2016 Portage Strength Classic Meet Report

2016 Portage Strength Classic Meet Report

Well the flurry of activity and lifting excitement that was the 2016 Portage Strength Classic has come to an end. I sit here beginning to compose this meet report listening to the echo of Gino Powerlifting on the live feed from the IPF Classic World Powerlifting Championships in Killeen Texas where the Master’s Women are presently competing. There is the sustained enthusiastic drawn out call of “World Record” as the plates clang, the lifters strain and the crowd and Gino scream in enthusiastic unison. Much like yesterday at the Southport Recreation Center in Portage la Prairie (although on a smaller scale) the members and friends and family of the MPA participated in the third meet of the year, screaming and cheering for their favourites with a comparable level of gusto as we can observe in Texas.

Travis Mattice and Vince Green did the lion’s share of the work to organize the logistics and the venue. This was our second visit to the Southport Rec Centre and it was again an enjoyable one. Vince and Travis had kept the MPA competition equipment since the Embark Open and brought it to the venue where they set everything up on Friday night.

The MPA is enjoying an expansion of the ranks of our officials this year so with the desire to help comes the delegation of duties. Krista Vanderwaeter, Shawn McCarthy and Mathew Bowen were asked to organize the paperwork for this meet which was the first time for all of them. Most lifters do not see this part of a meet or understand how much work goes into a well-run event however, if this organizational piece is not done, the quality of the meet can suffer. In order to uphold our responsibility to the lifters, the CPU and the IPF it is incumbent upon the officials to prepare the paperwork in a diligent and thorough manner, our “newly minted” Provincial Referees did a great job!

So, I did have a volunteer’s list at the head table but it did not make it back home! Unfortunately, I will miss some very important people who helped out all day and worked their collective buns off. Please send me an e-mail or add the names to the post when it is published. As previously mentioned Travis and Vince did a lot of work yesterday. Setup on Friday night and spotting and loading all day Saturday. The other spotters were…….several lifters from McDole’s Gym who were there to cheer on their fellow gym members, Travis’ son who was taking a video of the meet and changing rack heights, Trent Monk who helped out after benching, Kurtis Tallaire who appeared and then kept the fading crew going with his youth and enthusiasm. There was a young man at the beginning who had heard about the meet and arrived to help out lifting plates. I recall seeing Andrew Langelaar step in and assist for a bit too! On the microphone we had Portage City Counsellor, Strong Man, Arm Wrestler, Powerlifter, MMA Fighter and the originator of the PSC; Ryan Espey! Ryan is a busy man as you can see but he has a great knowledge of strength sports and a fine voice to announce an event. Joining me at the Head Table was Alexis who happened to come along to the event with Amanda Burg and was convinced to assist at the Scoretable for the entire day. Alexis did a marvelous job of keeping the information flowing and tracking all of the attempts handed in and correlating them to the scorecards. Thank you very much for all of your help yesterday as it is not an easy task when you know what is going on never mind when you are learning the ropes as the meet progresses.

Two of our Referees were also competitors yesterday. Krista Vanderwaeter and Susan Haywood competed in the Benchpress and the Powerlifting respectively. Krista set a personal best in the Bench shirt and then donned her Referee’s attire to officiate for the rest of the day. Sue began the day conducting the weigh-ins and then officiated the Benchpress portion of the even before getting into her singlet and knocking it out of the park with a solid 9/9 performance. Shawn McCarthy and Mathew Bowen shared the referee’s duties with Krista and Sue overseeing almost 300 attempts on the day. Great work everyone!

There were 13 women who came out to compete and a good portion of them were there for the first time. One of these was Junior 63kg competitor and Fiancée of Ryan Kolesar one Brooklyn Leverick. It was obvious to me that Brooklyn’s form and precision on the platform were a factor of training with Ryan and cousin Ben Langely in order to prepare. Brooklyn only missed her second Benchpress to post a solid 257.5kg total for the gold! Brooklyn also had the highest coefficient and therefore was the Best Junior Woman Powerlifter on the day.

We had another junior woman competing and she was in the 84kg class. Anastasia Iurovski did very well at her first meet too only missing a third squat and bench for a total of 312.5kg and first place!

