A Brief Backstory: I had been looking for a place to train in Selkirk after finding out that “The Gym” had closed last spring (RIP). Well, as luck would have it I stumbled upon an Open House advertisement for Iron Image last November. They were a brand new gym, and I could tell from photos they had bought out some equipment from the recently closed “The Gym”. I went and checked it out on work break one day. What I stumbled into was this massive, former warehouse, with a wicked amount of space (for activities!), with significantly less mold and rain water buckets than “The Gym” had. As MPA President – and a man forever fighting the good fight against “Perimiteritis” – my first thought was, “Meet?!”. Co-owners Matt Evans Sr. and Tom Pachal, men with goals of hypertrophy for their gym and fitness in general, were immediately interested. I spoke with Susan shortly thereafter and stated to her “…Provincials?!” She and Brock visited the venue and met the co-owners as well. Turns out that co-owner, Tom Pachal, had been strength training lately and was interested in competing in powerlifting. He took the CPU Coaching Certification workshop last year and would go on to qualify for Provincials at the Brickhouse Power Challenge. One thing led to another and we set a date. June 23rd: 2018 MPA Provincial Championships.
We would like to thank Steeltown Ford, 204 Skate Shop, Stanley Electric, Sunova Credit Union, realtor Brad Hirst, Innerstrength Products, Titan Canada, Muscletech, and Rivaluis for sponsoring this event. The Haywoods and I were in Calgary at the IPF Classic World Championships earlier in the month, which left us otherwise occupied in the lead-up to this event. Tom and Matt answered the call, stepped up for preparations, and found some terrific sponsors to help feed our volunteers, donate prize packs, and support Powerlifting in Selkirk. Thank you to Iron Image and all of its sponsors!
Tom, Matt, Bill, Garet and Chantal from Iron Image, and a few others (including Tom’s mother, Christine!) showed up to help set up the venue. Shout outs to Tom, Cam (Cam-moron) Chorney and Olimar Gutierrez who helped set up the venue despite having to compete the next day. Thank you to everyone who came out to help setup and those who would help tear down after the competition! Teamwork expedites everything. A special thank you to (future competitor) Dean Smith for answering the Friday night call-out for a microphone; he ended up providing an entire PA system!
Meet day volunteers are the backbone for competitions. Without them, we would have nothing. The head table had 3 Time IPF World Medalist, Hailey Kostynuik, running the computer scoresheet. Beside her, Brickhouse Power Challenge’s Best Master Lifter, Janie Jacobucci, handled the score cards. We found ourselves without an announcer on meet day and who should step up but “MC M.C.” herself – Ms. Michelle Curry! Our platform was managed by MPA Records Chairman and bar cleaning specialist, Kurtis Tallaire, and by Jennie Wilson, who drove out all the way from Brandon to support this event. Aside from the permanently ready-to-go Mr. Dave Oullette, the platform crew were all first-time spotter/loaders. In almost no-time, they were a well-oiled machine. Mike Kehler, Tanya Wereschuk, Randi Chase, Andy Orobko, Victor Aguilar-Barajas, Jason Redpath, Reid Kelner, and Garet Burziak worked their peaches off to keep the contest running for everybody. Please let me know if I have left anyone out as all volunteers deserve personal praise.
Provincial Standards were voted in at the 2017 MPA AGM. That is to say, lifters now needed a qualifying score from a previous contest, that was at least 82.5% that of the National qualifying score in their weight class, in order to participate at Provincials. Inherently, the competition was stiffer and the competitors more seasoned than that of your typical local meet.
A takeaway from this meet is that not one lifter walked out with a 3 for 3 Bench Only or 9 for 9 Powerlifting score. This is evidence that there is always room for improvement. MPA Officials pride ourselves on upholding a high standard of judging. On behalf of Amanda Burg, Krista Sanger, Brock Haywood, Susan Haywood and myself; I speak for everyone when I say we are proud of everyone who competed on Saturday.
