Prairie CrossFit Powerlifting Open
Well the Prairie CrossFit Powerlifting Open was a resounding success. Last Sunday we gathered in a packed Prairie CrossFit Gym co-owned by Derek Wickham and Brad Gerbrandt. I don’t know if they had decided on the division of labour prior to the competition but Derek competed and Brad was the Platform General and spotted and loaded all day…..maybe Derek had it easier? Derek and Brad did a great job of hosting this event. They convinced some of their gym members to volunteer and boy did these gentlemen and ladies work hard!
Spotting and loading as I have said in the past (and I repeated more than a few times during the meet) is the hardest job there is at a Powerlifting Meet. We had a hearty four CrossFitters who were sure that they could handle the volume of work necessary to spot and load for 28 Competitors. These four were: the aforementioned Brad Gerbrandt, Zack Goodz, Adam Strome and Kevin Bradshaw. These gentlemen had never volunteered at a Powerlifting competition before but they were not shy about lifting heavy things for long periods of time. All four worked their collective buns off and did a wonderful job on the platform. They caught the weight when they had to and supported the lifters in a friendly, tireless, supportive manner. Congratulations gentlemen on a job well done!
An equally important job that most people do not consider is the efficient running of the meet. The MPA recently invested in a lap top and projector to aide in this endeavour. I repeat it here for our future meets, the reason for an entry deadline is to allow the Meet Director/Technical Director suitable time to organize the lifters into flights, fill out the Score Cards, print off and prepare the attempt cards etc. The division of the lifters into flights takes some time and forethought in order to have lifters in the same age and weight categories lift together to foster competition and to provide the opportunity to get the best performances for everyone. All of this takes some hours of time invested in the effort to assist the meet in running smoothly.
We had two new volunteers running the Head Table on Sunday. Both Sherri Clark and Heather Bogacki are Prairie CrossFit members who were willing to help. Both of these ladies had a 5 min. crash course from me about the general expectation of how the Head Table should run. Sherri and Heather did a wonderful job of running the computer, taking attempts and announcing in a hectic loud environment. There were no errors on the data entered on the spreadsheets or the scorecards which is a huge accomplishment. Sherri and Heather were quick studies and were able to keep the meet running smoothly and efficiently throughout the day. Congratulations ladies on a job well done and Thank You for your time and efforts!
The Officiating contingent was ably handled by Susan Haywood – CPU National level Referee, Rob Snow – Provincial level Referee and yours truly, Brock Haywood – IPF Category I Referee. Rob had achieved his Provincial Referee’s status in Nova Scotia while he was posted and living there. His return to Manitoba is exciting and will be a huge benefit for the MPA in the future. I know I can speak for all of us who knew Rob and Cathy prior to their reposting to Greenwood that we are quite happy to have them back in the ‘Peg.
Our sport of Powerlifting is seeing a growth spurt this year. Since the inclusion of Unequipped lifting (which gets us back to our roots about finding out who is really the strongest) the sport of Powerlifting has been growing steadily. In Manitoba this means that we have gone from 10+ years of annual memberships that were around the 30 – 35 mark for the year to 2014 where we had 53 members prior to this contest and there were 13 more CPU cards sold for this meet bringing our total membership up to 66 Members!!! This shatters our previous membership totals and it is very encouraging to see the sport grow, to see new people discover our sport of the “odd lifts” and embrace it like a post meet pizza.
Now onto the synopsis of the lifting, there were six women lifting at this meet. We had two ladies going head to head in the 57kg weight class, one in the 63kg class, a new Junior lifter in the 72kg class and two returning veterans in the 84+kg weight class. The battle in the 57kg class was between Caitlyn Clement and Jessa Jane Nguyen. I believe this was Caitlyn’s third competition this year with us and this was Jessa Jane’s first meet in Manitoba. Caitlyn went 7/9 missing only her third squat and third bench. She was able to improve on her squats (75kg) and deadlifts (100kg) and a total of 220kg to give her new MPA Military records improving on her previous marks. Jessa Jane proved to be a strong competitor managing an 8/9 day out squatting Caitlyn by 20kg and pulling 10kg more for a total of 247.5kg for the win.
