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Posted by on Aug 18, 2013

USAPL Bench Nationals – Jonathan Leo goes 805lbs!

USAPL Bench Nationals – Jonathan Leo goes 805lbs!


Atlanta, GA


Jonathan Leo goes 805lbs!


It was standing room only in the swank and luxurious, W – Midtown Hotel! The 2013 USAPL Bench nationals was very entertaining with 175 of the best bench pressers in the nation.

Josh Rohr and his team put on a great meet! Saturday morning the meet staff had technical difficulties with Ustream. Eighty plus wires and multiple cameras involved in the production, just one misplaced wire and everything needs to be double checked. Technical difficulties occur occasionally, regardless of location.

Ustream was down for the first two flights, which meant that much of our experimental polling was deferred. In the afternoon we had over 40 responses to our poll regarding who should be interviewed live after the afternoon session. Lance Slaughter’s fans pushed through at the end to win the vote.

After each session, Dr. Patrick Anderson, whom also did an outstanding job announcing, conducted the interviews based on audience questions. On Saturday he interviewed Lance Slaughter and Jennifer Thompson. What great conversations (links below)!

Jennifer Thompson

Sunday provided even more social engagement, especially on Twitter. Adam Mamola and Jonathan Leo fans went viral with the voting link. They were unanimous choices.

Sunday morning interviews were a great success with many viewers on Ustream. While not perfect, meet director Josh Rohr and his staff are doing a great job to advance the spectator’s experience. We would like to thank Josh for letting us experiment with a few things!

Jennifer Thompson Interview

Lance Slaughter Interview

Adam Mamola Interview

Jonathan Leo Interview

Saturday Morning Session



Flight A consisted of many outstanding lifters and a few deep classes!

Hall-of-famer Jennifer Thompson (NC) was just too much for everyone today (and the last decade). Lifting in a pink cotton t-shirt, she did not disappoint. Her second attempt today was 137.5kg/303lbs, but she missed 140kg/308.6lbs on her third attempt. By far, the move straight to 137.5kg/303lbs was the best call of the day. It was solid, and the “easiest 303 has ever been” according to Jen. Most people in the audience thought 140kg/308lbs was going to be successful too on her third, but not today.

Jennifer Thompson finished with a Wilks of 148.93 which earned her cash prizes for both the open equipped and open raw categories. Yes, she entered the equipped division and won it too! Make sure to check out the post meet interview. She shares many valuable tips!

Watch all of her lifts here (video by George Marts)
Coming in second in the 63kg class was Jennifer Rey-Gaudreau with a successful attempt of 105kg/231lbs on her second attempt. 110kg/242lbs on her third was just a little too much.
Flight B was equally loaded with the greatest female bench pressers in the World.

By virtue of lifting after Jennifer Thompson, Devan Doan-Curley (84kg) knew what Wilks she needed to obtain to take home the Women’s equipped cash prize. She was on her way, but she barely missed 162.5kg/358lbs. She finished with 155kg/342lbs on her second attempt and a Wilks of 145.2 (below).


Finishing in second place in the 84kg/185lbs class was Tammy Walker. Tammy took a perfect attempt 145kg/322lbs on her third attempt.

Devan was not the only one close to Jennifer Thompson’s Wilks. Deborah Ferrell (84kg+) made 175kg on her second attempt and finished with a Wilks of 140.5.




Flight C

William Garcia stated his case for being the best light weight bench presser in the country. He made a very strong statement with a 177.5kg/391lbs on his second attempt. Weighting in at only 58.4kg/128lbs he had a great Wilks of 155.2! That is 3 times his body weight. His attempt with 182.5kg/402lbs was too much today!

Raw lifter Mykhailo Zabrodin went 167.5kg/369lbs weighing 64.8kg/142.8lbs. Mykhailo took home the prize money for light weight raw outstanding lifter. Very nice lifting!

One of the standing ovation moments (and coolest moments of the weekend) came when Anton Reel (93 years old) lifted (picture with Joe Marksteiner below). He was a true inspiration for all. Born in Germany in 1919, he came to the United States when he was ten. Read his bio on the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Website.



Saturday Afternoon Session


74kg/163lb Class

Jose Perez wins the 74kg/163lbs class with a 187.5kg/413lbs bench press on his second attempt. Jose is a super classy guy. Read our article about his sportsmanship at the NAPF Regional championships last month.

Jose Perez won the open class, but he didn’t have the biggest bench in the 74kg class! That title goes to Lance Slaughter! The gracious guy he is, Lance only registered in the Masters division. He benched 190kg/419lbs on his second attempt. It was great to watch Lance lift again and to listen to his interview after the session.



83kg/183lb Class

Volodymyr Narolskyy survived an amazing effort from Mike Ciupinski!

