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Posted by on Sep 1, 2013

Day 7 Report – Junior World Powerlifting Championships

Day 7 Report – Junior World Powerlifting Championships

Team USA has been focusing on this day since last years Junior win at the IPF SubJunior and Junior World Powerlifting Championships in Poland. The excitement was building all week. We were not disappointed!


Men – SubJunior – 120kg/264lb Class


I sent out a tweet during today’s competition that Michael Rodriguez (USA) is the future of Junior lifting. However, I stand corrected; he is the present! He is an amazing lifter, with quite a promising future.

Michael Rodriguez, from Kingsville, TX, moved some weight today. After a successful opening squat attempt, Michael went straight to the IPF SubJunior World Record of 355kg/782lbs. After a tentative set up, he lost his balance in the hole, as he was coming up the bar descended, resulting in a no lift.

On Michael’s third attempt, he exuded a confident set up. He sat back after the squat command, and absolutely smoked the weight. His attempt of 355kg/782lbs is the new SubJunior WORLD RECORD!

Michael Rodriguez

Sometimes after a big squat attempt, it is difficult to move directly into a fast paced bench press session. During Michael’s opening attempt bench press, the bar started drifting over his eyes and fell into the rack. The coaches then bumped the second attempt slightly. This was exactly what he needed. He easily made it.

Michael then loaded up the SubJunior WORLD RECORD of 250kg/551lbs on his third. It was nice and strong. He has plenty of room to grow and develop in the bench press.

Deadlift did not turn out exactly as hoped. After an easy opening deadlift, Michael jumped 25kg to 290kg/639lbs. It was turned down 2:1 for lock out. Regardless, Michael and the coaching staff made another jump to 302.5kg/666lbs Why? If successfully pulled, it would have secured Outstanding Lifter of the entire meet and the SubJunior World Record in Total.

After ripping it off the floor, Michael made it 3/4 of the way up. It was a great effort. This miss will provide plenty of motivation for Michael in the future. He finished with a 870kg/1,918lbs total. Congratulations Michael on a fine performance!

Michael was born in 1996, which means he has another year at the SubJunior level before moving into the Juniors. Michael also has one more year High School. I’ll say this now (and again in the future), but Michael is the most prized recruit of the Class of 2014. He has the potential to win 4 collegiate national titles. The University of Texas, Texas A&M, Sam Houston State, Louisiana Tech, and LSU powerlifting teams are all aware of his potential at the Collegiate level.


Reggie Scales was also impressive today. Reggie is from Texarkana, TX, and has shown that he can perform at this level of competition.

Reggie made all three squats; he finished with 310kgs/683lbs. After a 217.5kg/479lbs bench press, Reggie pulled 277.5kg/611lbs on his second attempt for the deadlift Gold. Reggie finished with the overall Silver and a very respectable total of 805kg/1,774lbs.

Reggie Scales

Reggie Scales



1st – Michael Rodriquez (USA) – 870kg/1,918lbs
2nd – Reginald Scales (USA) – 805kg/1,774lbs
3rd – Hubert Dudziak (POL) – 765kg/1,686lbs



Men – SubJunior – 120kg+/264+lb Class


Matt Harper from Bossier City, LA, and coached by John Taberlet, put together a great performance for his first time on the international platform.

He finished with a 310kg/683lbs squat, 215kg/473lbs bench, and a 270kg/595lbs deadlift. Matt was able to stay ahead of Victor Ben from Iceland during deadlifts. He totaled 795kg/1,752lbs.

Matt Harper

Matt Harper

Matt took home the Silver medal behind the tall Russian, Egor Rezpov. Great job, Matt!

1st – Egor Rezepov (RUS) − 855kg/1,884lbs
2nd – Matthew Harper (USA) – 795kg/1,752lbs
3rd – Viktor Ben (ICL) – 780kg/1,719lbs



Men – Junior – 120kg/264lb Class


There are moments in powerlifting that you can not explain in words. The afternoon and the last session of the meet was one of the most anticipated match-ups (in the last decade) in the state of Texas. The wait was over; the quality of lifting did not disappoint!

The University of Texas lifter, Preston Turner, came in with high expectations as the two-time and defending Junior World Powerlifting Champion. However, the Russians thought he was slowing down, so they sent two of their best to take Preston down.