Linda Falcao Cardoso was a new lifter who was in Dauphin watching the action. Linda had a little trouble with her squats missing all three attempts. She continued on getting two benches and two deadlifts. Linda wanted to see where her strength lay and she expressed that she was happy with her efforts in spite of not obtaining a total. Better luck next time Linda!
In the 72kg Women’s Junior class we had a very determined young lady lifting for the firs time, Tasnim Banuga was able to squat 105kg missing her second and third with a higher weight, she then had a struggle in the bench need all three tries to get 57.5kg. Tasnim then showed she has the potential for some larger numbers by opening up with 137.5kg in the deadlift, missing 145 (just over double her bodyweight) and then pulling it on her third for a 307.5kg total and a first competition Wilks of 304. This was a good inaugural performance. I’m sure that Tasnim will improve on this in the future.
Kelli Linforth and Hailey Kostynuik were both in the Women’s 84+kg weight class but Kelli is an Open lifter and Hailey is still a Junior. Both ladies improved upon their previous efforts this year. Kelli had a 6/9 day missing her thirds on all three lifts which indicates to me that she was pushing her limits and testing to see what she could do. Kelli totalled 307.5 which I believe is a PB. Hailey was competing for her third time this year and she continued her onslaught of the MPA Record Books by improving on her Squat, Deadlift and Total for new MPA records. Hailey Squatted 140kg, Benched 85kg and missed 92.5 before going 3/3 in the deadlift finishing off with 162.5kg and a total of 387.5kg. This was another solid performance from Hailey.
The encouraging thing that I have found with the new Powerlifters entering the sport is the number of Junior lifters who enter and are representing themselves very well for seemingly coming “out of the woodwork” as it were. What I have noticed with the information age of the Internet, YouTube etc. is that these new lifters are demonstrating some really solid lifting form for training on their own or at least without a mentor from the sport. Jayson Palapuz was one such lifter who was entered in the Men’s Junior 66kg weight class. Jayson missed his first squat but increased his second by 2.5kg to get 147.5 and a third of 155kg. In the Benchpress, Jayson missed 90kg on his first then pressed on his second attempt and then jumped 7.5kg which proved to be too much on his third. Deadlifts however were another story as Jayson nailed all three finishing off with 190kg and a 435 total at his first meet.
The 74kg class had two competitors but they were in different age categories. Both were new to lifting here in Manitoba. Nhan Nguyen recently moved here from the USA to marry Jessa Jane. Nhan was a well built lifter who obviously had previous experience. Nhan squatted 200kg struggled a little on the bench being successful with his opener only of 120 and then put on a deadlift clinic first pulling a miss loaded bar successfully but he was awarded an attempt with his originally requested weight of 215kg, this too was successful along with a second of 237.5 and a third of 242.5 for a whopping total of 562.5 and a 409 Wilks as a Junior!! Nhan and Jessa indicated they are staying here in Winnipeg so the 74kg MPA records will fall when he is a resident and officially a CPU member in the future.
Cody Dietrich was good for 6/9 attempts missing his third squat and second and third attempt benchpress but like Nhan he was able to pull all three Deadlifts for a 477.5kg total and I believe a new MPA record in the deadlift with his 212.5kg final pull. This was a good debut performance from Cody.
The 83 kg class had three competitors however, first time lifter Victor Auilar Barajas tweaked an injury during warm ups for the squat and thus withdrew from the competition. Victor chose to Benchpress and opened with an easy 130kg and then took a second attempt of 142.5kg which was good enough to break a MPA Benchpress Single lift record. Hector waived his third and then seemed to pack his gym bag and head home as he did not stay long enough to receive his medal.
