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Dawsonville's Charity Witt makes splash in first powerlifting meet
Landon Jameson and Charity Witt pose for a photo after Witt was the fullpower Best Lifter in Saturday’s Iron Beast Invitational at the Iron Beast Gym in Gainesville. - photo by For The Times

When Dawsonville’s Charity Witt decided to try her hand at competitive powerlifting, it came at the urging of her boyfriend, powerlifter and Georgia’s Strongest Man winner Landon Jameson, as well as a personal desire to get stronger.

But she had no idea the type of success she would have in her first meet ever, Saturday’s Iron Beast Invitational at the Iron Beast Gym in Gainesville. Not only did she set personal records, but when the totals were posted and the lifting scores calculated, she had won out over everybody else for fullpower Best Lifter, the first time in the history of the American Powerlifting Committee (APC) a female lifter had done that.

On the way to the title in the junior women’s 165.35-pound raw or unequipped class, Witt posted a squat of 280 pounds; a bench press of 170 and an amazing deadlift of 345 for an impressive total of 795 pounds.

It may have been Witt’s first meet, but she says it won’t be her last as she has “several more” planned for this year.

Other local winners included Gainesville’s Jordan Clark in the Junior Men’s 181.88-pound class (S-360/B-215/D-390/T-965); Murrayville’s Aaron Finks in the Junior Men’s 198.41-pound class (S-345;B-305;D-455; T-1,105) and Gainesville’s John Dunagan in the Master’s Men’s 45-49 year old 275.58-pound class (S-365; B-290-D-345; T- 1,015). All fullpower competitors competed raw. Dunagan had the heaviest squat of the day, while Finks’ benchpress and deadlift was tops in the fullpower categories.

All-Time Equipped Bench-Press Champion in the 132.28-pound class, Lumpkin County graduate Eric Head, now living in Suwanee, is training in raw fullpower and performed as an exhibition lifter. At a bodyweight of 140, Head had a total of 1,070 pounds (S-350; B-370-D-350).

In the bench-only category, a number of Georgia IronDawg team members came home with gold. Lifting raw, James Houston of Jefferson led the way with his press of 320 in the Submaster’s 220.46-pound class. Winterville’s Andy Williamson in the 242.51-pound class pressed 315 in the MM 45-49 age group; and Flowery Branch’s 73-year-old Zack Layfield lifted 180 pounds to win the 70-74 82.5 kg. class at a bodyweight of around 167. Among Equipped lifters, Gainesville’s George Bradley was credited with 205 to take the medal in the 148.81-pound MM 55-59 age group.

Oakwood’s R. Garry Glenn, lifting in the MM 60-64 year-old 100 kilo group at a bodyweight of just under 201 had the heaviest equipped benchpress of the day when he pushed 370 to take the title in his division. He fell short of the lock-out when he attempted 390 on his third lift.

The APC will host the State Powerlifting Meet in Athens on March 28.

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