The numbers were somewhat down, but the meet was deemed a success by all other counts according to the participants and officials at the 20th Annual Georgia Games Powerlifting and Bench Press Championships on Saturday at Iron Beast in Gainesville.
“The event was officially re-located less than a month ago, and it was sort of hard to get the word out,” said R. Garry Glenn of Oakwood, who competed in the event and served as the meet’s co-director. “Given all of that, it was not surprising that the number of lifters wasn’t as high as it has been. Still, we did host 25 Special Olympians from Savannah as well as the regular lifters and those that came experienced a quality meet on some first-class equipment. The Special Olympians were inspiring in themselves. Mike Kidd, Matt Rawlins, and Jance Footit, who just opened their doors this Thursday, deserve more credit than I can give them for getting their gym ready early and agreeing to serve as hosts.”
Georgia Games chairman Abit Massey was impressed by what he saw and how smoothly everything went.
“This is a great facility,” Massey said. “We are deeply grateful, and hope they’ll agree to do it again next year.”
Kidd, who manages the gym and was the head judge Saturday, is on board.
“Why wouldn’t we?” he said. “I’m completely satisfied with the way it went. The spotters and loaders all did a great job. We had some good saves (on missed lifts). Everybody worked together. It went great.”
“Hopefully, it’ll grow a little bit,” he added. “After hosting one meet, you learn a few things for the next one.”
Glenn won the raw bench-only Master’s Men’s 55-59 year old 198-pound class with a press of 315 pounds.
“I’m fairly happy with that,” said Glenn, who is coming back from recent hip surgery. “That’s about what I had today. I have plenty of room to improve.”
Veteran lifter George Bradley of Gainesville won the Master Men’s 50-54-year old equipped bench-only category in the 148- pound class with his lift of 240 pounds.
Joe Franklin of Marrieta won the Men’s sub-master and police division with a lift of 242 pounds.
Tisha Anchors, Barry Helmey, Craig Wester, Shyetta Kelly and Charise Turner were the five winners in the Special Olympic divisions of the full power event.
Other winners in the two-category event were: Jaive Peaks, Dylan Kempker, Shawn Biddle, Todd Rehm, Steve Shepherd, Chris Foster and Rian Green.