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Thursday September 3rd, 2015 6:54AM

Local powerlifters excel at Georgia Games meet in Gainesville

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
GAINESVILLE -- There aren't many people on the globe that could even dream of bench pressing 632 pounds.

Gainesville's Tim "T" Moon not only accomplished that feat on Saturday, he was disappointed not to press even more.

"It was frustrating," said Moon, who notched a state record on his first attempt at the Georgia Games Benchpress and Powerlifting Championships, held at Gainesville's Iron Beast Barbell gym, by heaving 287 kilograms off his chest (powerlifting meets measure in kilograms).

Moon attempted 300 kilograms (roughly 661 pounds) on each of his next two equipped lifts but couldn't quite lock out the weight, just missing out on setting a national record for USA Powerlifting (USAPL).

"I do that weight all the time; it just wasn't happening today," said Moon, 48, who was lifting in the 275-pound class (he weighed in at 268 pounds prior to the meet).

Yet Moon's initial attempt was more than enough to clinch his goal of earning an invitation to the USAPL's national meet.

"It just gives me the opportunity to break their record at the national event (which will be held in August in Palm Springs, Calif.)," said Moon, who regularly competes with the Georgia IronDawgs powerlifting team.

Fellow Hall County resident and IronDawg member Garry Glenn also felt a little bit of the frustration at Saturday's competition.

"The guidelines and rules they have for this meet are different than what (Tim and I) are used to," said Glenn, who along with Moon were the only two IronDawgs competing in the Georgia Games. "That's not an excuse, it's just something that made us re-think how we were going to compete today."

Like Moon, Glenn, who was lifting raw. still set a state record for his age and weight class at the meet, clearing 140 kg (just under 309 pounds) on his second lift. He just missed out on clearing 145 kg on his third lift.

"I didn't bomb today -- last year I bombed (did not complete a successful lift) at this meet, so I'm happy with that," said Glenn, 58 (220-pound weight class; he weighed in at 204 pounds). "I learned a valuable lesson last year."

The duo also learned how tough USAPL meets can be, as the organization requires something different from its lifters.

"Here you have three commands: 'start' at the start, 'press' at the bottom and 'rack' at the top," Glenn said. "A lot of us aren't used to that start command at the top. But, still, it was nice that 'T' and I did well in our home gym, and we appreciate the efforts of the USAPL and the Georgia Games."

Moon and Glenn were joined in competition by fellow Hall County lifter Stephen Mendoza in the Junior Men's 181-pound class. Mendoza missed his third squat, but still finished with 160 kg (352.74 pounds) in that event.

"I should have gotten that third squat," Mendoza said.

He went on to break the class's full-power state benchpress record of 253.5 lbs. with his
effort of 120 kg./264.55. He deadlifted 192.5 kg./424.39 lbs. for a total of 472.5 kilos or 1,041.67 lbs.

Mendoza, a student at Gainesville State College, is an alumnus of East Hall High where he played football and wrestled. Glenn is a 1972 alumnus of Jefferson High where he also wrestled and played football. Moon is a 1982 graduate of Jefferson.

Before Moon heads to Palm Springs, he will be taking his lifting prowess on a much longer road trip, as he heads to Bolivia to take part in an exhibition lift.

"I'll be there for 10 days, starting July 22, just lifting and trying to encourage people and to show them that they can do this without steroids," Moon said. "God has made me strong, and He can help you do anything if you put your mind to it."

Meet highlights and interviews will be featured this week on Hall County Sports Television on Charter Cable Channels 19 and 23 and later on YouTube.
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