts. The Spotters and Loaders donated their Saturday to participate in a weight moving marathon without really training for it specifically. That is why it is a hard job. We had excellent help at the meet with some local lifters recruited by Travis and some lifters from Winnipeg contributing. The spotters and loaders were; Perron Banfield, Bailey Green, Ryan Kolesar, Bob Waller, Ben Langley and Drew Brown. Thank you for your efforts and hard work!
The Referees for the meet were MPA Provincial Referee Tamara Cunningham, CPU National Referee (my better half ) Susan Haywood and myself IPF Category I Referee Brock Haywood. Thank you to Tamara and Susan for their contributions in helping to run this contest in accordance with our rulebook.
The lifting at this year’s contest was very good again! I don’t think I get tired of seeing how enthusiastic the lifters are to test themselves, seeing the excitement and determination when stepping up to a heavy loaded bar and then the look of elation and happiness when achieving a successful lift. The cheers and high fives from coaches, friends and families as they achieve the goals they have set for themselves. It is always inspiring!
We had nine women come and battle it out. There was a lone competitor at 52kg and some serious competition in the 84 and 84+ weight classes. CJ Stewart who trains at Acceleration Fitness came prepared for this meet as she made an assault on the 52kg Women’s Provincial Records. CJ showed good technical proficiency by getting all 9 attempts with a 97.5kg Squat, a HUGE 67.5kg Bench and a solid 125kg deadlift for a total of 290kg. This performance was good enough for CJ to replace all but the Squat Provincial Standard in the MPA Equipped Records which dated back to 2005.
Hailey Kostynuik has been lifting against herself for the past few contests and this continued last Saturday. Hailey is still a Junior for the remainder of this year and again made improvements on all but her Provincial Benchpress Record. Her lifts were good enough to be Unofficial Canadian Records. Unofficial in that Canadian Records could not be set at this contest due to our rules and the fact that we would need one more National Referee to sit in the chair. Hailey had a best squat of 202.5kg/446 lbs, 97.5kg Bench and 187.5kg Deadlift for a 487.5kg total and a 387 Wilks. All of these numbers improved on her current MPA records although the Bench was a tie.
The 84kg Women’s Open class had three women competing for the honours. Krista Vandewaeter has been working hard at the 17 Wing Strength Club to improve her numbers. The consistent hard work paid off as she was able to go 8/9 only missing her third squat. Krista had 120 squat, 62.5kg Bench and a very enthusiastic and bouncy approach to 152.5kg deadlift for the Bronze medal and a 335kg total. Jocelyn Blake had entered her first contest and showed some excellent lifting besting Krista for the Silver medal with a 340kg total via 125 squat, 75kg bench and a 140kg deadlift. It was an excellent first competition for Jocelyn and I’m sure we will see her back. Kelcey MacGillivray also made an assault on the record book with her squat, deadlift and total. She had some difficulty on the Bench with 100kg and raising her buttocks off of the bench but a 160kg Squat and 177.5kg deadlift totalled up to 422.5 and a 385Wilks for the Gold in the 84kg class and Best Female Lifter.
The Women’s Open 84+ Weight Class had four competitors which always make for a good battle for placings. Kristi Aiello had some troubles with her squat and bench missing two of three lifts in each but settled down in the deadlift managing 142.5 for a top pull. Added to a 105 squat and a 52.5kg bench Kristi totalled up with 300kg for fourth place. Lexie Elias and Alyssa Amanda Burg were in a dog fight for the Silver. Lexie had trouble with the signals (I think) on her first squat at 107.5 for a no lift. Amanda was good for 110. Then Lexie made 110 on her second and Alyssa put in 110 for her second attempt (our mistake as her first lift was a success but she though it was not and repeated the attempt for her second). This error was not noticed until Alyssa had missed the second attempt at 110 and her third at 120. The only fair thing to do was to give Alyssa another second attempt at the end of the round. She submitted 115 and was able to complete the lift. Now Lexie was ahead by 5kg at the end of squats. Unfortunately for Lexie she struggled with the bench only completing her first attempt at 60kg. 70kg proved too much! Alyssa methodically completed all three benches finishing with 62.5kg and pulling within 2.5kg at the subtotal. Deadlifts began with Lexie missing a 125kg opener. Alyssa seized the lead with 142.5, 147.5 and 150 for a 327.5kg total to Lexie’s 322.5 total. This was an excellent back and forth battle but all three women were only getting a glimpse of the chalk dust that Samantha McFarlane was leaving behind. Samantha had hurt her back after squats at the meet in February and therefore could not vie for a placing then. Last Saturday there was no back issue and Samantha went 6/9 missing her thirds on all three lifts but squatting 140, benching 80 and pulling 165 for a 385kg total and first place. Congratulations Samantha!