Derek Wickham and Quin Ferguson battled it out for bragging rights in this weight class after Victor withdrew. Quin had some difficulty completing his first two squats while Derek quietly succeeded in all three attempts finishing with 170kg. With the crowd behind him Quin rallied and was able to squat 175kg on his third. Both men benched their first two attempts well with Quin extending his lead by 7.5kg over Derek. On the third attempt Derek failed with 115 and Quin pressed 122.5kg so now it was a 17.5kg lead for Quin at the sub total. Both men were able to lift all three of their deadlifts with Derek attaining a PB (I believe) of 215kg and Quin pulling 245 to increase his lead and earn the gold. There was some excellent lifting from the co-meet director and Quin.
The 93kg class had five lifters in total two were Juniors and three were Open category lifters. The Juniors were Kurtis Tallaire and Scotty Downs. Kurtis had a good day going 8/9 and totalling 492.5kg. This included a 182.5kg Squat, 100kg bench and a 210kg deadlift (no flatulence on that one). Scotty had the support of most of his family to cheer him on and his older brother Ben lifting in the same session. Sporting a new look right out of the pages of GQ Scotty had shed his long locks for a very flattering haircut. Is there a parallel to Samson here? I’m not sure but Scotty struggled with some of his lifts only going 4/9 on the day with two squats, one bench and a very nice opening deadlift of 262.5kg this was good enough for a 582.5 total and the win but some weight was probably left on the bar for Scotty on Sunday. My guess is that he had some specific goals in mind and went for them but they were just out of reach on the day.
The Open 93kg class saw some good lifting and weight choice by both Jesse Jamison and Robert Waller. Jesse went 8/9 only missing one squat that found him on his heels and going over backwards when he lost balance. He was alright though and it certainly woke the spotters up! Jesse finished squats with 205kg to Robert’s 177.5. Jordan Guilford was back after his debut in Dauphin. Jordan missed his second attempt and finished with 215kg for the lead over Jesse by 10kg. Benchpress saw Robert take two attempts and wave his third. He finished off with 120kg. Jesse showed some solid lifting technique and went 3/3 in the Bench finishing up with 127.5kg. it was a long slow press but he stuck with it and locked the weight out. Jordan was only able to get his first attempt at 130kg but this gave him the lead at the sub total with a 12.5kg cushion between him and Jesse. Robert was obviously having fun and was in at the sub with 297.5kg. Both Robert and Jesse were able to go 3/3 in the Deadlift but Robert held the upper hand here finishing off with a very nice PB of 227.5kg. Jesse was in with 210kg and was able to lock up the silver with a 542.5 total to Robert’s 525. Jordan pulled 230 and 242.5kg before finding 250 a bit too heavy. He finished with 587.5kg total and the win!
There were four lifters in the 105 weight class. Kyle Thompson was the lone Junior lifter and was sailing along with his attempts until the deadlift. Kyle by his own admission got a little too cocky and opened up with a PB on the Deadlift. This was a mistake as all three times he tried to pull the 230kg it would stall out just above his knees. It is always hard when a lifter bombs out but Kyle had a positive attitude about his error and he should be better prepared for his next competition.
Vince Green was back to compete for the second time this year and he demonstrated good lifting technique getting 222.5, 157.5, and 212.5 for a 592.5kg total and bragging rights as the strongest old guy at the meet with a 358 Wilks. I believe that Vince broke the Provincial record he set at the Dauphin meet as well.
Two newcomers to the sport John Skeavington and Sam Martz duelled it out for the top honours in this class. John was good for two squats finishing up with 152.5kg. Sam, who was voted “Best Hair” at the meet, was good for all three squats finishing up with 195kg. Both men went 3/3 in the Bench with Sam showing some picture perfect form and out benched John by 50kg, 155 to 105! The deadlift proved to be a little closer with John pulling two attempts for 192.5kg and Sam also pulling two and missing the third with a 222.5 final pull. So, Sam emerged on top in this duel 572.5kg to 450kg.
