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2016 Wild West Shoot-Out

October 9th, 2016
Henry Day

The powerlifting world descended on Bunbury for the annual Wild West Shoot-Out. Graciously hosted this year by Jodie Testrow and her team at Pro Fitness; 22 competitors and a large cheer squad from around the state made the journey south to support this event which has become one of the highlights of the powerlifting calendar.

As is quite often the case the success of these events are made up of a combination of efforts by a multitude of people who are all willing to go the extra mile to enable these comps to run smoothly. So before focusing in on the event I’d like to give a special thanks to the following people whose support was imperative to the smooth running of this event: Referee co-ordinator Alisha Rawlinson and her team of Zo Kruger, Julie Preston, Corey Miller, Kenyon Donaldson, Lauren Joyner, Greg Rawlinson and Adam Coe.

Bunbury residents Francis Cowan and Phil Wilde, Arron Brewer from NBK along with Muscle Pit team members Dan Curtis, Stuart Macaulay, Joel McCaughan, Li Angi, Neihana and Jess Day all contributed significantly especially on the logistic side with transporting and setting up of equipment. – Thank You!!


For the second year running I think the women stole the highlight reel with a couple of scintillating performances.

Starting procedures was 19-year-old Lizzie Graffney weighing in at 53.7kgs and participating in her first ever powerlifting comp put in a solid performance. The highlight being a near body weight Bench of 50kg.  Her efforts and potential won her the award for the “Most Promising Lifter” of the meet.

Despite a few technical hitches Bonnie Reid lifted impressively and like Lizzie Graffney has huge potential in this sport. Bonnie’s final Deadlift of 120kg flew up and underlined what a force she could be with a bit more experience and a few more hours training under her belt.

Backed by a very vocal support group 55year old Therese Matthews was another first timer who showed plenty of promise and will be better for the outing. Therese’s positive attitude and willingness to step outside her comfort zone is an inspiration to women of all ages and a reminder it’s never too late to “get your strong on”.

Kat Becker who had strung together a series of big performances over the last 2 months which included setting both World Records and National Titles, took a low key approach to this comp with “token lifts” in the Squat and Bench. However, she turned up the heat to help her team’s performance in the Deadlift with a PB of 225kg at 78kg body weight.  Kat’s “token lifts” of 150kg Squat and 95kg Bench earned Kat 3RD place at this year’s event.

Another lifter in her later years is WAPA legend Monica Cook. Monica has had a very distinguished career in both powerlifting and weightlifting.  Her weightlifting will see her compete at the World Masters games to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in April 2017.

Monica is never far off her best and is always very competitive especially when body weight co-efficiency and age allowance formulas are used. Monica’s lifts of 130kg Squat, 95kg Bench and 140kg Deadlift gave her a total of 365kg at 65.7kg body weight.  On formula this saw her edge out Kat and take 2nd place.

This brings us to the star of the show Jessica Day…. and man what a performance.

Her opening Squat of 160kg was missed due primarily to a technical hitch out of her control.

You learn a lot about people when things don’t run smooth and it is a credit to Jess’ positive attitude she didn’t allow it to define her day. Remaining focused and a touch “pissed” she raised the bar to 170kg for her second attempt.  As she lowered the bar and hit depth she kept going down pulling up just short of China before hitting the after burner and grinding out a PB of 170kg at 67.5kg body weight.  The effort though, was telling as her last lift of 180kg just wasn’t there.

Moving into the Bench section things started to click, her two openers of 95kg and 97.5kg looked relatively comfortable and set up the opportunity to have a fair dinkum crack at 100kg…. a number that she has been focused on getting for over a year. The bars decent looked controlled and the press back technique-wise was picture perfect – a huge milestone achieved!!

Entering into the Deadlift rounds Jess’ confidence was now on a high, she made short work of her opening two attempts of 170kg and 180kg before raising the bar and successfully slaying 192.5kg. This lift was the icing on the cake and made a great day awesomely great. She never looked like missing, pulling aggressively and controlled the weight steadily climbed to lockout and as the crowd let rip and the dust settled Jess had achieved a 462.5kg total – The biggest in WA Powerlifting history at 67.5kg body weight eclipsing former WA Legend and 1983 World Champion Linda Miller’s Total of 455kg.

An outstanding achievement that ranks Jess No.3 in the country at 67.5kg body weight.


The men’s open division had a good blend of experience and raw enthusiasm with a number of competitors having contested fewer than 3 comps before this event.

Muscle Pit trio of Mark Ward, Matthew Wilson and Karl Mauritz, who are coached by Stephen Ramsay, had a strong day on the platform with good all round gains on their lifts.

Doug Terry in his second competition continues to improve successfully lifting 8 from his 9 attempts with best lifts of 150kg Squat, 110kg Bench and 190 Deadlift.

Bunbury local Ashleigh Hartigen weighing in at 99.9kgs didn’t have his best day on the platform due to a disrupted prep. Ashleigh finishing with a 495kg total but will be better for the hit out which should be reflected at the deadliest deadlift comp in 8 weeks’ time.

NBK Apparel team mates Sam Stubbs and Aaron Brewer in their first comp credit themselves well. Lifting like seasoned powerlifters there was only the 1 missed lift between the pair. Sam finished with a solid 490kg total at 95.1kg body weight and Aaron with a 532.5kg total at 90.7kg body weight which included a 212.5kg Deadlift as the highlight.

