It’s Thursday, October 15th. Andrew Langelaar and I clear out equipment from my basement/garage into the MPA trailer and I sigh to myself, “Well, this should be fun”.

It’s Saturday, October 17th and as I roll up to the Central Plains RecPlex, I see Andrew Langelaar and his moving partner, Evan, along with MPA member Rhys Fletcher in the early stages of unloading the MPA trailer. It was a small group to start the day, but I smiled to myself, “this is going to be fun”.

Wanda Bosek and Doug Wilcox joined in on the unloading fun and I thank them for picking me up breakfast. Wanda worked her butt off at 7AM and went on to lift at 12:30. Wow! Slowly but surely others began to trickle into the venue and before long we had ourselves a warmup room. This was the first time MPA was able to have a four-rack warmup room with competition equipment available for all of our lifters to use in warmups.

This event also saw the Canadian debut of the brand new charcoal model of the Eleiko rack on the platform. Unique with grip on its bench pad, lifters seemed impressed by the new equipment, though Uncle Dean found it hard on his old back.

We were able to stay under our 50 person group limit in order to comply with COVID-19 precaution regulations. We were able to adhere to government guidelines and the MPA Return to Play plan, in no small part thanks to the communal cooperation of everybody attending the event. Thank you to everyone for wearing their masks, social distancing whenever possible and for filling out their waivers/questionnaires ahead of time.

Our day one platform volunteers included Mikal Thrones, Cole Lange, Jayms Kornelsen, Joey Simms, Josh Seeland and Brendan Hryciuk. On day two, Mikal and Cole were joined by Dean Smith, Brent Smith, Christine McGorman and David Woodward. All of our platform crew were supplied with apparel from Blonde Gorilla Barbell Co., and won numerous prize draws for additional swag. Thank you, Blonde Gorilla Barbell Co.!

At the score table, I announced day one along with Christine McGorman on scorekeeping. Tiffany Lepla joined day two on score card duty and Stephen Sulik’s radio voice lit up the ears of the crowd as our MC. On both days, Ryan Kitson was our tech support and computer master extraordinaire. Ahead of time, Jordan Dulay setup all of the scoresheets digitally on plmeet.com.

A thank you as to our medic Jocelyn Espenell for monitoring the wellbeing of our athletes on both days. Day one had Rhys Fletcher and Deanna Cutler, and day two had Wanda Bosek, Janie Jacobucci and Melissa Perry; acting as our COVID-19 sanitization squad. Additional gratitude to Wanda, Rhys and Deanna for helping register and take temperatures of all persons entering the facility.

Brock Haywood (Cat 1), Susan Haywood (Cat 2) and Thea Olalia (National) refereed both days for our us. Janet Loesel Sitar (National) and myself (National) sat side chair on day one and two respectively, and Jorrel Marasigan (Provincial) and David Hrynkow (Provincial) were the technical controllers for these championships. The depth and consistency of quality refereeing in Manitoba continues to impress.

Teardown was a special event with a ton of helping hands. Thank you to all of our volunteers. We can only run this caliber of event with your help. It is invaluable, each and every time one of you contributes to anything.

Wait, I thought this was a powerlifting meet, not a volunteer-off? You’re right!

The MPA Board of Directors opted to split provincials into four days, over two different weekends; days categorized by age classes. Thinking back to the single flight meets of old, it’s wild to have a full day each of masters and junior/subjuniors. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic we had 34 entrants this weekend, likely more than the number of athletes we averaged at full local level meets just a few years ago. The growth rate of Manitoba Powerlifting is almost startling.

By luck, we were able to secure everyone who entered a spot in this event at max capacity. By even further luck, there were 8 M1 lifters, 8 Juniors and 8 Subjuniors – so making the schedule was way easier than it had any right to be.

Masters Bench Press Only kicked off our event. Amanda Moffitt, my fabulous co-meet director, narrowly missed a provincial record. However, Amanda Moffitt took best bench press award with 52.28 GL points! David Hrynkow was in his first of two competitions in one day and unfortunately did not complete a bench press. Wilma Matieshin entered her first competition – going 2/3 at just 86 years young!

Masters Provincials will go down as a session with almost countless record breaking performances. Each of our lifters entered unique weight classes and thus each received gold medals.

Our best M1 Female and best overall Masters lifter was Janie Jacobucci. She total 365 KG in the 63 KG class and scored 81.04 GL points. GL Points have only been implemented since May, however, to my understanding anything above 80 is quite exceptional, especially for a masters lifter.

Sam Lyons was our best Male M1 lifter. He took the provincial deadlift record for the 93 class and obtained his goal of qualifying for regionals/2021 Nationals.

Though she is technically an M3 lifter (the only M3 powerlifter that day), Gail-Ann Breese was awarded the Best M2 lifter award due to her outstanding performance. She even obtained two National records for her 2nd and 3rd deadlifts. Since the 72 KG class is being removed from the IPF as of 2021, her records will almost certainly be retired at the end of 2020.

Dean Smith ate his way just over 83KG into the 93 KG class and broke darn near every single M2 93 KG record in the MPA record books. He received the title of best M2 Male lifter in the process.

Onto day two!

Flight A consisted of 8 junior lifters. Speaking of that 80 GL Point landmark mentioned earlier, Aaron Layacan managed to hit that 80 point mark as well. Daniel Mondor earned the 105 KG Bench and Total MPA Records with 85 GL Points. Our best Male Junior of the day, Jared McIntyre reached 89.73 GL Points. Although he narrowly missed weight for the 66 KG class, he was the best overall lifter of the entire weekend.

We had three female junior lifters as well. Of the three, Nanxi Huang was able to earn herself the award of Best Female Junior lifter with a total of 277.5 and a GL Points score of 63. Nanxi recently also won herself the 2020 Junior Scholarship award from MPA. Not all things are bad in 2020!

When it was noticed that 8, yes, EIGHT, subjunior athletes entered this contest, we made the decision to place them in the main event, Day Two, Flight B slot. Carson Parago closed the show with a National Record in the deadlift – a very fitting end to a very successful weekend and showing for the children of MPA.

Coached by Eric Vincent, leader of an up and coming group of football players turned powerlifters, our best overall male subjunior athlete was Cam Gregorczyk. He went 9 for 9 and had a GL score of 76 and a total of 503. There are big things on the horizon for high school powerlifting as we aim to target this population for development in the coming years.

After putting in a full day of volunteering on Saturday, including unloading the trailer, taking temperatures, handing out swag bags and sanitizing the back room, Portage La Prairie’s own Rhys Fletcher also went 9 for 9 and earned the title of best Female Subjunior.

A thank you to event sponsors Inner Strength Products for handing out $50 Gift Cards to our Best Lifters. Thank you to Popeyes supplements for handing out swag bags to all of the competitors on the day. Thank you to Magnum Nutriceuticals for your special product donations to best lifters, including hoodies, supplements and shaker cups.

Thank you especially to Amanda Moffitt for taking up co-director duties with only a few weeks to go once it was determined we would be moving to Portage. Thank you to Janet Sitar and Thea Olalia for help overseeing safety protocols related to COVID-19.

This event was originally to be held in Brandon, then Winnipeg, and finally in Southport. Numerous times cancelation and postponement were on the table. However, we pulled it off! Thank you to EVERYONE for your ongoing participation and support.

Our next event is TENTATIVELY scheduled to take place November 21 and November 22 in Selkirk, MB. These plans may very well likely change to postponement, venue switching, or cancelation outright. COVID-19 and the Manitoba Government are more powerful entities than us. We will see where things go from here.

Until Next time,

Mathew Bowen
MPA President

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