Monday, August 30, 2010

IPF Sub-Jr/Jr World Powerlifting Championships Day 1

It's always nice to hear the Star Spangled Banner...But when you hear it being played because one of your athletes has just won the World Championships, well, then it is REALLY NICE!!  The US team enjoyed that sound on two separate occasions today.

Our first World Champion was Michelle Van Dusen in the girls 48kg/105lb class, and our second was Eric Torres in the 56kg/123lb class.  Eric also added a new World Bench Press Record to his championship.  Both US teams stayed close in the Team competition and of course even though it is still only the first day of competition, we were trying to score every possible point we could.

Sheila Mays held on to take the Silver Medal overall in the 44kg/97lb class.  She stayed very solid in second place until the Deadlift, when she got just a little out of sync on her second attempt and opened the door to the Russian girl.  We had to make a quick adjustment to her attempt, provide a little coaching motivation...and of course she came through for us like we expected when she pulled 2.5kg more on her third attempt than her second forcing the Russian girl to try a weight she could not finish.  Sheila's thrid deadlift became a very important lift for the girl's team as it pushed Russia into a third place spot which may prove to be very important later this week as we match up very well with the Russian team across the board and anything lower than second place will not be enough when it comes to the point totals.

As I wrote at the top of this evening's blog, Michelle Van Dusen handled herself very well as she should in her third World Championships.  Michelle was never challenged and as a matter of fact one lifter moved all of the way up to 56kg/123lb class to try and compete for a first place victory.

The US moved our expected 52kg/114lb female, Katie Durham, up to the 56kg/123lb class as a team point  maneuver.  We anticipate Katie will do much better place wise in the 123lb class tomorrow afternoon, so she got to spend the day eating big time!  Matter of fact I saw her this evening carrying not one, but two bags of Czech McDonalds food...smiling of course!

On the boys side of the competition, Thomas Soto at 52kg/114lb boys fought off a very painful hamstring injury to place 4th overall and Third in the squat.  Just as he had squatted very well and benched himself into a postition to make a move for the podium his hamstring shot him down, allowing him only to complete his opening attempt.  Thomas will have another opportunity again I am sure.  He is an excellent lifter and competitor.

In the 56kg boys class we had Eric Torres who did place first and set a new World BenchPress record at 144kg/314lbs, but we also had competing one of our youngest lifters, Travis Charles @ 16 yrs old placed 5th overall in his first trip to the World Championships.  Travis lifted extremely well and impressed all of the coaches with an 8 for 9 day and a few new personal records.  I am sure, like Thomas Soto, we will see Travis on another Sub-Junior World Team very soon.

Rough scoring top 3 teams- Girls Sub-Juniors - US 21, Russia 28, Ukraine 37,
Boys Sub-Juniors - US 21, Russia 18, Japan 12

Tomorrow we will see the following lifters: 56kg/123lb girls - Katie Durham and another team shift, Kelsey King @ 60kg/132lbs.
Boys - Isaac Nunez @ 60kg/132lbs and two lifters at 67.5kg/148lb class Nick Laznovsky and Jason Rupnow.
Hopefully more gold will be had by the USA tomorrow!!

I hope you are getting to take advantage of watching the live streaming video at:

Night All!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Czech Republic +1 day

Got a  lot of maintenance items done today...most of the coach's and 3 of our lifters got a good workout in early this morning and by 10:30 we had met with all of the lifters and gotten everyone's rack heights for squat and bench taken care of.  This should reduce any required time to get this done at the beginning of each session.  Tends to reduce any hurried stress for both coaches and lifters as well. 

The breakfast being served here at the hotel was very good.  Eggs, sausage, bacon, deli meats and cheeses, choices of yogurts and fruits...and of course juice and coffee.  I don't think the hotel was quite prepared for the numbers of lifters that would be eating as they kept running low on food and coffee...but everything was worth the wait.  Definately liked the sunny side up egg circles...

Took a short walk over to a small grocery to stock up on water and pop for some, Red Bull for others...made the walk back after we waited for a pretty strong rain shower to freshen the air.  Chaz(Charles) McDonald, our 75KG Sub-Junior was the first to score a shirt trade.  He managed a quick trade with his main competition, the 75KG Russian that is ranked #1 in his class.  The Russian took Chaz back to his room and presented him with an unwrapped Russian workout shirt.  The highly unusual piece of this is that normally the Russians don't trade items much...has been kind of taboo in years past.  It appears this lifter came prepared to trade which means maybe they are coming around a little and loosening up a bit.  Maybe some of the other Russians will be prepared to trade as well.  If so, this would be a great turn around.

