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9th Annual Bench Press Classic

By Staff | Mar 24, 2011

When the competitors turn out this Saturday for the eighth anniversary edition of the Northwest Iowa Open Bench Press Classic, there will be some added drama to the event. According to meet organizer Denny Goeders, the event will begin at 10 a.m. in the Smith Wellness Center gym at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg. “We always try to have a special guest lifter join us for this event,”?Goeders noted. “Usually, this is an individual who has made a name for themselves in the world of “Heavy Metal” and this Saturday, we have one of the absolute best joining us.”

Leonard Willison of Waterloo is no stranger to the competition, as he has competed in the Bench Press Classic numerous times during its history.

“Just last week at the U.S. Nationals, Leonard broke his own American record with a lift of 622.8 pounds,”?Goeders said. “It would be quite a deal if he were to break his own record here with us on Saturday, so having Leonard lift with us is very exciting.”

While there is competition in the event, Goeders notes that it is designed as a “fun” meet, more to give area lifters a venue to show off their hard work in the weight room. The majority of the participants will be from the surrounding area.

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.

“We’ve been growing steadily over the past years, attracting lots of area high school lifters, as well as competitors from across Iowa,” noted Goeders. “This year is really looking good again, 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.”

“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.”

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