Newcomer Ryan Chaudhry has only been lifting a relative short period of time since joining Muscle Pit 6 months ago. During that time, he has strong work ethic and isn’t afraid to push the limits.  Ryan managed a 160kg Squat, 150kg Bench and a 220kg Deadlift to finish with a total of 530kg.  There is definitely a hint of bigger things to come from Ryan in the not too distant future.

Muscle Pit stocks future stocks look solid with Neihana Day, Matt Lynch-Blanch and Stuart Macaulay all crediting themselves well. The first two debuting in their very first powerlifting competition.

Neihana’s Squat and Bench form was solid and with a little bit of fine tuning he could really turn what is a solid Deadlift into a weapon. Neihana finished the day with a 630kg total, a great outcome considering this was his first time stepping onto the platform.

Matt Lynch-Blanch, who has background in Strongman, has built a very solid base over the years and I feel has enormous potential in this sport if he gives it a red hot crack. The immediate challenge for Matt is to “keep the faith” as he refines his technique on his lifts and to understand at times you may have to regress to go forward.  One thing about development in powerlifting it isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon.  Matt fell short of his own expectations but he will be better for the experience and bigger numbers are in store for him.  Finishing with a very solid 685kg total, I’m predicting he could be a smoky to place at the Deadliest Deadlift on the 27th November.

When it comes to consistency of work ethic Stuart Macaulay is right up there with the best. Stuart had a solid outing succeeding with 8 of his 9 lifts.  His Squat is starting to show promise finishing with a solid 260kg and his Deadlift of 312.5kg is progressing along nicely.  His Achilles Heel though is his Bench finishing the day with 152.5kg.  With Stuart’s work ethic I’m pretty sure we will see some dramatic improvement by next year’s states.

Aaron Cullimore’s Heavy Duty Gym in Clarkson was represented by 2 lifters on the day, the ever improving Zac Grey and new comer Jason O’Sullivan.

Zac Grey has been chipping away diligently without fanfare or fuss over the last 12 months and boy is it starting to show in the numbers he is hitting on the platform. Zac finished with a well-earned total of 707.5kg.

One of the most talked about performances post meet was that of Jason Sullivan, the Irishman put in an eye catching display hitting 240kg Squat (in sleeves), 155kg Bench and a 255kg Deadlift. All lifts were done with sufficient ease to suggest there is some big numbers looming on the horizon.  Lifting as a light weight in the 90kg division I think he could really stamp his mark as an 82.5kg in 2017.

Now to the top 3….

Continuing the Irish theme, Muscle Pit’s Gary McCartan entering in his first comp since taking out the Hulk Smash Deadlift back in February finally got a comp that worked in with his FIFO commitments. Gary is another that has a terrific work ethic and his comp day experience is starting to grow, his weight selection and general platform pose was outstanding. Gary was one of only two lifters on the day to go 9 from 9. Gary finished with a 735kg total, his Deadlift of 310kg (at 110kg body weight) being the highlight.  That lift gave Gary entry onto the Muscle Pit record boards for the first time and sealed 3rd place at this year’s shoot-out.

Runner up this year was Francis Cowan of Bunbury with a solid performance of 757.5kg total via a 290kg Squat, 175kg Bench and 292.5kg Deadlift. Francis who had been struggling in the lead up with a niggling injury found enough reserve to hoist a P.B in the Deadlift.  I think once these injuries settle down Francis will be turning a few heads in 2017.

The winner of this year’s Wild West Shoot Out came as no surprise to anyone. Phil Wilde who is the current WAPA State Champion, breezed through the event posting a 850kg total.  His Squat defines excitement, from the head butting of the bar to sheer explosiveness of the movement; he made the 335kg on the bar look like he was carrying a feather.  His Bench of 212.5kg also moved easy as did his 305kg Deadlift.  At 27 years of age “the crowd favourites” best years are still in front of him.

Team Event:

As for the team event it was a one-way race with “Mon’s Troops”, who consisted of Phil Wilde, Monica Cook and Kat Becker well and truly dominating. The 225kg pull of Kat Becker cancelled any hope of a late upset.


So with another Wild West Shoot Out done and dusted our attention turns to the Deadliest Deadlift to be held on Sunday the 27th of November at Cicerello’s Seafood Restaurant.  This will be limited to 45 participants this year, so please get your entry and monies in ASAP to avoid the disappointment of missing out.  Those that have participated in previous events know this outdoor event is a ripper and for a few the pinnacle of the WAPA calendar.

As a reminder to those that are keen on all things strength plus reviews and previews of comps in West Australia check out the Iron Addiction Podcast which is released each Monday on Sound Cloud with links at WAPA and Muscle Pit Facebook pages.

On a final note as always thanks to our 2016 sponsors, SpecSavers Willetton, Body Genius, Harris Stability Systems, Retravision Cannington, Verve Chiropractic, NBK Apparel, Hybrid Supplements, Awesome As, MPS Remedial, Emerald Ink, Theroplate Australia and Iron Addiction… Remember support those that support you.

Thanks again to Jodie and the team at Pro Fitness for their hospitality and to all those that turned up and supported.


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