There were also five competitors in the 120kg weight class. One Junior lifter, three Open Unequipped lifters and one Open Equipped lifter. Drew Sedor was back for more from Dauphin as well. Drew went 5/9 missing one each of his squat and deadlift and missing 132.5kg twice in the bench. Drew totalled 547.5 for the gold in the 105 Men’s Junior class.
Patrick May, Jordan Lavalee and “Last Minute” Kyle Joynt were going head to head. Unfortunately for Kyle he could not register a legal squat and therefore did not obtain a total. If he had been successful with his opening squat he would have totalled 637.5kg and easily have won the class against the two first timers Patrick and Jordan. What I did notice in Kyle’s lifting was his improved Benchpress and his already strong Deadlift, if he could now work out the squat issues he will hit some very respectable numbers. Jordan Lavalee too had some trouble in the squat managing his first attempt at 157.5 before finding his limit at 167.5. Jordan then showed some smart lifting and finished off the day not missing another attempt and totalling 467.5kg. This was not enough to secure the win as Patrick May quietly and steadily lifted his way to an 8/9 day with a best squat of 190, bench – 140 and a deadlift of 240 for a 570kg total in his first meet and the win. Congratulations Patrick!
Guy Page was back in the gear to lift 2/3 in the Squat surpassing a 21 year old Provincial Standard by pushing up 305kg. Guy was experiencing some elbow pain and chose not to put on the bench shirt. Guy benched 140, followed by 155 without too much difficulty and only faltered on the third of 165kg. Guy then dove into the Deadlift pulling 310kg and missing 320 on his third for a 770kg total and a very nice Wilks of 442. If Guy had been successful on either his bench or his deadlift he would have erased another Provincial Standard that is presently 24 years old! I think this is not far off.
The 120+ category had two lifters competing; one was a “Baby Master” and first time lifter Patrick Cazeau. The other was reigning 120kg Men’s Open Unequipped National Champion Ben Downs. Patrick had a very positive attitude throughout the day. He lifted quite well squatting 145 but needing two tries to get it, then missing 185kg. Benchpress went smoother as he was successful with two attempts finishing off with 160kg which is impressive if you saw how long Patrick’s arms are and how far he had to lock out the bar. Looking at Patrick’s frame it was apparent he may have some talent in the deadlift and this proved to be true. Patrick opened with an easy 265kg and then pulled 290kg just as easily but he was so in control that he set the bar down like it was a tea cup not the 639 lbs that it was. Patrick then tried 302.5 but this was too much and he smiled his way off of the platform with a very respectable 595 total for his first meet.
The rumour was that Ben had been hitting some BIG numbers in the gym and there was an expectation that he could/would have a very good day of lifting. Ben obviously knew where his strength was as he went 8/9 only failing to pull his final Deadlift. Ben opened up with 272.5kg/600lbs, he followed this up with easy lifts (well they looked easy Ben) of 290 and 300kg/661lbs. Ben then opened up the Bench with 182.5, 192.5, and 195/429 for a 495kg subtotal. Ben then demonstrated his prolific pulling prowess with 320, 342.5/755lbs and the miss at 355kg/782lbs!!! Ben totalled a huge 837.5kg Unequipped and had a 474 Wilks!! When I was checking the records I noticed that Ben had improved his total from November of last year by 52.5kg!! THAT, ladies and gentlemen takes hard work and dedication in the gym.
So, as you can see the Manitoba Powerlifters are a strong and improving bunch. The good folks at the 17 Wing have agreed to host a fall competition. The date has yet to be determined. Caitlyn Clement is the new head of the 17 Wing Strength Club as Al Bugden has passed on the reigns to her. Fortunately, the 17 Wing Strength Club has its founding father returned to Winnipeg as Rob Snow and his family were re-posted to Winnipeg from Nova Scotia. Military Powerlifting is growing in Canada and we are privileged to have their help and support here in Manitoba.
See you on the wood in the fall.