There were two Masters I women to battle it out in the 72kg class. Margo Morberg Berry and Amanda Moffitt stepped onto the platform again and both showed improvements to their lifting. Margo trains at the Brickhouse and is showing the fruit of her efforts, squatting 90kg struggling with her bench with one good lift of 57.5kg and showing some very good deadlifting strength with a 130kg best. As most will remember Margo solidly pulled 135kg too but in her moment of triumph she dropped her last pull releasing the bar from her hands before it reached the floor and having the lift turned down by the officials. An adjustment of the training habits should prevent this from happening in the future. Amanda was showing some improvement in technique which helped her to a best squat of 70kg, a bench of 60kg and a 115 deadlift for a 245kg total to Margo’s 277.5. This may have been a personal best for Amanda.

Susan Haywood appeared in her third meet of the year during this her 20th year of competing in the sport of Powerlifting. Sue was looking to have “FUN” and put up a solid total which would give her the provincial records in both the M2 and M3 Women’s Unequipped categories! Sue did not disappoint at all and went 9/9 with a 67.5kg squat, 47.5kg in the bench and 80kg in the deadlift for a 195kg total! I noticed in looking at the Age adjusted Wilks total it was good for a 262.588 which Susan was very happy with. As far as the “FUN” portion of Susan’s goals……………………………I think it was a success as she was laughing, cheering on and helping her fellow competitors with great joy and enthusiasm.

There was a single competitor in the 63kg Women’s Open class and that lifter was Jennie Wilson from Brandon. Jennie had competed for the first time at the Embark Open and made the drive with a new wild colour for her hair and a good performance on the platform. Jennie moved 102.5kg in the squat and went 2/3 in the bench with a best of 65 but had trouble moving more than 102.5kg for her deadlift. Jennie took two tries at 110kg but it proved too heavy on this day. I believe some time working on the pull from some blocks will aid the initial effort and help to get that deadlift moving off the floor.

The 72kg Women’s Open class had two competitors. Johanna Theroux continues to refine her technique and improve her lifting with what I believe is her third overall competition. Johanna was challenged by first time lifter Kyla Lambert. This was a close one in the squat as both ladies opened with 95kg. Kyla then went to 102.5 to Johanna’s 100. On the third attempts Johanna asked for and lifted 110kg to Kyla’s 107.5 for a 2.5kg lead. Johanna’s forte is the Bench and she happens to be the current Provincial Record holder for this class. Johanna opened up with 70kg which was 30kg more than Kyla’s first attempt. The gap widened as Johanna pushed up all three attempts for a best of 80kg to Kyla’s opener of 40kg. The deadlift only widened the gap further as Johanna finished off with 142.5kg to 115kg for Kyla. Giving Johanna her second Gold in this class with a 322.5kg total to Kyla’s excellent first time outing of 262.5kg for the Silver.

The Open 84kg class had three competitors vying for supremacy and it seems all three had an off day on the squat! Only 3 of the 9 attempts were successful for Megan Swidnicki, Dominique Slobodzian and Jessica Antony. Megan was able to get in her first squat of 110kg to Jessica’s 85kg first attempt and Dominique fighting a bout of the nerves needed three tries to eventually be successful with 82.5kg. The bench went a little better with Megan extending her lead with 72.5kg, Jessica pressing 60kg and Dominique successful with 47.5kg on her third. The deadlift proved to be much better for all three ladies as Megan showed some impressive strength finishing off with a 162.5kg/357lb Deadlift and a 345kg total for the win. Dominique steadily built on her total surpassing Jessica with a 137.5kg third attempt which equaled Jessica’s total and beat her on bodyweight! Jessica pulled 122.5 for a 267.5kg total and third place. Well done ladies! In addition, Megan was the Best Open Women’s lifter on the day!

Audrey Mifflin and Sarah Farr scrapped it out in the Women’s Open 84+ category. Although, “scrapping it out” is not a fair description as both of these ladies are very easy going individuals. This was Sarah’s first official powerlifting meet and she has been training at the 17 Wing Strength Club with Krista and Rob Snow to prepare for this. I’m not sure where Audrey trains but she proved to have a good base. Audrey was 7/9 on the day missing her second bench and waiving her third. Sarah went 9/9 and steadily built on her total smiling, dancing and having fun the whole time. Audrey had the advantage in the squat with 112.5 to 102.5 for Sarah. Sarah gained some back some ground on the bench pressing 67.5kg to Audrey’s 60kg. However, Audrey likes to deadlift it seems and she pulled a 155kg deadlift for a 327.5kg total and the win! Saran finished with a 120kg deadlift and a 290kg total for a very respectable second place finish.