Volodymyr missed 260kg/577lbs on his second attempt, but came back and made it on his third attempt for the win. Mike Ciupinski was one on his heels after each lift. He also attempted 260kg/577lbs for the win, which was really close. Mike finished with his second attempt of 252.5kg/556lbs.


Sunday Morning Session


93kg Class

Dennis Cieri opened with 227.5kg/501lbs in a black cotton t-shirt. On his second attempt he went 233kg/513lbs for a new Raw American Record (and unofficial world record).

Dennis then went 237.5kg/523lbs on his third attempt and it was smooth. What an amazing lift!

The 5 time IPF world champion and one of the greatest bench pressers of all time will be remembered, today, by what his was wearing. Dennis wore a hot pink singlet and socks. The crowd and support crew loved this “lost bet” by Dennis.


In the equipped flight, Adam Mamola (VA) had a slow start, but he finished strong! His first attempt (285kg/623lbs)was not successful and he was out of his groove. However, supposedly a spotter grabbed the bar prematurely. The technical secretary made a decision to give him an additional attempt. Four minutes were placed on the clock, and then on the second attempt (of his first attempt), he was perfectly in his groove. He made it easy.

Adam then went 292.5kg/645lbs on his second attempt. It went up faster than he brought it to his chest.

Then Adam loaded a historic attempt of 305kg/672lbs. It was the easiest of all four of his benches! Adam said that his goal is to bench 700lbs with a body weight of less than 200lbs. If you watched him today, you would agree that goal is very achievable in the near future!

The teenage battle between Logan Hunt and Richard Pena was quite fun to watch. Logan Hunt, (#OleMiss) with a huge support crew in the crowd (and on Twitter), made his last attempt to take the Teen 3 Gold and the Teenage American Record.

105kg Class

Tim Anderson (NE) went from 287.5kg/633lbs to 318kg/701lbs on his second attempt. This was not too much of a stretch if you saw how easy his opening attempt was. It was close, but he was not able to lock it out on either attempt.

In second place was Michael Ferrantelli (FL); he finished with 265kg/584lbs. Michael came close in his attempt of 290kg/639lbs to knock off Tim Anderson’s opening attempt.

Junior lifter John Rivas was very strong today. He smoked his first two attempts, finishing with 255kg/562lbs. This gave him a Wilks of 152.49. Will it be enough to take home the outstanding junior lifter award?


Sunday Afternoon Session



Not to be “overshadowed” by the equipped lifters, raw lifters Kyle Stewart (220kg/485lbs) and Clint Poore (207.5kg/457lbs) put on a great show for everyone.

In the deep equipped division, we got a chance to see the legend Dave Doan make his return to the national platform after taking four years off for medical issues. He made 287.5kg/634lbs on his second attempt.

How deep was this open equipped class? First through Fifth place was separated by 20kg/44lbs in the 120kg class.

Brady Stewart might not have been the strongest lifter today, but he was the smartest. Brady snuck onto the Gold medal by staying within his limits and making attempts. That simple! He pressed a nice 307.5kg/678lbs on his third attempt! Everyone else went slightly out of their strength level and missed their last attempt.


WOW! There is nothing that I can say to explain these massive lifts. Unfortunately, there was more missed lifts than made lifts in this session, but still some great lifting!

Jonathan Leo made an historic 3rd attempt of 365.5kg/805lbs! “Jona” takes home the Overall Outstanding Lifter Award and Prize Money!

In second place, weighing in at 245kg/540lbs, Jeff Lewis only made his (huge) opener of 325kg/716lbs. It was great seeing Jeff back on the platform after several years away.

Third Place – Dan Gaudreau – 300kg/661lbs
Fourth Place – Shane Hopkins – 295kg/650lbs
Fifth Place – Joe Divert – 285kg/628lbs

Raw division gold went to Marvin Bishop with a bench press of 240kg/529lbs.

Guest lifter Avi Silverberg (280kg/617.5lbs) from Canada was a pleasure to watch.


Outstanding Lifters and Money Winners

Women’s Raw – $100 – Jennifer Thompson
Women’s Equipped – $180 – Jennifer Thompson
Women’s Raw Master – Tina Robinson
Men Raw (59kg-83kg) – $180 – Mykhilo Zabrodin
Men Raw (93kg-120+kg) – $180 – Dennis Cieri
Men Equipped (59kg-93kg) – $340 – Adam Mamola
Men Equipped (105kg-120+kg) – $340 – Jonathan Leo
Men Equipped – 2nd place – $180 – Jeff Snyder
Men Masters – Jeff Snyder
Men Juniors – John Rivas

Women’s Team
1st Place – Team Titan
2nd Place – Team Rohr

Men’s Team
1st Place – Team Titan

Full unofficial results can be found here


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1 Comment

  1. Great coverage!