Local lifters power their way to national titles

Just over a month after competing on the international stage, three area power lifters were back at it on the national level.

Sam Derynck, Luke Klein and Tony Schwebach were joined by several other lifters from Jackal’s Gym at the Sixth Annual Raw/Unequipped National Powerlifting Championships in Orlando, Fla., this past weekend, where Derynck and Klein claimed titles in their weight classes, qualifying them for the next Classic World Men’s Championships in 2014.

Schwebach took second in his weight class in the junior division, but will make the jump to the open division this next year.

“Everybody got back, working out hard right away again,” said Brad Gillingham.

Gillingham did not compete in the national meet after claiming the First Classic World Men’s Championships title in mid-June, giving himself a break from competing.

In addition to the trio that traveled to Suzdal, Russia, in June, four others with connections to Jackal’s Gym also competed.

“Nick Tylutki came down for a couple of workouts and he ended up winning his weight class,” said Gillingham. “Barry Hutchinson, a guy that’s lifted with me for years who lives out in South Dakota now, he came over and ended up winning his class.

“Gary Grahn, who works for MNDOT out of the Marshall office a couple days a week is from Atwater, but he trains with us all the time. He got second in his class,” Gillingham said. “Jordan Krogman. He had a tough meet. He was so strong and then got sick last week. That kind of wiped him out.”

Schwebach competed in the 93-kilo class in the junior competition for the last time. He lifted just 2.5 kilos less than his world lifts.

“Tony had a really good meet, said Gillingham. “He went a little more conservative and did more lifts.”

Derynck improved his squat total from the world meet and fell just shy of breaking the American record for the 74-kilo weight class in the dead lift.

“The American record is 556 (lbs.) for my weight class, and I wanted to get 562, said Derynck. “On my second attempt I did 535. After that I had the meet won, so I told my coach, let’s just go to 562.

“I attempted it, almost got it. I had it pretty much all the way out, I just couldn’t lock it out.”

In the bench Derynck came up just short on 140 kilos, which would have put him over his personal record set in Russia.

For Klein, the drive to qualify for the next world meet was enough to push him two kilos past his Russia performance.

“This year I didn’t have anyone else in my class,” said Klein. “I still wanted to have a good meet, so I kept everything within reason. I wanted to make sure I could make every lift count.”

Klein went a perfect 9-for-9 on his lifts, including a 187.5-kilo bench press, a weight he missed in the world meet.

With solid performances in the national competition, all of the lifters qualified for the Arnold Sports Festival, which takes place in Columbus, Ohio, in early March.

“Anyone that did the nationals will qualify for the Arnold Classic in Ohio in March,” Gillingham said. “That was one of Tony’s main goals, to get in nationals so he could be in the Arnold’s next year.”

“I intend to go to the Arnold Sports Festival again,” Klein said. “Then it should be worlds and nationals again.”