There were five Junior Men lifting in three of the weight classes yesterday. Michael Chan was alone in the Junior 83kg Unequipped class; there were three lifters in the 93kg Junior Unequipped class and a single 120kg competitor.

Michael Chan has demonstrated some serious strength for a young man as evidenced by his 415 Wilks Coefficient Total, which by the way was the highest Wilks on the day! This was achieved by a 190kg squat a solid 145kg bench (best of all the Junior lifters) and again a 272.5kg Deadlift to top it off and a 607.5kg total to top it off! Very nice lifting by Michael on only his second competition.

There were three lifters in the Junior 93kg class. Olimar Gutierrez was back for a second time from his debut at the Brickhouse Gym Meet in February. He squatted 212.5kg to take the lead but only pressed 82.5kg waiving his second and third lifts due to an injury. This was unfortunate as Olimar possesses a very good Benchpress as he was close to pressing 400lbs in the Brickhouse Meet! Perhaps it was a strategy to allow his fellow lifters a glimmer of hope? Was this what Kurt Pili and his coaches were thinking when they noticed they were tied at the sub-total with 295kg each? Teagan Friesen was not far behind with a 167.5kg squat and a 97.5kg bench for a 265kg sub either. Mmmmm! Let’s see what the deadlift holds….well, all three did very well in the deadlift without a missed attempt! Olimar finished with 250kg; Kurt with 225kg and Teagan with 210kg. Totals revealed that Olimar was in first with 545; Kurt won second with a 520kg total and Teagan was third with a 475kg total.

Brandon Sutherland was competing against the bar and his own expectations in the Junior 120kg class. Brandon was finding this a challenging day as he was 4/9 on the day. Brandon’s greatest success was in the squat where he managed two successful attempts with a best of 190kg. Brandon benched 140kg and pulled 240kg for a 570kg total. I see a lot of potential in Brandon’s lifting, he will need to work on getting more successful attempts on the board to demonstrate his progress.

The 74kg Men’s Open Unequipped class is set to become a very competitive one in Manitoba. Adding Kevin Le and Jonathan Leung to the talent pool can only bode well for the future of the competitiveness in this class. Kevin Le managed a 5/9 day but that include two unsuccessful (barely on the 2nd attempt) at the Provincial record deadlift. Kevin’s went 3/3 on his squats with a 190kg best, a single successful bench of 130 and a 235kg deadlift for a 542.5kg total! Jonathan Leung solidly and methodically built on his total by not missing a lift and finishing with 472.5kg via 182.5, 105 and 185 for the lifts.

There were four lifters in the Men’s 83kg Open class. This class showed some very good lifting and a savvy third deadlift selection for a medal as part of the highlights. At the end of the squats the four lifters were separated by only 25kg. Dino Camire was on top with a best of 200kg, Henry de Guzman was next with a 195kg squat followed by Daniel Collette with a 180 and Daniel Santos with 175kg. The bench proved to be a challenge for all but Daniel C. who went 3/3 finishing with 117.5kg. Daniel S. finished up with 102.5kg setting the stage for the “Battle of the Daniels” in the deadlift. Henry only needed his first bench of 132.5kg to have the best bench of the class. Dino pressed 127.5kg and then took a HUGE jump to 142.5 which was not in the script for the day. The deadlifts proceeded with great success as there was only a single attempt missed for all four men. Dino pulled the largest deadlift for a 562.5kg total and the win just a week after a Bodybuilding competition. Well done Dino! Dino’s performance was good enough to narrowly edge out Devin Normandin for the Best Male Open Powerlifter of the meet too. Henry pulled his third attempt at 227.5kg to lock up 2nd with a 555kg total.

