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IronDawgs win national bench press title, finish second in full power

By staff reports
ATHENS -- It was definitely a Sunday of mixed emotions for members of the Gainesville-based Georgia IronDawgs Powerlifting Team at the American Powerlifting Committee (APC) National Championships in Athens. <br /> <br /> Saturday's scoring -- which put the IronDawgs second in the benchpress team competition -- was overturned, but the change also slipped the 'Dawgs into second in the full power (squat, benchpress and deadlift) division.<br /> <br /> "I had actually inquired about the scoring on Saturday," said IronDawg Bench Team captain, R. Garry Glenn of Oakwood, "but was told the old scoring system involving mostly number of first places was still in effect. Our head coach and trainer, Mike Kidd, pointed out that system had been replaced prior to this year, and, as they say, upon further review, that change was located in the minutes. This new system scores team places by co-efficient formula -- a sort of body-weight to weight lifted ratio. Under this system we won. It was what is known in the sporting business as a 'correctable error.' The Venice Island Iron Works team guys out of Florida, who had been awarded first place Saturday, were obviously disappointed but understood and were very gracious in returning the trophy, even though we told them they could keep it. They are a class bunch of folks. I feel for them, but obviously happy for our folks. Ironically, the old system would have let us win the full power trophy, but we finished as runners-up to Team PRP out of south Georgia and Florida."<br /> <br /> The IronDawgs did boast seven first places in their designated scorers as Tyler Cummings, out of Cumming, won both the Junior and Open Raw (Unequipped) classes in the 110 kilogram (kg) / 242.51 pound weight class. Cummings also earned the Men's Best Lifter and the Champion of Champions Award for the highest score among all lifters with a meet-best total of 815 kg / 1,796.75 pounds. He set Junior and Open fullpower world records in the squat (310/683.43); deadlift (305/672.4) and total; while also setting a new Junior class world record in the benchpress (200/440.92)<br /> <br /> Overall, Cummings was pretty happy with his day, "(I) missed a few lifts; but first meet in two divisions, I was satisfied with my lifts... broke a few records. It's always a learning experience."<br /> <br /> He also enjoys the team aspect of the sport, calling it "friend and family oriented."<br /> <br /> "Everyone's more than happy to help," he said. "(They) give out their knowledge. It's a great experience."<br /> <br /> Cummings was not the only IronDawg setting records on the day, as all members of the team lifted in the unequipped category. Brenau University strength and conditioning/assistant softball coach Gary Hatfield of Gainesville set records in the Master's Men's 110 kg, 55-59-year-old class in the squat (272.5/600.75) bench (190/418.87) and total (682.5/1,504.64) while tying the record in the deadlift (220/485.01).<br /> <br /> Steve Shepherd of Winder in winning the Master's Men's 45-49, 125 kg/275.58 pound class, came back to set a world mark in the squat after an accident on his second attempt and getting a slight injury to the back of his head. He finished at 270 kg or 595.24 pounds. He also had American records in the bench (192.5/424.39) and total (712.5/1,570.78).<br /> <br /> He was grateful for the team support, especially after his "little hiccup on the squat."<br /> <br /> Marcel Allen, of Forsyth County and a former Jefferson High wrestler, is a co-owner of the IronDawgs home gym, the Iron Beast in Gainesville. He helped out the team with a world record bench in the 90 kg / 198.41 pounds Open class with a press of 185/407.85 and a national record deadlift of 288/634.92. Allen totaled 708 kg / 1,560.86 pounds.<br /> <br /> Uwe Thormann came all the way from Palm Harbor, Fla., to lift with the 'Dawgs and scored a world record bench in the Master's Mens' 55-59, 110 kg weight class with a fourth lift of 145/319.67. He totaled 540/1,190.48. Canton's Jason Banks rounded out the IronDawg scoring with his personal record total of 740/1,631.4 in winning the Open 125 kg class.<br /> <br /> The PRP team was led by John Rowland (700/1,543.22), Bill Deyette (730/1,609.36), Hunter McClesky (725/1,598.34) and Steve Kylis (585/1,289.69). Rowland was second to Allen in the Open 90 kg class, but won the 40-44-year-old division. Deyette won both the Open and Sub-master 110 kg class, while McClesky took gold in the Open 100 kg / 220.46 pound class, and Kylis was victorious in the Master's Men's 60-64-year-old, 100 kg division.<br /> <br /> Record-setting Ann Leverette of the Savannah area was the Women's Best Lifter winner, as she took gold in the Master's Women's 60-64-year-old Equipped 48 kg / 105.82 pound. class with her total of 327.5/722.<br /> <br /> The meet was a qualifying event for the Global Powerlifting Alliance World Championships in November in Sydney, Australia and the International Powerlifting Organization World Championships in Argentina in September.<br /> <br /> Many of the local lifters now look ahead to the July 19 Georgia Games event at the Iron Beast gym; while the next scheduled APC event is The America's Cup in September in Kennesaw.
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