The strongest athletes from across the country were in St. John's, NL from April 7-11 competing at the Canadian Powerlifting Union National Championships. This year's National Championship was the biggest ever, with over 350 of Canada's strongest men and women of all ages competing for the title of National Champion.
Weyburn was represented by four athletes. Mikayla Lohse competed in the 52 kg sub-junior category in both the Classic and Equipped competitions. In the Classic competition, Mikayla squatted a new National record of 100.5kg (222 lbs). Mikayla also had a bench press of 50 kg (110 lbs) and a deadlift of 127.5kg (281 lbs). Mikayla totalled 278 kg on her way to a gold medal.
In the equipped division, which allows lifters to wear knee wraps and supportive suits, Mikayla once again displayed her dominance, finishing with a 117.5 kg (259 lbs) squat and a new National Record bench press of 58 kg (128lbs).
The most impressive result of the week for Mikayla came in the deadlift, where she hit a huge National record of 156 kg (344 lbs), eclipsing not only the sub-junior record but also the Junior (under 23) and the Open (any age) National record at just 17 years of age. Mikayla totalled 331.5kg, coming home with her second gold medal of the week.
“Mikayla's deadlift is an extremely impressive feat of strength,” said coach Ryan Fowler. “There are very few 17 year-olds who are deadlifting more than triple their own body weight. Mikayla is now within 4.5 kgs of breaking the World Record deadlift, currently owned by Anna Filimonova of Russia.”
Brittinay Rowland also competed in the equipped division in the 84+ kg Junior category. This was Brittinay's first year in the Junior category and she had a very good showing moving up an age category. Brittinay had a 180 kg (397 lbs) squat, a 102.5 kg (226 lbs) bench press and a 180 kg (397 lbs) deadlift. Brittinay finished with a total of 462.5 kg, enough to bring home the Gold medal and the crown of National Champion for the fourth year in a row.
“Brittinay once again lifted very well, moving up into the Junior age category has given her some new goals to work towards,” said coach Fowler. “She struggled with her squat at this competition, but everything else was a personal best, and at Nationals after having travelled most of the way across the country to compete, that is extremely impressive.”
Heidi Fowler competed in the classic Bench Press championship where she finished with a 75 kg (165 lbs) bench press. Her bench was enough to win her a silver medal. “This is even more impressive as she hasn't lifted at Nationals since 2012 due to having our two kids,” said coach and husband, Fowler. “I am proud of the work she has put in allowing her to get back to the National stage and compete at the National Championship only seven months following the birth of our second son!”
Coach Fowler also competed in his 14th straight National Championship. Fowler finished with a squat of 335 kg (739 lbs), a personal best bench press of 252.5 kg (557 lbs) and a personal best deadlift of 302.5 kg (667 lbs). Fowler finished with a 890 kg total and a silver medal.
“Considering I lifted against my brother-in-law, who hit the biggest squat and biggest total in Canadian Powerlifting history and was still able to come home with second place, I am pretty happy with that result.” Fowler's brother-in-law, Ryan Stinn of Moose Jaw squatted a new Canadian record of 390 kg (860 lbs) and became only the second powerlifting in Canada to total over 1000 kg, hitting 1003kg.
All four Weyburn athletes will be competing at the 2015 North American Powerlifting Championships, being held July 8-11 in Moose Jaw at the Heritage Inn. Weyburn will also play host to the 2015 Provincial Powerlifting Championship, being held September 12.