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Sixth Annual Bench Press Classic Set For This Saturday

By Staff | Mar 27, 2008

LIFT! - Former Emmetsburg resident Tom Goeders puts up a lift of over 400 pounds during the 2007 Northwest Iowa Bench Press Competition. Goeders, a firefighter in Ames, has participated in the event since its inception and will be on hand this Saturday along with a large field of competitiors.--Dan Voigt photo

The sixth anniversary edition of the Northwest Iowa Open Bench Press Classic is set for this Saturday, March 29, at the Smith Wellness Center at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg. The event will get underway at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium of the Wellness Center.

“We’ve been growing steadily over the past five years, attracting lots of area high school lifters, as well as competitors from across Iowa,” noted organizer Dennis Goeders, who also participates in the event.

“This year is really looking good again,” Goeders noted. “We’ve got a good group of high school athletes who will be coming to lift, and there is also going to be a very strong class coming in the middle and older age groups. They’ll be pushing weights well into the 400 pound range and that’s really something to see.”

Appearing this year will be Jimmy Nichols of Bronson, Kansas. Nichols is a two-time Kansas State Strongman Champion. He will be competing in the heavyweight class and should be in excess of a 500 pound benchpress.

The special guest this year will be Leonard Willison of Cedar Falls. This will be Willison’s first meet after a year off due to injury. Willison is a six-time Regional, seven-time State, and nine-time National champion. He holds three American records in the bench press, and one American record in the push/pull. “Leonard has set his sights on a 700 pound benchpress once he completely heals,” Goeders noted.

As in the past years of the Northwest Bench Press Classic, there will be competition in various age divisions, with competitors from the local area as well as across the state, with each competitor focused on lifting the barbells when they take their turn on the bench. Weight classes include 114, 123, 132, 148, 165, 181, 198, 220, 242, 275 and heavyweight classes for men and 105, 114, 123, 132, 148, 165, 198 and over classes for women.

Competition divisions include Teen I for lifters from 12-15; Teen II for lifters 16-19; Novice I for 20-24 year olds; Novice II for lifters 25-29 and Submasters, lifters from 30-39. Master I lifters are from 40-44, while Master II lifters are 50-59 and Master III lifters are 60 and over. An Open Class will round out the competition. Trophies will be awarded to the top three lifters in each class.

Anyone interested in lifting in the competition can contact Angie Roethler at the Smith Wellness Center at Iowa Lakes Community College, (712)-852-5311 for complete rules and regulations.

Goeders encourages the public to come out and see the action Saturday.

“I really encourage everyone to come out and see these lifters on Saturday,” Goeders said. “It is truly amazing at what some of these guys can lift, and the athletic effort that they put forth. It’s very exciting to watch, and its even more exciting when you’re lifting weights right along with the competitors.”

A token admission fee will be asked to help defray costs of the competition.