ATHENS - Two Best Lifter Awards, the Champion of Champions Plaque, a slew of state and national records and the team trophies in the Bench-Only and Full-Power divisions: all-in-all, not a bad day for the Georgia IronDawgs Powerlifting team at the American Powerlifting Committee Georgia State Open Powerlifting-Bench Press Championships in Athens on Saturday.
The Dawgs' newest member, East Hall middle-schooler Chandler Paden, took home the teenage full-power Best Lifter Plaque, while veteran IronDawg and Gainesville resident, East Hall graduate Dwon Johnson, not only took home the Men's Best Lifter Award in the full-power class, he also won the meet's overall Richard E. Reno "Champion of Champions" award.
Lifting in the Men's Open Superheavyweight class, Johnson broke his own national marks in the squat at 365 kilograms/804.68 pounds, bench (195/429.9) and total (832.5/1,835.33) after getting his opening deadlift of 272.5/600.75.
"I struggled with my lifts today," Johnson said after getting red lights on his last two deadlifts, "but I'm proud I got it (the award)."
Lifting in the 13-15 year-old 52.5/115.74 raw class, Paden i set a new national record in the squat at 62.5/137.79 and Georgia State Records in the bench (32.5/ 71.65), dead-lift (47.5/104.72) and total (142.5/ 314.16) after weighing in at around 100 pounds in his first meet.
Although participating in sports such as wrestling, football and cross country at East Hall Middle, Paden has only been preparing for the state weightlifting meet for about a month.
His father, Rob Paden, who took first in the Master's Men's 40-44 year-old 140/308.64 raw class with national records across the board in squat (260/573.2); bench-press (205/451.94); dead-lift (262.5/ 578.71) and total (727/1,603.85) was beaming after seeing his son do so well.
"I'm proud of him," Rob Paden said of Chandler. "That's just awesome, awesome."
Clermont resident and North Hall grad Rene Holquin did not set any individual category national marks in the meet with his squat of 215/473.99; bench-press (167.5/369.27); and dead-lift (242.5/534.62); but his total of 625/1,377.8 was a new national record in the Men's Open 82.5/181.88 class.
"I guess I'm well balanced," Holquin said with a smile.
Gainesville grad C.J. Allen weighed in at 269 pounds and broke his own national records in the raw Junior Men's 125/275.56 class in the squat and deadlift with efforts of 275/606.27. Added to his bench of 167.5 kg, it gave him a new record total of 717/1,581.8.
Gainesville resident Juan Diego, competing in his first meet, won the Men's Open raw full-power 100/220.05 class by squatting 170/374.78, benching 125 kg and dead-lifting 207.5/457.45 for a total of 502.5/1,1078.12.
Braselton resident and Johnson High grad T.J. Conner was second in the Junior Men's 90/198.41 class with his personal record lifts of 215 kg in the squat; 145/319.67 in the bench and 215 kg in the deadlift for a total of 575/1, 267.65.
On the bench-only side, Oakwood resident R. Garry Glenn, the dean of the IronDawg lifters at this meet at almost 57 years old, finally broke the existing national record in the Masters Men's 55-59 year-old 90-kilogram equipped class. After weighing in at just under 196 on Friday, Glenn pushed 183/403.44 to edge by Butch Sharp's record, which had stood since 2007.
"I've been chasing that record for some time, and it really feels good to finally crack that 400-pound barrier in a meet," Glenn said. "I'd done it in practice, but never in competition."
Also in the equipped bench-only divisions, Johnson grad Chris Simpson of Gainesville set the new state record in the Masters Men's 50-54, 140-kg class with his press of 227.5/501.55. Gainesville's Tim Moon, another Jefferson alum, took gold in the Masters Men's 45-49 year-old 125-kg class. Weighing in at 252, Moon pushed 250/551.15 for the heaviest bench of the day.
George Bradley of Gainesville, lifting in the 67.5/148.81 class at about 136 pounds, won the Masters Men's 50-54 year-old class with his lift of 102.5/225.97. Andy Williamson of Winterville took first for the IronDawgs in the 100 kg division for Masters Men's 45-49 year-old with his bench of 210/462.97.
White County High student Dylan Waggoner was not on the Dawgs roster for this meet, but lifting in the 18-19 teen raw category in the 125-kg class, Waggoner recorded an American record of 207.5/457.45. He won the class and the Men's Best Lifter Award in the bench-only category.