Part One: The Girls
The female classic 47k class will be a battle, not for any individual placings, but for who will set the National total record the highest. Currently, the National total record is 220k, set by PEI’s Jill MacFarlane. However, Jill will be facing off with three other athletes, both in Junior and Master Classes, who all have totaled above 220k in the past 12 months in local-level competitions. Since National records cannot be broken at local meets, the race to the record books will be even more important on the National stage. Look out for: Crystal Grimsen (Open - 232.5k total), Odette Michaud (M2 - 242.5k total) and Pamela Anderson (Junior – 260k total).
It’s amazing to see first-time powerlifters rival veterans of the sport. This is particularly true in the female classic 52k class with Maria Htee and Steph Puddicome from Newfoundland. Both of these girls competed for the first time in November. Steph totaled 307.5k landing her 13th on the all-time ranking. Maria totaled 322.5k placing her 10th on the all-time ranking. Most athletes train a lifetime to crack the top 20, and these girls did it on their first go-around. After following both of these girls’ training since November, I can certainly say that you don’t want to miss their flights. In particular, Maria has recently squatted an easy 132k in training with the World Record only being 146k!
If you want some solid lifting from our Junior athletes, look no further than the female classic 63k class. There are three girls who all have a shot at the top spot on the podium. Both Kristen Elliot (292.5k total) from Newfoundland and Alicia Kingsland (287.5k total) from BC are traditionally 72k lifters, but have decided to come down a weight class to compete with Meara Mulholland (295k total), also from BC, who boasts the top total going into Nationals. The placings in this class should come down to the final pull.
With more girls deciding to lift Classic this year, the equipped categories are far less deep, but that’s not to discredit their performances. We have several World Class female athletes competing equipped.
There are two girls to watch in the 57k class: Junior Savanah Porzuczek from Quebec and Sub-Junior Mikayla Lohse from Saskatchewan. Savannah won a bronze medal at the 2013 Junior World Championships with a 430 total and 511 Wilks. Most recently, she squatted 172.5k easily in training; not your average feat of strength. Savanah’s younger counterpart, Mikayla, is not new to powerlifting either. This will be her third National Championships and will likely put up a 300+k total, another extraordinary feat for someone that age. In the 57k class we also have some incredible master lifters: Julie Watkin and Carol Brady. Both athletes who have previously medaled at a World Championships.
Avi’s Picks for Overall Female Winners:
Classic Powerlifting: Maria Htee
Classic Bench Press: Breann Thiessen
Equipped Powerlifting: Rhaea Stinn
Equipped Bench Press: Dani Savoie