ATHENS — Local powerlifters opened 2009 competition with a successful day at the IronDawg Open Record Setters Bench Press Championships at the Moose Lodge in Athens on Saturday.
For the first time, the American Powerlifting Committee held a raw division competition in various age and weight groups as part of the event.
Raw entrants lift only in singlets with weight belts and wrist wraps, and do not use the special-equipment lifting shirts that gives benchpressers a boost.
The top raw lifter of the day was Dahlonega’s 22-year-old Eric Head. Lifting in the men’s junior 60-kilogram class, Head successfully lifted 132.5 kg to claim the Best Lifter Trophy.
The Best Lifter in the equipped class went to sub-master (35-39 year old) lifter John Rowland of Jones County who pressed 270 kg lifting in the 110-kg class. His was the heaviest bench of the day.
Hall County was well represented with several area lifters taking home records and/or first place plaques.
Gainesville’s George Bradley won the 67.5 kg master’s men’s 50-54 equipped class with a press of 110 kg. Oakwood’s R. Garry Glenn went 3-for-3 in setting the national record in the Master’s Men’s 50-54 year-old 82.5 kg with his third press at 145 kg.
Gainesville’s Gary Hatfield, who serves as the Brenau University strength coach, broke Glenn’s old national record in the equipped master’s men’s 50-54 90 kg class when his first lift of 200 kg was deemed successful.
"He doesn’t spell it the same way I do, but it’s good to keep that national record within the ‘Gary’ class," Glenn said. "I guess I won one (national record) and lost one."
Gainesville’s Yan Howah set the national record in the master’s men’s 55-59 year-old 110 kg raw class with a lift of 185 kg.
Gainesville’s Tim Moon set the master’s men’s national record in the 40-44 raw class with a press of 195 kg. Moon also was tops in the equipped division, finishing with 205 kg.
East Hall High’s Tyler Brown, lifting in the 18-19 super heavyweight teen class, set the national raw record of 155 kg. Brown also lifted equipped, benching 227.5 kg. Brown, who holds a number of state and national weight lifting records and who played football last season for East Hall, gave credit to his trainer, Rob Paden.
Other Northeast Georgia lifters who took home firsts included White County’s Beth Kimsey, who lifted 62.5 kg to win the women’s junior 56 kg equipped classification; and Jefferson’s Brian Collins, who won the master’s men’s 40-44 year-old 82.5 kg equipped class with a press of at a bodyweight of around 172 pounds.