Hometown hero, Cam Chorney, elected to participate in the Bench Press Only event. He was just shy of qualifying for the full meet after Wheat Meet 3, but that didn’t stop him from lifting at provincials! He went 2 for 3, won best Male Bench Press award, and represented Iron Image like the champion he is. Morden/Winkler’s Ashleigh Wiebe #TeamJoeyFlex’d her way into Bench Only gold after an injury took her out of the 3 lift event she originally registered for. She demonstrated an impressive arch and broke provincial records in the 72 Junior class. Kudos.
For the first time in years, we were without a junior female Powerlifting division. Ever strange! Our Open females were stacked, though. Regine, not Regina, Tolentino was our lightest female competitor, competing solo in the 63 KG class. She honourably represented the “The Power Moves” club honourably from Movement Fitness and Performance, breaking several provincial records in the process. Congratulations, Regine!
The 72 Open Women were a class of three. Tasnim Banuga won the 72 Open class with a 390 total nearly identical to her 387 Wilks score. She also won our best Female Lifter award. Our best male and female award winners each received trophies as well as $150 gift cards to Inner Strength Products. Wow! Thank you, The Stinns. Silver was awarded to Ms. Cruz who Jennifer-Graced us with a much more composed and smiley performance than what we saw as she narrowly survived the Nationals experience earlier in the year. It’s fun to see fun. Johanna Theroux had a solid third place performance, coming back from an odd no-lift on her opening bench press to a relatively massive 82.5KG third. Kelcey McGilivray continues her comeback tour, winning against herself, coming second overall for females and first overall in the women’s Open 84KG category.
The 84+ Open group had four entrants. Kristie Mitchell overcome a rough-go on the bench press and finished three for three on deadlifts. She will be back to claim a total soon, I’m sure. There was a 17.5 KG spread between first and second, and second and third. Lexie Elias took gold over Audrey Mifflin and Sylvie Dubé-Forslund in the 84+ KG class with a 415 KG total. We had one Master’s lifter in the female division, MPA Referee Chairperson Janet Sitar. After scratching her third squat, Janet had a couple of tough bench presses but finished three for three in deadlifts – good for the title of Best Master Lifter: female.
On the men’s side, Major Mathieu Kuhn was our best male Master lifter. He lifted a 632.5 total in the 120 M1 class in a triumphant return to the sport. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for 17 Wing 2018 details! Not far behind was Brennan McIntyre, taking gold in the 93 M1 along with several M1 records. Congratulations, Brennan! Our senior-most lifter of the day, Mr. David Hrynkow, also broke records and finished at 412.5 KG in the 83 KG M2 class.
We had a guest lifter from Ontario in 74KG subjunior, Elliot Hayton. OPA requires all its members lift at a Provincials in order to attend Nationals, so Elliot was permitted to attain his total at our meet. He looked strong and did just that. Best of luck going forward, sir.
Records, records, records! Our lightest lifter of the day, junior Jordan Smith, broke multiple 59 KG records of his own and pushed through a near injury re-racking a bench press. Jordan now sets his sights on Westerns and Nationals. 74KG junior, Josh Japson, did not pull 500lbs, nor did he pull his injured pec, but he did pull off a 552.5KG and 401 Wilks!
The 83 Juniors all showed up with something to prove. Olimar Gutierrez showed up to help setup the venue the night before the meet. He helped build the very platform on which he earned best junior on the day, and second highest Wilks score overall with 428 points. He went for a National Bench Press record but it unfortunately was not meant to be. Olimar goes out on top as he awaits knee surgery. Daniel Mondor came in second with one heck of a high intensity performance. Mike Lamothe looked crisper than in meets past and earned bronze. Patrick Barbaro looked very pleased with himself after that final deadlift. He missed only his third squat! Consistency is key!
The 93 KG junior battle was our closest of the day. It came down to deadlifts and as the baby powder and chalk settled, Kelvin Lai came in second by just 2.5 KG to Alex Palmer. Alex weighs in at the low end of the weight class and Kelvin weighs in just under the ceiling. It will be interesting to see if these two clash again, as Alex is in his final year as a junior. Powerlifting is a sport, lest we forget the competition!