Took our team pictures this afternoon out amongst the greenery in the back of the hotel.  I will upload a new team picture tomorrow for the blog site.  After pictures, the coaches sat in on the technical meeting and we all got an update as to how many lifters would be changing weight classes for both the Sub-Junior and Junior teams.  Our Junior team arrived about 5:00 this evening and are checked in and now, I am sure, sleeping...trying to adjust that body clock before competition starts in the morning.

We will handle 5 lifters tomorrow and hopefully come out swinging for gold medals right off of the bat!  The US needs to get an early jump on the Russian team to have any chance of taking Team Gold this year in both girls and boys divisions.

Will post again tomorrow evening with the results of the day.  Now it all starts!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

In the Czech Republic

The plane touched down this afternoon and surprisingly, it turned out, all of our luggage was on board as well!!  What a great way to start a World Championship event...all of the lifters and their luggage right where they were supposed to be.

We went through the typical currency exchange with very minimal disruption and everyone made it through the customs check with absolutely no issues.  This trip so far has been beyond expectation...anytime you try to herd 21 teenagers through a new environment where no one understands the language or the signage, you always expect some hiccups.  Today there were none.  Very surprising when you consider only 3 of the young lifters have experience going through this process.

Caught our bus and had a very nice 50 minute drive to our hotel in Pilsen which surprisingly look very similar to the website photos we have been reviewing for the past couple of months.  The hotels never actually end up being what is posted online, they always have a few things that are just a little, well let's just say not as they appear or are described.  Not this year!  Very nice accomodations and the restaurant food is excellent.
The 70 kilometer drive reminded me very much of my drive this year from Madison, WI to the Wisconsin Dells for High School Nationals.  A lot of rolling pine filled hills bordered by hay fields scattered with rolled bales of hay.  Every so often a small valley half filled with a small but what seems to be a thriving little community.

A lot of road construction in the town of Pilsen which might create a little challenge when we try to venture out later in the week and of course the route the driver took seemed to meander around the town like a lazy small river  through the flat land.  Hopefully the kids will be able to experience the city during the week and we have tried to arrange for a trip back into Prague for an afternoon just to let the kids get a site seeing tour of the city.  A tremendous amount of history here!

Day one in the books...the coaches are dragging a little and the lifters are all still pretty wired about being somewhere other than home.  Quote of the day, "I can't believe we are already really here."
Tomorrow we will get a liitle more acclimated to the area and try to get some nice pics of the area outside of the motel...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

BSU Powerlifting Club Reunion

Last night I attended the reunion of the original BSU Powerlifting Club. Of course the reunion was actually of the original group of powerlifters in Southwest Idaho that basically got the sport started back in the 1978 time frame, but is started with the BSU team.
I was introduced to the group in about 1981 and worked out with them down at the YMCA in Boise and under the BSU stadium every once in awhile. Great times...Great stories...Great memories.
What was so interesting last night as I scanned the room at the aged faces was the love of the sport that originally got us all together was still so evident. Even though most haven't competed in years or even decades, each person in the room was eager to share their powerlifting experiences and stories from the past. Everyone was very excited to visit and take pictures and of course share a moment or two that they remembered from those days with the iron.
A few are still lifting regularly and a couple are either still competing or getting ready for a competition, including Jerry Englebert, a 74 year old, who figured he still had at least one more good competition in him and after not being in the weightroom for a number of years, went in for his first deadlift routine and pulled 74!!! What a great gentleman and competitor. I am hoping he will attend our Idaho State Open this December and wow everyone with his skill in this sport.
I myself used the opportunity to spread the word of our current young lifters and let everyone know that powerlifting was still alive and doing quite well in Idaho. I even gave an update on the two young teenage lifters that will be representing Team USA at the Sub-Junior/Junior World Championships.
Everyone was quite pleased that what we had started so long ago was still being preserved through the lifting of so many young lifters here in Idaho.
Of course the evening was not without the sad news of fellow Idaho lifters who we have lost. We shared stories of them and remembered them as the great friends and lifters who played such a major part in the original development of this sport we call "powerlifting" in Idaho.
I certainly hope the young lifters I deal with on a weekly basis will cherish these quickly passing years of lifting and will keep their experiences close to them as they too age. The years spent competing in this sport are far too short lived and become memories far too quickly. But they are memories to be shared and enjoyed as we shared last evening...Thank each and every person that attended our little event. It was so wonderful to visit and rekindle the relationships that had dimmed over the years. May we be able to do it again and again...