Andrew Langelaar was our sole Sub Junior competitor but he was a doozie! Andrew was lifting in the 120kg Men’s Sub Junior Unequipped category but given his age and physical stature he will soon be in the 120+ class and he will not look back. Andrew was very serious and seemed to be disappointed in his lifting. I was on the way to the washroom when I saw him with his head in his hands after the bench. I politely suggested he should look at things differently as he had squatted over 400lbs (185kg) and benched over 300lbs (140kg) as a Sub Junior!! This was an excellent performance thus far. Andrew then proceeded to pull all three of his deadlifts finishing with 245kg and a 570kg total. All of these were Manitoba Records and they were also Unofficial Canadian Records as Andrew’s lifting far exceeded the previous records. If he chooses to lift at the Western Canadians he will have a chance to have those Canadian Records stand. The future looks bright for Andrew in Powerlifting if he so chooses to pursue the sport into the older age categories.
Spencer Briercliffe was also a first time lifter that did very well for himself. Spencer’s squat and his bench are presently equal in weight. This makes his bench very good as he replaced a Provincial Standard from 1987 in the Men’s Equipped Record book. The record was from one of the MPA’s all time best Dwayne Feakes. Spencer will be able to improve on his squat with further training which will boost his total and I believe will make him nationally competitive in the weight class. Spencer went 3/3 in the deadlift finishing with 170kg and a 415 total.
Trent Monk took a break from his Arm wrestling endeavours to lift for the second time at this meet. Trent wanted to lift in the 74kg class but weighed a little heavy so he went head to head with Henry de Guzman as the two 22 year olds lifted in the Junior 83kg class. Trent went 6/9 with a best of 157.5, 102.5 and 207.5 for a 467.5 total and second place. Henry was the stronger lifter going 6/8 as he waived his third deadlift posting a 195 squat, 125 bench and 207.5 deadlift for a 532.5kg total and the win.
Scott Downs had excellent family support as his family always comes out to cheer whichever member of the family that is lifting. Scott had some form problems which kept him high on his first squat. A quick check with the coaches and a tweak to his form and he was good for 235kg which broke the Provincial Record. Scott then benched 125 and went to his bread and butter lift …the deadlift. There were some challenges for Scott though as he missed his first at 267.5. I believe he changed his form to Sumo and pulled a PR of 280kg. However, a third attempt at 295 proved too much and Scott had to settle for three provincial records, the biggest pull at the contest, a 404 Wilks coefficient and the trophy for Best Junior Lifter! So, as Adam Sandler would say, “…not too shabby”.
Colby Falk was a first time competitor and he had a challenge lifting against Taylor Abolade in the Men’s Junior 105 Weight Class. Colby had good family support for his first contest as he managed a 7/9 day experiencing some Benchpress difficulties missing all but his second lift at 120kg. Colby squatted 195 and pulled 210 for a 525 total and a Silver medal! Taylor Abolade is really showing some improved lifting form and weight moved. Taylor’s approach to lifting and his presence on the platform are top notch and to top it all off you can tell that Taylor is having FUN! Taylor missed his third squat and bench lifting a best of 235, 132.5 and a whopping pull of 280 for a 647.5 total. Taylor broke three of gym mate Carey Link’s records just to add fuel to further gym and competition training challenges.
Mr Vince Green had a very good day after helping with the set up the previous night. Vince truly found out where his strength lay last Saturday as he missed his thirds on his bench and deadlift and took a second crack at his best squat of 230 to achieve his total. What this tells me is that Vince was prepared and had chosen his attempts wisely. He broke all but his deadlift record with a 165 bench and a 230 deadlift for a 625 total.
The BIG MEN came out to play in the M1 120+ weight class. Our current Vice President Rob Snow was capably handled by his son Liam for a squat of 200, bench of 165 and a 250kg deadlift for a 615 total. I know Rob had indicated he was not feeling his best and I believe he is good for more. Rob met a fearsome lifter in the form of Trevor Winfield. Trevor’s lifts keep getting better and they are already worthy of National records. Trevor went 7/9 last Saturday squatting an impressive 270kg, 237.5kg bench and I believe his first ever 600+ deadlift of 277.5 for a 785 Unequipped M1 120+ record total and a contest best 445 Wilks. Very impressive lifting for Trevor!
Well now we move into the Open Men’s category. There were 10 Open category men in six of the weight classes. Dereck Ilarde and Mac Ceuvas had a close battle in the 66kg Weight class. Dereck had the better squat with 147.5 to Mac’s 145. Both lifters missed 150. Dereck was only able to get his first bench at 92.5 and two misses at 105 as Mac steadily built on his total with three good benches finishing with 97.5kg and a 242.5 sub to Dereck’s 240. The deadlift proved to be the deciding factor as Dereck pulled 165 missing 180 and totalling 405 to Mac’s 177.5kg best dead and a 420 total for the gold. Well fought gentlemen!