On that note, we skip forward to the war of the 83 KG Open class, which was perhaps the Main Event of the day. Each man had a goal. Iron Image’s own Tom Pachal, meet director and competitor, entered with the goal of qualifying for Westerns and by golly, he did it! Congratulations, Tom! Dan Collette from Starke Powerlifting club had trouble with his second bench press and unfortunately fell just short of his goal of qualifying for Nationals. 8 for 9 is nothing to sneeze at, though. He will be back and he will qualify! The medalists for the 83KG Open class all came in with a chance to take gold. Adrian Theroux has improved his squat technique and began burying his squats, always packing a strong deadlift. MPA Registration Chairman and Acting Athlete Liaison, Henry De Guzman, has a bench press significantly stronger the other two, while Russell Salada’s squat was poised to be the strongest by a decent margin. Unfortunately, Adrian fell behind early after going one for three on squats. He wound up having the strongest deadlift of the day and came away in third with 580 KG. Henry and Russell came in 2.5 KG apart heading into deadlifts. Russell’s opener was fast but he seemed surprised to lose his second to grip after a 25 KG jump. He went one for three on deads and took silver. Both men both had trouble with grip as Henry nearly bombed out but secured a total and the win with a good third deadlift. Congratulations to all of our 83s!
Jose “Jovi” Cortes stayed cool and pushed himself through some close calls. He finished with a 490 KG total and gold in the 74 Open class. Stephen Sulik had a very strong showing, going 8 for 9. Stephen looked sharp at Western’s and inches closer to a National qualifying total, winning the 93 Open class. Vince Green elected to compete in the Open 120KG division in order to have some local competition! He took gold against sophomore competitor from The Power Moves, Warren Zarichanski. Both men hover around the lower end of the 120 class. Perhaps we will see them duke it out again in the 105s next time?
…I definitely didn’t edit this in later… 😉 The 105 Class was actually our tightest battle of the day upon review! Devan Normandin weighed in at 93.16 KG and elected not to go to extremes to lose the final partial kilogram. He totalled 630, finishing with a 395 Wilks. Not far behind, Andrew McPherson took silver in his second meet. He had trouble with a couple of his seconds but narrowly edged out bronze medalist, Taylor Adolade, who has recently, successfully returned from a debilitating back injury. Daniel Monteverde spoke with me about his decision to lift at 105 – he wanted to enjoy testing himself to lift the most weight possible rather than try to beat the scale. He literally phoned it in and time out his opening squat, leaving his cell phone in his belt on his first squat, but only missed his final bench press thereafter.
Last but certainly not least, our big men came to play in the 120+ class. Daniil Naumov unfortunately had troubles locking out his deadlifts and was not able to secure a total. He brings a unique passion to the sport and I am sure we will see him triumphant in the future. Gold medal, best Open male, best Wilks of the entire day, all belonged to Tyler MacInnis. He finished with 305, 170 and 317.5, a 792.5KG total and a hair away from that 450 Wilks score with 449.82. Congratulations, Tyler.
2018 saw the Innaugural “Best MPA Club Award” awarded to Brickhouse Barbell Club due to sheer volume of competitors. Representatives from other clubs have stated they hope to send out larger rosters next year to try and dethrone the crowned champions. Congratulations, Brickhouse Barbell Club!
Next on our calendar is the Movement Powerlifting Classic, being held August 11th at Movement Fitness and Performance in Winnipeg. This is a special, last chance Westerns Qualifying Meet, as Westerns meet director, Shane Martin, has granted us special permission to allow competitors at this meet to enter Westerns after the August 5th entry deadline. CPU Westerns is to be held between September 6th and 9th and Manitoba hopes to send as many lifters as it can. The Movement meet is capped at 42 lifters and already has 20 entrants. Priority will be given to those lifters who intend to qualify for Westerns so register ASAP. Meets are tentatively being planned for October in Portage, November at 17 Wing, and early in the new year at Stronghold Titan. Stay tuned to http://www.manitobapowerlifting.ca, as well as our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Thank you to everyone involved in MPA Provincials 2018. It was a pleasure to direct and officiate the meet. Everyone involved deserves praise. Until next time –
See you on the platform,
CPU National Referee