First off, John Galligan and Bill Gillespie are the sports two and only master lifters to bench 700!! This is amazing in itself and unheard of at the same time. Makes you wonder if the average strength level for humans is rising or not. I think so!!!
Tom Manno was hoping to break the barrier himself and be the only master lifter to bench over 700, but he's not finished yet and we'll see him do it before too long. As for the bench race, Ryan Kennelly suffered an injury but he will be back to bring yet another big bench.
But recently, Gene Rychlak comes out of nowhere and hits 810 at the Nazareth meet, the same one where Mike Miller almost hits 815. Gene lifts are almost unreal and to see what I'm talking about you have to venture over to irongame.net and check out his lifts with 785!!
Scot Mendelson the day after Gene hits 810, hits an unfathomable 821!! Ryan was there to witness this lift and to support Scot as well. It mentioned at that time that Scot was to make history one more time at the Bench America.
Ok, history was to made again indeed at the Bench America this past weekend. I'll have more when it comes available to me but here are the results:
|Hung Pham (114)||270/290/305|
|Janet Farone||235/250/265 miss/265 WR|
|Andrew Hrencher||255/270 miss/270 miss|
|Steve Petrencak (123)||315/330/340|
|Rob Leoni||225 miss/225/250 miss|
|Chad Jasper||300/315 miss/315|
|Eric Knight (132)||350 miss/355 miss|
|Tina Reinhart||355/370/390 miss/390 WR|
|Joe Smith||360/375 miss/375 miss|
(16 years old!!)
|Charles Johnson||260/285/300 miss|
|Brian Schwab (148)||445/455 miss/475 miss|
(running the meet and lifting?!?)
|410/425 miss/430 miss|
|Allan Myszka||405/410 miss/410 miss|
|Taylor Tom||425/445 miss/445 miss|
|August Clark (165)||455/505 miss/505 miss|
|Joe Mazza||525/550 miss/550 miss|
|Lance Kirchner||485/500 miss/500 miss|
|Erwin Chang||385 miss/385/400|
|Phil Harrington (181)||470/500 miss/500 miss|
|Leonard McCormick||500 miss/500 miss|
|Will Lynch||500 miss/500 miss|
|Kent Spires||500/510 miss/515 miss|
|Jim Kiltss||550 miss/550 mis|
|Jeff McVicar (198)||600/625/650 miss/685 miss|
|Stephen Webb||500 miss/500/no 3rd|
|Arnold Coleman||525/560/575 miss|
|Kenneth Palazola||585/625 miss/630 miss|
|Dennis Rickens||525/560/590 miss|
|Mark Carter (220)||565 miss/565/585 miss|
|Keith Parrish||550/575 miss/575 miss|
|Bart Kelley||525/550/570 miss|
|Rob Capozzolo (242)||575/640 miss/640 miss|
|Bill Carpenter||630/680/700 miss|
|Brad Kelley||620/645 miss/645 miss|
|Bobby Fields||700 miss/700 miss/700 miss|
|Noel Levario (275)||600/635 miss/650 miss|
|Paul Springer||635/660 miss/665 miss|
|Joe Ladnier||625/665 miss/665 miss|
|Ben White||660/710 miss/710 miss|
|Scott Smith||600/640/660 miss|
|Paul "Tiny" Meeker (308)||705 miss/705 miss|
|Vincent Dizenzo||650/705/725 miss|
|Brian Riley||700/735 miss/735 miss|
|Tom Manno||705 miss/705 miss/735 miss|
|Paul Key||650 miss/670 miss|
|(SHW) John Galligan||700 miss/735 miss|
|Thomas Skiver||660 miss/670/700 miss|
|Michael Miller||730 miss/730/805 miss|
|Gene Rychlak||775 miss/775 miss|
(Is The Man!!!)
|825 miss/825 WR/875 miss/900 miss|
Look for a more personal interview with Bill Carpenter (shown to the right), who represented the sport well on TV, in a few weeks here but there is no doubt in my mind that he will hit 700 sooner than we all think. Joe Mukite didn't do too bad considering he was running this meet and competing too.
Not many can do that and still have a good day, but Joe managed to do so. Nick Hatch, a 16-year-old power lifter, managed a 405 bench in the 132s. He had hit 363 a few months before the BA and wowed everyone. And imagine that he has years and room to grow!!!
Metal Militia was represented well at this meet with Jeff McVicar taking best lifter honors by doing 625 in the 198s and has room to get strong when he gave 685 for a ride!! We'll be expecting a 700 from him soon and I know he has the guts to do so!! Bobby Fields had a bad day, but what a display of freakish strength though.
Not many 242s can do over 700, but that list is starting to grow though. Bobby has done up to 720 at the Beast of the East meet a few months back and we're looking for him to hit 800 soon as well. Don't believe me... go to irongame.net and see for yourself!! Mike Miller, who gave 815 for a ride and was close to locking out, had done 730 here. It is only a matter of time when joins the growing list of 800 benchers.
But, hands down, Metal Militia has produced some of the world's strongest benchers at this meet with the likes of Jeff, Mike, and Bobby... way to represent fellas!!
Tina Rinehart had done 370 and attempted 390 for the world record. She'll be getting that world record and then some soon as well!! Paul "Tiny" Meeker, with whom I had to pleasure of meeting back in May, was also there. Tiny gave 705 a ride twice and from what I saw back in May where he did 700, he'll be in the upper 700s soon as well.
And last but not least, Scot Mendelson, the big man everyone was looking at. Scot up the all time bench to 825 but that wasn't all... the man was able to give two unfathomable attempts a ride... 875 & get this... 900!
To me, there are no words to form that can express when he gave 900 a ride. Maybe other than the fact that the man is beyond superhuman and is in a class all by himself!! I hope after giving 900 a ride, he's going to shoot for it in the future. 900 would be a mark unheard of in this sport.
The Bench America was represented by some of the sports best lifters from all over and history was made. Comments from other lifters express that the comraderie at this meet couldn't even be measured!! I believe plans are in the making for Bench America II next year but it will be a hard performance to live up to after the first but in this sport... all is possible... just ask Scot!
Well, I hope you all are motivated about hearing this contest as I am. I would like to end this article with a message I posted on a lot of powerlifting forums on the net.
"It's almost overwhelming to see the camaraderie in this sport... it's unlike anything I've seen before, especially this year. We can s**t talk one minute and the next thank that person for being there and pushing them. It's awesome to see that camaraderie doesn't die and the motivation you can get from one meet to the next is quite contagious. All of the lifters at Bench America represented what the sport is about and were proud to call ourselves powerlifters!"
Curtis D. "get strong or get dominated"
Until Next Time, Bench Big!