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2016 Deadlift & Bench Report

December 2nd, 2016
Henry Day

Wow… How good was that?!!

The 2016 Deadliest Deadlift & Bench proved to be the closest contest in the events 10-year history.

It was an absolute nail biter going right down to the final round of competition before the top 6 placings were sorted – with less than a 1 point co-efficient between the top 3 place getters.

The occasion this year attracted 49 lifters (39 men & 10 women) of which 7 had deadlifted 300kg+ and 5 benchers having gone 200Kg+ plus in the last 12months. Combine that with a supportive crowd of around 400 people and this year’s event was easily the biggest in the competition’s history.

How the winner is determined:

Each year the event’s winner is decided using a formula (Glossbrenner) that measures the strength of a Powerlifter against other Powerlifters despite the differences in body weight.

Simply put, a co-efficient number is assigned to each lifter at weigh-in based on their body weight.

The lifters biggest Bench and Deadlift for the day are then combined to give a total number.

The total is then multiplied to give a final factor – the person with the biggest factor wins.

So…. with the weather gods delivering a comfortable 32 degrees combined with a gentle sea breeze and the wharf offering the most picturesque backdrop of any competition in Australia; it was time to get the action started.

Women’s Section:

No surprises as far as the winner goes with Jess Day dominating from the first round of opening lifts. She ran away with this comp finishing with 100kg Bench and a 195kg Deadlift (PB of 2.5kg) for a total of 295kg and 267.87 gloss points – 82 gloss points ahead of second placegetter and team mate Marilyn Tuna.

Marilyn Tuna in a relative short space of time has started to make her presence felt. Her work ethic is laser focused both in and out of the gym.  The day’s performance saw her lock-out a 75kg Bench and due to an injury on her second Deadlift attempt conservatively pushed on with a 155kg Deadlift for a total of 230kg.  I’m predicting big things from Marilyn over the next 18 months and I am eagerly awaiting her showing in June 2017 at the West Australian State Championships.

If there was an upset of sorts it was in third place, where 16-year-old Amie Coe hit the open class podium for the first time. The 2014 GPA Teen World Champion finished her day off with a total of 170kg at a body weight of 60kg; her highlight being a 117.5kg Deadlift – just a touch shy of double body weight.

4th place went to a very taped up Shaahni Carter with a 210kg total at 80.9kg body weight. Shaahni was 5kg off from her winning Deadlift she pulled at the Hulk Smash in the beginning of the year. There is a tonne of potential here still untapped and I’m sure she will come back stronger in the New Year once she can find a consistent rhythm with her training and rid herself of her shoulder injury.

Michcell Sloan continued her improvement with a 575kg Bench and a 120kg Deadlift and in doing so went 6 from 6. Great weight selection Michcell!

Back into the fray was Alisha Rawlinson doing her first comp in a couple of years, maybe longer… She also went 6 from 6 and in doing so produced a confidence boosting 150kg Deadlift and 55kg Bench.

At comp time experience is learnt both on and off the platform. In Zo Kruger’s case, some important lessons were learnt from her weight cut as her overall strength was down on the day.  In hindsight hitting her targeted body weight 24 hours earlier probably wasn’t a good sign which suggested her body was in a catabolic state causing her strength to plummet.  Secondly getting that weight back on is a skill, and a bit more knowledge in this area will help.  Remember folks it’s Powerlifting not a body building comp – strength is king in this jungle!!

That said Zo Kruger in her second comp ended the day with a 47.5kg Bench and a 120kg Deadlift but this girl has ample more in her and this comp did not reflect her training numbers.

The youngest competitor in the women’s section 14-year-old Paige Ngarotata-Day totalled 155kg and along with Amie Coe looks set for a big future in this sport if she chooses.

First time competitor Kate Lewis managed a 40kg Bench before settling the nerves and blasting up a PB Deadlift of 110kg. Great effort for her first comp!

Maree Riini also in her first comp is a lifter with a tonne of potential. Only getting 3 of her allocated 6 lifts strength was not an issue, she came undone with the technical side of things.  I’m sure under the watchful eye of Jess Day these rookie mistakes will be quickly rectified.

Tash Debenham who is trained under the attentive eye of Marilyn Tuna and Rob Joyner was making her way back to the platform and will be better for the blow-out come next comp. Tash was successful with a 50kg Bench and 120kg Deadlift.

Men’s Section:

Picking the winner prior to the start of this comp was near on impossible as was verified by Uncle Adam’s and my podcast tips.

Pre-favourites Trent Harris(8th), Phil Wilde(7th) and Corey Millar (4th) and Daniel MacGuire (6th) all failed to make the top three but it wasn’t for a lack of trying as this comp went down to the wire with placing being decided on the last lift of the day.

Below the top three there were some outstanding performances on the day including Big Kev Lloyd smashing out a new 100kg weight division record of 220kg on his way to finishing 14th.

Kyle Love placed 5th overall and in the process increased his Bench-press this past 12 months by 15kg.

