Part Two: The Boys
The week starts with some good ol’ fashion classic lifting. Each class runs deep; there are at least seven lifters in every Open class, and sometimes more in the Sub-Junior and Junior categories.
The 66k class is filled with many first-time National athletes, mostly lifting in the Sub-Junior and Junior categories. One of these young men to watch out for is Daniel Remulla from Ontario, who has totaled 550k. With a 439 Wilks, that places him 9th all-time in the Junior rankings and 29th all-time in the Open rankings. Also worth mentioning, the current National record in his Junior class is 492.5k, so I have no doubt that he will be rewriting the record books next week.
In the 74k class, there are some clear favorites to win the Junior and Open Class. In the Juniors, Josh Hancott from Newfoundland has set the bar high with a 652.5k total. In the Open, Kojo Gyennin from Alberta is coming off a sexy performance from the Arnold Sports Festival one month ago, totaling 677.5k. These guys top the all-time classic rankings with Josh at #4 and Kojo at #2. Also in the 72k class is the one and only Joe Stockinger from Alberta. At 84 years old, Joe plans to throw a few World records on the bar, including at 200k deadlift. Say, what?
The 93k class will be a battle of the East, with seven out of the eight competitors coming from Either Ontario or Quebec. The majority of the athletes in this class are highly experienced at the National level, but it should come down to who makes or misses their third attempts. The top three athletes going into the event are Jake Warrington (690k total), Daniel Schultz (685 total), and Vincent Byrne (677.5k total). Also noteworthy performances to watch are Kevin Weiss (M1) from BC who is a long-time competitor in the CPU, and places 4th on the all-time master rankings. As well as, Jerry Marentette (M3) from Ontario, who has been lifting since the 70s, has won almost every award in powerlifting, including being recently inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.
The 105k class is deep, but here are where my biases start coming out. I have two athletes competing in the Open category, James Bartlett and Sebastian Lade. James has previously competed in the 120s, but now that he is a ripped 105er, he will break the National squat, deadlift, and total records in this class. It only seems fair that we take John Macdonald’s 105k records, since recently John Macdonald beat James’ 120k records. I’m still waiting for the day that these two guys meet in the same weight class, but since James got skinny and John got fat, it won’t happen this year. As for Sebastian, this is his first National experience, and we’re hoping for PRs across the board. Also in the 105s, you should watch for Leon Brown, one of Canada’s greatest raw benchers. He just recently broke the M1 World Record at the Arnold Sports Festival, lifting 210k.
There aren’t many equipped lifters in the lightweight men categories, but those who are competing are veteran lifters, including Glyn Moore (M3) from Ontario and Lewis Noppers (M1) from Alberta. Glyn is the meet director for this year’s National Championships, so I always have sympathy for those that choose to lift in the same event they host. On the other hand, Lewis recently won the gold medal at the 2013 Master World Championships, so his lifting should be an exciting performance to watch.
In the 83k class, master lifter Tom Kean (M1), who ranks 3rd on the all-time Master rankings, will be the performance to spectate, especially if you want a lesson on perfect technique. There will also be Kain Lyon, the former Alberta Powerlifting Union president, competing in the Open class. In November he put up his first 500 Wilks, so I’m sure he’ll be at the top of his class on game day.
The 93 open class brings a close battle with two Alberta athletes: Jon Stewart and Evan Dunn. Jon just recently competed at the Arnold Sports Festival, but unfortunately bombed out on the bench press. If he can put together a solid performance this week he will be the top guy to beat. That said, it could be anyone's game with Evan in the line-up. While he hasn’t competed in two years, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been hard at work. His training numbers as of lately have all been personal bests. So if he can get comfortable on the competition platform he will be making a run for the top spot. There are also some World class master lifters in the 93s, including Dave Walters, who is the strongest M1 lifter in the World based on Wilks.
Avi’s Picks for Overall Male Winners:
Classic Powerlifting: Kelly Branton
Classic Bench Press: Leon Brown
Equipped Powerlifting: Kelly Branton
Equipped Bench Press: Mike Armstrong