By Medicine Hat News on October 9, 2019.
With not one, but two powerlifting federations holding world championships in Calgary this past weekend, Medicine Hat athletes had a rare opportunity to show what they could do on an international stage.
They stack up pretty well.
Nine members of Back Alley Fitness went to WinSport centre, which hosted a rare double-event combining World Powerlifting and 100 per cent Raw Powerlifting. Seven from the Hat gym entered the Raw championships, which only had athletes from North America; the other two entered World Powerlifting’s competition including visitors from Australia, New Zealand and Ireland.
“I had by far my best meet I have ever had,” said Alyssa DeWolfe, who claimed a national deadlift record of 172.5 kilograms en route to a second-place finish in the Raw 90 kg open class. “It was super cool. It was awesome.”
DeWolfe, an owner of Back Alley and a coach, hadn’t even planned on worlds until “accidentally” qualifying from a meet in February. Now, she’s entertaining the idea of taking her competitive lifting to another level.
“What I want to do is get back down into a weight class that I feel comfortable in and be really competitive there,” she said. “I’ll probably spend the next year focusing on getting to my weight class again, then training super hard.”
Lisa Gervais also earned a second-place overall finish, but hers came in the 84 kg open class with the World Powerlifting group. New Zealand’s Jewel Tasi won the class thanks to a huge deadlift.
“I beat her out in the squat by one kilo, beat her in the bench press by six kilos, so it came down to deadlift and deadlift isn’t my favourite,” said Gervais, who’s been to two Raw world championships previously but suffered a rib injury during training this year. “I’ve been training so hard but they don’t seem to go.”
In most other federations, Gervais’ massive 190-kg squat and 110-kg bench press would set records. But World Powerlifting – which began a couple years ago as a potential competitor to the Olympic-sanctioned International Powerlifting Federation – has set high baselines for records instead of starting them at zero.
That’s fine by Gervais, who’s now got to decide which federation to follow in the long run.
“I would prefer to travel, to be honest. I want to go experience different nations, countries, experience the culture there too because that’s a lot different,” she said.
Mike Moorhead was the other Medicine Hat athlete entered in the World Powerlifting event. He finished fourth in his 105 kg division, the only one in his masters 40-44 age group. He put up a squat of 247 kg, a bench press of 180 and a deadlift of 252.
In Raw, Angela Lewis was second in her 75 kg open class and had the best female bench press of the event, 102.5 kg. Add in a 145-kg squat and 155-kg deadlift and she was 12.5 kg away from first.
Cherisse Martineau battled the flu but still won her 90-plus open weight division, including a 75.5 kg national bench press record.
Hayden Schick’s 175-kg bench was the best among Raw’s male entrants, and he was fourth in the 100 kg weight class.
Also in 100 kg, junior Keanu Calderon claimed a 17-and-under title with lifts totaling 427.5 kg.
Another junior Rayelle Smith, won her category with 280 kg of lifting.
Devon Sankey was second in submaster 90 kg with 480 kg of total lifts.
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