Nhan Nguyen was alone in the 74kg class but he was getting respectful looks and encouraging appreciation from spotter Ben Langley who also lifts at 74kg and is the present Bronze Medalist in the 74kg Men’s Junior category from Nationals. These two men have been trading Manitoba records over the past year so you can see the interest. Nhan proved to be dialled in on his lifting as he was 8/8 squatting 225, benching 127.5 and waiving his third and pulling an impressive 250kg for a 602.5 total and 436 Wilks for Best Open Lifter of the Meet.
Jarrett Myskiw was also alone in the 83kg class (which is usually one of the busier weight categories). Jarrett had a 125 squat, 80kg bench and a 170 deadlift for a 375 total and first place. Jarrett only missed his third squat and lifted well.
Casey Paul land Kris Guevarra also had a good competition for first place. Casey opened with 162.5 to Kris’ 157.5 for the early lead. He then missed 175 and Kris slipped into first with 165. Then Kris tried 170 and was successful while Casey was able to come up with 175 for the lead by 5kg. Kris seemed to have the edge in the Bench opening with 97.5 to Casey’s 85. The advantage continued as Kris pressed 97.5 and 105 for a 275 sub total. Casey managed 92.5 for his second missing 97.5 to be behind at the sub with 267.5. The deadlift would answer all questions and it did. Casey had the larger opener with 192.5 for the lead at 460kg. Kris opened with 177.5 which left him with 452.5. Casey went to 205 which would have given him a 472.5 total and the win. But, it was not meant to be as he was unsuccessful with the weight. Kris pulled 187.5 for his second which was good for the lead at 462.5. As mentioned, Casey tried the 205 again unsuccessfully and Kris pulled 467.5 to lengthen his lead for the win. This was a nice back and forth with two lifters very close in strength to each other.
Abraham Van Der Breggen had a solid 9/9 day with impressive technical lifts in the 105 class. He had a best squat of 210, bench of 137.5 and a 230kg deadlift for a 577.5kg total and second place. Brahm was up against Travis Mattice the Meet Director and host for the event. If you lift you know how much effort you need to put into your training, diet, recovery to be ready on the day. Now factor in the duties of a Meet Director and prepare to take your hat off to those intrepid individuals that want to act in that dual capacity to promote the sport. Travis finished with the Bronze at his first Western Canadians last year and he lifted here in his home town going 7/9 and breaking his own Provincial Record in the bench. Travis squatted 235, benched 187.5 just missing a 195 press and pulled 650 for a 672.5 total and a 404 Wilks.
The 120 class had two lifters Chris Godin and Mathew Sedor. I had seen Mathew training with Guy Page over at Acceleration and noticed an improvement to his lifts at this contest. It has always been my feeling that Mat could be a real lifting beast when he puts everything together. I think he has started to do so at this contest. Chris was looking to improve on his February results from Provincials but he encountered some difficulties in the squat. Chris opened with 227.5 for a miss, he then went to 230 on his second which was also a no lift. So, desperation and fortitude needed to kick in to stay in the competition as he came out for his third at 230. It was a grinder but a good lift and Chris was in the meet. Mathew went 3/3 putting up his best Unequipped squat of 252.5. Chris pressed 147.5 on his second missing a third at 155. Mathew was good for 172.5 on his second for a solid lead at the sub of 425. Deadlifts went well for both men with Chris getting two pulls topping out at 252.5 for a 630 total and second place. Mathew pulled 272.5 on his third and what I believe was his first 600lb deadlift and a 697.5 total and a 403 Wilks! Nice job for both lifters.
For the first time in many meets we had a couple of Benchers in the competition. Brennan McIntyre from Dauphin and Marshall Sonnenberg from near the Dauphin area both came to bench. Brennan wasn’t fooling around as he was lifting equipped in a Bench shirt and opened with the Men’s 83kg Equipped record attempt of 185.5kg. This would break a Provincial Standard from Rick Marshall set in 2004. Brennan had his challenges as he could not press out the record weight with three tries and his day was done. Marshall was lifting as a 105 Junior lifter and was successful with his second attempt at 132.5 for the Best Benchpresser of the meet. 142.5 proved just a little too heavy when he tried to improve his total.
So that concludes the play by play for the 2015 Portage Strength Classic Powerlifitng and Benchpress Meet. It was a very successful day on many levels and I did hear a tired but happy Travis and Vince state that they would consider hosting this event again next year. I know I will be looking forward to it. Well ironheadz, I will see you on the wood. The next event is looking like the 17 Wing event and details will follow. Thank you to all the volunteers again.