Now, back to the battle of the Daniels. With the first deadlifts Daniel Santos pulled even with Daniel Collette by pulling 190kg to 170kg. Now both men were at a sub-total of 467.5kg. On seconds, Daniel Collette pulls 180kg for a subtotal of 477.5kg Daniel Santos pulls 205kg to take a lead in the subtotal of 482.5kg. Daniel Collette goes up another 10kg to 190 and is successful for a 487.5kg total. Daniel Santos puts 212.5kg on the bar as he weighs more than Daniel C. and therefore he has to total more in order to jump to 3rd place. Well, Daniel Santos did it and he moved into third with some deft number calling and a total of 490kg for the Bronze. A well fought battle for a placing in the meet.

The Men’s 93 kg Open class had two competitors and with a few more successful attempts this could have been a much closer affair. Devin Normandin went 3/3 in the squat to finish with 200kg to the 185 for Timothy Galang. However, Timothy missed attempts at 200 and 215kg which if he had been successful would have pushed Devin a little more. Both men had good benching sessions not missing a lift. Devin improved his lead with a 20kg higher bench of 165kg to Tim’s 145. The Deadlifts also proceeded without failure with Devin pulling 242.5kg to 230kg for Timothy. Devin wins with a 607.5kg total to 560kg for Timothy.

There was another weight class with four competitors in the 105 Open Men’s category. The squats would prove to be close as three men were within 5kg of each other after the dust settled. Jordan Wolfman had the best attempt at 210kg; Mike Noone was next with 187.5kg; Daniel (yes another Daniel) Monteverde was good for 185kg; and Gord Grimolfson was in there with 182.5kg at his first meet. This group collectively were successful with 50% of their benches. Daniel was on top with 130kg; Gord was next with 117.5; Jordan with 110kg and Mike with 105kg. The deadlifts proved interesting with Mike pulling 185kg for a 477.5kg total and fourth place. Gord and Daniel had a battle for second with Daniel going 3/3 and finishing with 207.5kg and a 522.5kg total. Gord had to re-take his second pull at 220kg so I believe that prevented him from pulling the 5kg more he needed on his third to take the win. Gord finished with 520kg. Jordan proved that having a good deadlift helps to win contests as he pulled 227.5kg for the win with a 542.5kg total.

Mathieu Kuhn was alone in the Open 120kg class. This was Mathieu’s first meet back in Manitoba since being re-posted here. Mathieu had competed years ago at the 17 Wing meets and is a MPA record holder in the Military class of the Benchpress. Mathieu had a good day going 7/9 with a 220kg squat, a 150kg bench and a 230kg deadlift for a 600kg total. Well done!

Danil Naumov was alone as well in the 120+ Men’s Open class. He very conservatively lifted a 215kg squat, a 125kg bench and a 210 deadlift for a 550kg total. I believe with Danil’s build he is capable of some large numbers if he puts his mind to it. C’mon Danil, let’s see what you can do next time.

We had three individuals compete in the Benchpress portion of the 2016 version of the Portage Strength Classic. We were playing with as many as 5 – 6 lifters for the Benchpress but there were withdrawals for various reasons. In the end injuries dictated who was going to test their bench and it was up to Amanda Burg and Trent Monk to see how much they could do without a Bench Shirt in the Unequipped division. Amanda pressed a good second attempt at 72.5kg for the win in the 84+ Women’s Open Benchpress class. Trent was nursing a hamstring injury and he mustered a 100kg first attempt for the first place in the 83kg Men’s Open Unequipped Bench. Krista Vanderwaeter proved that she is a benching demon in her Blue Katana shirt and her personalized foot blocks as she went 3/3 pressing 107.5kg and not only taking her class but also the trophy for the best Benchpresser at the meet. Congratulations Krista!!

Well, these reports are taking me longer to complete so I may try to change my format with our meets growing the way they do. It was a wonderful day of lifting in Manitoba! Our sport is growing as there were many first time lifters again at this meet. The crowd was vocal and encouraging to everyone and they stayed for the entire day!! Thank you to Travis, Vince and their respective families for taking on this meet and making it a success. Thank you to all of the spotters and loaders who helped out and pitched in yesterday. We cannot do this without the help of volunteers. Thanks to the Referees and the other people who pitched in or offered to in order to make this meet successful. We’ll see you on the wood at the Provincials in September.

Brock Haywood
MPA President
IPF Category I Referee

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