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JBLM bench press and deadlift championships

Only the strong survive

Top female lifter sets new base record by accident

Published: 02:10PM October 25th, 2012
Only the strong survive

Scott Hansen/Northwest Guardian

Above: Chris Lawrence attempts a 440-pound lift at the recent JBLM Bench Press and Deadlift Championships at Wilson Sports and Fitness Center on JBLM Lewis North.

Trista Miller was a little worried as she prepared for her first bench press attempt at the JBLM Bench Press and Deadlift Championships at Wilson Sports and Fitness Center, Saturday.

The Army spouse holds the JBLM female bench press record of 200 pounds in the 123-148 pound weight class, but a shortened warm-up time and dieting had her concerned to bench even 190 pounds.

She successfully lifted the 190 pounds on her first of three attempts — or what she thought was 190 pounds. The event staff accidentally racked 205 pounds on Miller’s bar for her first attempt. Without even knowing it, Miller broke her own base record. She went on to bench 215 pounds on her third attempt to break her record a second time in a day.

“I would have been ecstatic with just a five pound increase from last time,” Miller said. “Just with nagging injuries and not feeling 100 percent. It was definitely a good day.”

Miller earned the top female bench press award, along with the top deadlift award with a lift of 290 pounds in her first deadlift competition. Chris Baneky earned the top male bench press award with a 425-pound lift and Dan Packard earned the top deadlift award with a 625-pound lift.

Baneky successfully completed all three of his attempts of 405, 415 and 425 pounds. Chris Lawrence successfully bench pressed 425 pounds on his second attempt, but failed to lift 440 pounds on his final attempt. The Soldier with the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment suffered a gunshot wound to his left leg during a deployment to Iraq in 2007. After he recovered Lawrence got into weight training and is in the gym every day.

Heavy lifter Tony Hawkins opened the competition with a 425-pound bench press, but was unable to successfully bench 475 pounds afterward. He suited up in a bench shirt, a stiff supportive shirt that takes the stress off the shoulders, and lifted 575 pounds. Hawkins was given an extra attempt to try for the super heavyweight men’s division base record. With 610 pounds on the bar a crowd surrounded Hawkins on the bench and the audience seated in the bleachers were on their feet, but Hawkins was unable to complete the lift.

“I felt like I could have got it,” Hawkins said. “I did it a couple of days ago. I didn’t get enough rest last night.” Powerlifting is a family affair for the Hawkins’ family. He trains with his 17-year-old son, Dionte Johnson, who lifted 275 pounds for his top lift of the day.

Fifty-five participants competed in the bench press competition. The competition was heated as powerlifters tried for their personal bests on their third and final attempt. Thirty-five people were unsuccessful in their third attempt.

Event organizer Susan Jackson said the next powerlifting competition will be in the spring.