Preston’s first task was to make three squats. He knew that he could not out squat the Russians (today), but he needed every pound he could get to add to the total. With the help of the crowd, he finished with a 380kg/837lbs squat. He was currently sitting in third.

Let me tell you about the crowd. A sea of Preston’s supporters wearing burnt orange and Team USA shirts showed up early, and they showed up in large numbers. They were quite vocal and were a definite factor in today’s results. Teammate Scott Dobbins also had a huge amount of support wearing maroon Texas A&M gear.

The bench press is Preston’s specialty. His lifts got better as he went along. His second attempt of 322.5/710lbs was the Junior and Open WORLD RECORD attempt. It was impressive!

What was more impressive was how easily he made his third attempt. Preston finished with 327.5kg/722lbs, the new Junior and Open WORLD RECORD!

Just as you thought this it couldn’t get more intense in the Killeen Convention Center, it did! After opening deadlifts, Preston was tied with Ivan Goryachev (RUS). Preston had the lighter body weight, but the Russian lifter will get the last deadlift.

Preston Turner

Preston’s second attempt was much stronger than his opener. He even held it at the top as he was nodding while the crowd was going crazy. Preston’s eyes told just how badly he wanted this win. Ivan Goryachev (RUS) missed his second attempt; it barely came off the ground. We’ve seen this song and dance before. No one in the room believed he gave his best effort.

A decision was made to stay conservative with Preston’s last deadlift. 300kg/661lbs was loaded up, and the guy who wanted it more, made it look easy!

As expected, Ivan Goryachev was going to get the opportunity to pull for the win. He had to be bumped 15 more kilograms; 325kg/716lbs for the win. He got it 3/4 of the way up, but then started losing control. That is when the crowd lost control with a huge celebration for Preston Turner’s victory!

Congratulations to Preston Turner for winning the 2013 IPF Junior World Powerlifting Championships! In the future, he will surpass these lifting numbers, but it will be the way he battled toe-to-toe with the Russians that will be remembered.


Scott Dobbins, from Texas A&M, was also competing in this weight class. Scott had quite a good day. He finished with a squat of 337.5/744lbs and a bench press of 245kg/540lbs. Scott really impressed me when he came back to make his third attempt deadlift (after missing second) of 282.5kg/622lbs. He totaled 865kg/1,907lbs and represented Texas A&M and Team USA well.

Scott Dobbins

Scott Dobbins

1st – Preston Turner (USA) − 1,007.5kg/2,221lbs
2nd – Ivan Goryachev (RUS) – 992.5kg/2,188lbs
3rd – Aleksei Fokin (RUS) – 970kg/2,138lbs


Men – Junior – 120kg+/264+lb Class


Aaron Gonzales was the last lifter for Team USA. Aaron also came in with high expectations as the defending Junior World Powerlifting Champion.

Aaron had good day in squats finishing with 380kg/837lbs. This was a nice squat, however, the competition had dramatically increased since last year. His best event is the bench press. He secured the gold medal bench press (by 32.5kgs) with a successful attempt of 312.5kg/688lbs.

Aaron Gonzales

Aaron Gonzales

Aaron made his first two deadlifts, with 277.5kg/611lbs on his second. He attempted 287.5/633lbs, which would have earned the bronze medal. He finished with a 970kg/2,138lbs total.

Aaron has one more year in the Junior division. Look for him to redeem himself in Poland.

1st – Arten Litvinenko (RUS) – 995kg/2,193lbs
2nd – David Lupac (CZE) – 995kg/2,193lbs
3rd – Kamil Jarota (POL) – 972.5kg/2,143lbs
4th – Aaron Gonzales (US) – 970kg/2,138lbs





It was very close in the Junior division, but Team USA took second behind the Russians. Coach Curt St. Romain and the team got a few breaks and help from other teams earlier in the week. However, minor mistakes at the end started adding up. The Russians out-lifted the Americans this week.


We know that all of these young lifters read our articles. Leave a comment below letting them know how how proud you are of them!

Here are the unofficial results:

1st Russia 60
2nd USA 48
3rd Japan 38
4th Ecuador 13
5th Guyana 12

1st Russia 54
2nd USA 51
3rd Japan 41
4th Ukraine 40
5th Czechia 28

SubJunior coach, Joe Lewis, celebrating team USA's many accomplishments!

SubJunior coach, Joe Lewis, celebrating team USA’s many accomplishments!



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