It was a great weekend for three local powerlifters as they each won gold medals in their respective categories.
The Saskatchewan Powerlifting Association provincial championships were held at the Golden Nugget and had the highest number of competitors.
“It was good competition. It was our biggest provincials we’ve ever had in Saskatchewan,” said Ryan Stinn from the local powerlifting club.
There were 36 lifters from around Saskatchewan, a couple out of the province and some new lifters as well. Only four competitors had to drop out due the weather.
Moose Jaw’s James Beckett, Robyn Pearce and Randy Luzny all won gold medals in their divisions.
Beckett was competing in his first event and had only been training for a couple of months prior to provincials. He lifted in the 66-kilogram Male Open Classic division and benched 75 kg, deadlifted 115 kg and squatted 92.5 kg. His total was 282.5 kg and all his lifts were provincial classic records.
“He is very new to the sport, but he was good and lifted well,” Stinn said. “I was on the platform, so I couldn’t do much coaching, but for it being his first meet, he lifted good and didn’t get too nervous.”
Now it will be time for Beckett to get back into the gym and work on some things that Stinn saw in his performance in order to get stronger for the next competition.
“Overall, he did really well,” he said.
Pearce competed in the 57 kg Female Junior Equipped class and benched 57.5 kg, deadlifted 112.5 kg and squatted 112.5 kg for a total of 282.5 kg. Her squat and total were provincial records.
“She lifted well, but had a bit of trouble on each of her third attempts,” Stinn explained. “She was pushing herself really hard, but she is a full time student in Saskatoon. Over the season, she was living here and training with us, so it was easy to get good training in. It is a little bit tougher being in school and away while trying to get the training in.”
Luzny is a 52-year-old Special Olympian that has been competing and training with the local club for about 14 years now. He lifted 73 kg in the squat, benched 57.5 kg and deadlifted 100.5 kg for a total of 231 kg for a gold medal. The squat and deadlift are provincial classic records.
With a record-setting number of competitors at provincials this year, the sport is growing throughout the province, which is great to see for the local club.
“We have 85 members, up about 30 numbers from last year. We’ve grown quite a bit and saw a lot of new athletes,” Stinn said. “It is funny going to provincials and not recognize most of the athletes. We had some really strong new people that crossed-over from other sports. There were quite a few good lifters.”
Pearce will be looking towards nationals in the spring and Beckett is still new to the sport, so he might train for a meet early next year and Luzny is involved in other sports, so he will be competing for an event in June of next year.