SAN ANTONIO, Tex. – The Midland University powerlifting team competed at the USAPL College National Championships last week and set numerous records and personal bests. The Warriors are in their inaugural season as a collegiate powerlifting team.
The men's team finished placed eighth out of 23 total teams. The Lady Warriors placed ninth. Perhaps the most impressive feat for the Midland teams was that only four athletes on the men's and women's side scored team points compared to other teams with roster sizes over 30.
Women's 57kg: Midland had two ladies competing in the 57kg class. Jodel Patino competed in the equipped division and Kaeleigh Novak, a freshman, competed raw in just her second career powerlifting meet.
Patino started the day off with an incredible squat of 385lbs, which was 55lbs over her previous best mark. She missed her first two attempts of 220lbs on bench press, but came back and made her third attempt to stay in the meet. Going into the deadlift she was in third place behind two elite accomplished athletes. Patino attempted a huge 391lbs deadlift which would have given her the silver medal, but it was just too much and she finished third.
Novak benched a personal best 99 lbs. and a personal best deadlift of 231. She finished 17th.
Men's 74kg: Midland had two men competing in the 74kg class which had a total of 63 lifters. AJ Leonard had a perfect day on his nine attempts. He ended with a Nebraska junior state record for squat (424lbs) and bench (308lbs). Leonard finished 19th.
Midland's second lifter was freshman Mason Cabney, who entered the meet ranked No.1. Cabney started the day with a mind-blowing American Open Record squat of 563lbs. An Open record means it is the largest lift in American regardless of age and Cabney is only 19. The World record is only 573lbs.
Cabney then benched 314 lbs. and was leading going into the deadlift. Mason's opening deadlift should have been easy. However, the weight shifted and he suffered a painful hip injury. With the National Championship at risk, Cabney came back out a pulled his opener of 578lbs. But, Mason's day was not over. He needed to make his final deadlift to maintain his lead. So Mason proceeded to pull a weight of 600lbs with an injured hip to secure the win.
Cabney became Midland's first National Powerlifting Champion.
Men's 83kg: Thomas Lemelin is normally a 74kg lifter, but moved up to 83kg because Midland already had two athletes at 74kg. Lemelin fished with a 465kg total placing him 66th out of 78 competitors.
Women's 72kg: Brittany Bond came to Midland as a raw lifter, but before Nationals she switched to equipped lifting to help the women's team. Bond squatted 347 lbs., benched 176 lbs. and deadlifted 347 lbs., all which were Alaska Junior State records. Bond finished in 16th place.
Men's 120kg: Freshman Mitchell Cowman entered nationals ranked No. 3. Cowman started with a 584 lb. squat and missed a close 611 lb. squat. He benched 451 lbs. and deadlifted 579 lbs. to conclude the day at eighth in a very tough class.
Women's 84kg: Rachel Blair started with a new personal best of 391 lbs., which was a 45 lb. improvement from her last meet. She also hit a huge 242 lb. bench to improve upon her personal best by 50 lbs. Blair finished the day in 11th place.
Women's 84+: Abby Coday joined the team in the spring to help bolster the women's team. She competed in the equipped division even though she was essentially lifting raw. She squatted 314 lbs., benched 165 lbs. and deadlifted 314 lbs. to place 14th.
Men's 120+: Senior Joe Lopez went into Nationals with his eyes set on becoming a National Champ. At the beginning of the season, Lopez came down with a serious illness and was hospitalized for two weeks. After leaving the hospital he had to use a walker to get around. He had to start from ground zero on his road back.
Lopez was all business and dominated his first two squats at the meet. The Collegiate American record was 295kg/650lbs, and Lopez set the new record of 296kg/ 653lbs. He benched 424 lbs. and narrowly missed at 440 lbs.
The meet came down to Lopez and an Ohio State lifter. Lopez needed his last deadlift of 567 lbs. to overtake the Ohio lifter who was ahead of Lopez thanks to a big deadlift. Lopez pulled the weight to lockout, but had a slight hitch which resulted in him losing the lift by judge's decision. Lopez finished in second place.