Lifters set Florida & National Records
2012 AAU Raw Armed Forces & Florida State
2012 AAU Armed Forces and 2012 Florida State Powerlifting
On Saturday, December 15th, lifters from throughout Florida, as well as Virginia, North Carolina and Washington, DC came together on MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa to compete in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Armed Forces and AAU Florida State Raw Bench Press and Deadlift Championships. This was the first AAU meet to be held at the base, although the Short Fitness Center on MacDill had hosted several powerlifting meets in the past; the fitness center director Sharla Alexander and her staff rolled out the red carpet for the lifters and went out of their way to ensure a successful meet.
International referees Bob and Elaina Bolster, and Tom Harrier, all from Florida, called the action on the platform, along with Charles Schmidt, from Maryland. Ms. Ivy Schuler, AAU Powerlifting Sports Manager, came with her son and grandson to be part of the day’s events. The atmosphere was electric, with emcee Rebecca Feaster working the crowd, Amy Gershman handling scoring, a DJ pumping tunes to keep the crowd lively, and loaders and spotters Todd Shane, Victor Jones and Bill Beekley keeping the meet moving smoothly and safely. A number of active duty military members and veterans set American Law/Fire/Military records in their divisions, and several open American records were set as well.
Shawnta Eggleston, Tania Wilkes, Rodney Thompson, Craig Rudolph, Robert Lugo, Doc Bauer, John Bertalan, and Barry Gershman all set American Law/Fire/Military (LFM) records in the Armed Forces Championship. Army veteran Gershman, lifting in the masters 275 lb. class, easily benched 455 lbs. to set the LFM open and masters records. In the deadlift, 47-year-old Thompson, an Army retiree, electrified the crowd with his exciting pulls, lifting 600 lbs. for two LFM records, and barely missing 620. In addition to two-foot-tall cups, the Armed Forces champions received national championship medals courtesy of AAU Virginia Powerlifting.
The Florida State meet was equally exciting and competitive, with the four lightest competitors setting open division national records. Nine-year-old Nolan and ten-year-old Caitlin Harrier came from Orlando with their father to deadlift, and both set Florida state and American records in their divisions. Jiu-jitsu athlete Dawn Devany, of Tampa, competing in her first powerliting meet, set a Florida state and American record with a 230 lb. deadlift. Fourteen-year-old Evan Pittman went six-for-six with four Florida State records and an American deadlift record of 325 lbs. while weighing only 120. Masters 65-69 competitor Lee Lichtle also set an America LFM bench record, and crowd-pleaser Daniel Kopriva, formerly of Czechoslovakia, now living and working in Florida and lifting in his first American meet, registered a solid 440 lb. bench and 550 lb. deadlift in the 242 lb. class.
The meet ran smoothly, and multiple lifters requested another AAU Powerlifting opportunity in Florida soon.
Click here for photo gallery