A bunch of us drove out to Idaho this weekend for the Pride Powerlifting (Wesley Kampen) sanctioned push/pull contest that was being put on by Hi Test Events (owned by Judy Sverchek.)
Ryan Kennelly came out with his Kennelly Power Team and he lifted in a partial closed back double denim that he'd gotten from Inzer about a year ago. He opened with 750, but the bar came down super slow, so he pressed it back up and called for 800 for his second. The 800 came down to his chest without difficulty and he slammed it back up for a good lift! Now being on the board, he called for a PR 855 for his third. On the press, the bar drifted a bit high and he didn't quite get it locked out. Kennelly said that it didn't feel too heavy, so he jumped to 880 for his fourth (which would have passed up Mendelson's 876 on the all-time list.) The BenchMonster tore out onto the platform, set up on the bench, brought the bar down perfectly into the groove and then shot it back up into lockout! The judges flashed three white lights and pandemonium broke loose on the stage! As we were rampaging the platform "misload" was called out over the microphone. The announcer had called for 880 and the stage screen showed that 880 was to be the attempt, but the officials had reloaded the bar with the 855. An 855 is still a 5 pound PR for Kennelly though - Rock On BenchMonster!
My training partner, Levi Van Dyke, also came out to compete at this competition. This was his second benchpress contest and, last winter he put up a 365 in an Inzer Annihilator (he competes in the 198 Junior Class.) Over the course of the last training cycle, I worked with him on his bench twice per week and we built up his unassisted bench from a 345 to a 405 and we spent a lot of time building his lockout power (boards, floor presses and rack lockouts.) This time, Levi was using a single ply Inzer Phenom and he opened up with 450. On his opening attempt, he had no problem locking out the weight, but he got two red lights for his butt coming off the bench. Then, on his second attempt, his shirt blew! So, we quickly got him into a single ply Inzer Rage (he'd never used one before) and went for the 450 again on his third. He had to pull the bar down the last inch or two to get it to his chest, but then he slammed it back up and the lift was good! He went for 500 on his fourth, but the bar came to a dead stop about an inch off of his chest (that's a strong shirt!) and he thought that it was on his chest and that he hadn't heard the press command over the yelling and the music so he benched it back up with no problem. He'd never worn that style of shirt before, but now we know what it takes to touch so we'll be ready for the next competition.
Levi and I were hoping that his 450 would be the biggest bench in the 198 and under division, and it was looking good until the fourth flight of benchers. One of the lifters from the Kennelly Power Team got a 455@198 on his fourth attempt (good coaching Kennelly, your GoBot outlifted mine.) Also, Ray Hickman put up a 485@165! Wow! Ray also benched a 496@163 at the 2004 WABDL Record Breakers and he's now on the top ten qualifier list for Bench America III. He's sponsored by The Powerlifting Superstore and he's been lifting in the new Inzer Annihilator. The Superstore hooked him up with an Inzer Rage too, so he can begin training for BAIII, so watch for this super bencher on tv next spring!