The event saw a solid performance from George Okunev (9th) at 141kg bodyweight, with a 200kg Bench and 280kg Deadlift, along with Jason O’Sullivan (10th) at 82.4kg body weight 150kg Bench and 260kg Deadlift.

Personal bests on both lifts saw Stuart Macaulay finish 11th with 167.5kg Bench and a hard fought 317.5kg Deadlift.

Veritas members coached by Powerlifting legend Joe MacGowan saw Scott Lockyer and Gary Guihen finish 15th and 20th respectively with a hint there will be more coming in the New Year.

Francis Cowan has been plagued with several niggly injuries during 2016 but managed to make it to the platform to finish his year off with a 185kg Bench and 270kg Deadlift. Once he shakes these injuries I’m sure we’ll see a huge increase in his lifts.  Francis’ efforts landed him 12th place this year

Teen sensation Connor Walsh has made a huge impact in the sport since he debuted at Heavy Duty’s Sons of Odin competition back in August. Competing today at 90kgs Connor managed a 155kg Bench and a 255kg Deadlift for a 410kg total and 13th place.  This kid is built for Powerlifting and the fans are eagerly anticipating a huge 2017 from Connor.

Martin Rock (16th), David Rosetti (17th), Ryan Chadbury (19th) and Christ Parfitt (21st) accredited themselves well and will be better lifters for the outing.

Out of the entire lifters one that did catch the eye of those in the know, and was later awarded “Most Promising”, was Benji Williams. In his first comp, he totalled a very comfortable 410kg by way of 170kg Bench and 240kg Deadlift.  The guy has good training ethic and with a little time will develop into a very good lifter.

Out of the remaining lifters it was good to see the 2001 82.5kg National Champion back in action. Now at 90kg Bill Harnett (27th) will add a bit of spice to this division once he has a bit more training time under his belt.

How the win went down:

Being a good light weight has its advantages however when you are competing in different flights it means you are first up and your formula points is what the rest of the field will be chasing.

In Corey Millar’s case this is exactly what happened. On Corey’s third attempt he had to make a judgement call on what he thought lifters that were close to the win were capable of doing on their final lifts; then call a number to be loaded on the bar that he thought would put him in front for the win.

His final lift of 255kg failed to get passed his knees leaving him to settle for the 240kg Deadlift he pulled on his second attempt and his 127.5kg Bench to end up with a 327.5kg total and a Glossbrenner formula of 279.84.

The second flight had one main contender Colin Hogan. After a solid Bench of 160kg Colin had looked comfortable going into the Deadlift rounds with an easy 280kg first up, followed by a steady 295kg giving him at that stage the lead with a healthy Glossbrenner formula of 284.42.  Not content with that and knowing the third flight of lifters could produce a win Colin elected to jump 7.5kg to go 302.5kg to advance his chance of sealing the win….. Unfortunately, he just failed at lock out, probably over shooting the mark, like Corey by about 2.5 kilo’s.

So, with Colin now in the lead the third flight of lifters that were close had something to chase.

Kyle Love who had done such a good job on the Bench to get himself in a position to place decided after his first fail at 270kg to call it a day. As it turned out 275kg would have put him in the top 3.

To show the level of sportsmanship that goes on at these meets Corey Millar with calculator in hand was helping lifters know what they needed to pull on their final attempts…. This resulted in Gary McCartan calling the bar to be loaded to 315kg, a weight he’d never pulled before. It was an all or nothing move and it was the difference between first and a possible fourth.

After seeing Gary pull at the 2015 State Powerlifting Championships the boy is so “Irish stubborn” that day he tried to lock out 300kg and refused to let it go even after the head judge signalled him to abort the lift… he’d still be holding it now if the spotters hadn’t intervened.

This lift was a strain but he somehow got the lock out and “bam” like that he was in the lead by the barest of margins eclipsing Colin Hogan by .2 Glossbrenner points.

With two contenders left it was still anybody’s game.

Matt Lynch-Blanch was next up Corey’s tabulation showed he needed 320kg for the win as Gary had the better body weight. The intensity now was up, the music was up and Emcee Adam Coe was up and with one mighty effort from Matt the bar started to move up… up… up… and then the dreaded sticking point that he couldn’t get passed.  A fantastic effort but one that left him now clinging to third place with one lifter to go big Daniel MacGuire.

After a chat with Corey it was revealed he needed 350kg for the win, a number that on this day was probably a little too much. Electing for 335kg to place he gave it a hell of a fight but unfortunately it was probably 5kgs off the mark.


So, there you have it; the 2016 Deadliest Deadlift Champions are Gary McCartan and Jess Day.

Big thanks to all involved in the day’s event, spotters/loaders, refs, scorer’s table and the countless hands that helped transport set up and pack away this event.

The next comp looks to be set for Heavy Duty in Clarkson where the annual Hulk Smash Deadlift will take place.

 Interesting Facts:

+ No one in the top 3 hit a 200kg Bench all relying on their Deadlifting power to bring them home.

+ The top 3 lifter’s gloss formula would have won this event last year

+ Jess Day would have finished 8th in the Men’s section this year

+ Jess Day is now a dual winner of this event


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