The Killerwhale Weightlifting Club had a momentous weekend, competing at the A&R Memorial Weightlifting Tournament in Port Alberni on Saturday, Feb. 16. A team of six members travelled across the hump, returning with three medals and reaching several milestones.
The A&R tournament is a longstanding memorial tournament in Port Alberni for two East Indian weightlifters, and is the traditional season opener for the BC Weightlifting Association. The BCWA is affiliated with the Canadian Weightlifting Federation, which in turn is affiliated with the International Weightlifting Federation and the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Corey McBeath, 22, became the Killerwhale’s all-time best lifter and qualified for the Canadian Championships with his 115kg Snatch and 135kg Clean & Jerk. Coach Ed Lafleur, 57, came out of retirement and lifted in his first tournament in 20 years and made six good lifts.
Jakob Rockx, 17 and in Grade 11 at G.P. Vanier Secondary School, made five good lifts out of six and won the gold medal in the 56kg bodyweight category. Aiden Shepherd, 14 and in Grade 9 at Lake Trail School, also made five good lifts and set PRs (Personal Records) en route to claiming the bronze medal in the 69kg category.
Jakob and Aiden lifted in the second session, but in different categories, and both started successfully. Jakob Snatched 45 and then 47, demonstrating excellent control in a very low bottom position. Aiden then made his first, a good 50 kilos which he could easily have power-snatched.
Jakob then took 50 as well, and made it look easier than his first two lifts; an excellent start for him. Aiden took 55 for his second and again it was easy. For his third, he jumped seven kilos to 62. He needed more explosion with this weight, but it didn’t quite happen and he pressed the weight to lock-out, earning red from the referees. But, still, a respectable start.
Jakob came out with 64 for his first Clean & Jerk and it was fairly easy. He next took 67, which is the best he’s ever done in training, but after an easy Clean, his right elbow buckled a bit before locking out in the Jerk, and he got red. He repeated 67 and this time was faultless, Totalling 117, a PR, and setting PRs with his 47 and 50 Snatches and 64 and 67 Jerks.
Aiden has been working hard on his Clean and has awesome power in the Jerk, so he came out with 77 for his first attempt. The Clean was very good and the Jerk never in doubt, and the down signal preceded three whites from the referees. He took 81 for his second, stressing the Clean a bit more, but the Jerk was just as good and he had another good lift, setting another PR.
For his final attempt, he and his coaches had imagined 85 kilos and here it was. His Clean wasn’t a paragon of technique, but it satisfied the referees, and his Jerk was again a model of power and rock-solid; so another PR and a Total of 140, with lots of room to continue improving.
The last session featured the big guys and Killerwhales pretty much book-ended the session. Ed hadn’t lifted in competition since 1993, being busy coaching and refereeing, so started with a 45kg Snatch. A solid lock-out was more a priority than good technique, so he power-snatched the weight. 48 was next, another power-snatch, but another good lift. Ed was alternating lifts with Ed Fergusson, 77, a friend and fellow coach from Parksville, and when Fergusson missed his third Snatch, Ed came out with 51 and this time had a good squat-snatch to finish 3-for-3.
Corey was among the last lifters to come out for the Snatch and made an easy 100 to open. He followed that with another easy lift, 110 to set his first PR of the day. 115 was loaded for his third, and he made that with no fuss, to Snatch 3-for-3 in his first tournament in almost two years.
As the tournament was running quite late by this time, the Clean & Jerk started immediately, and Lafleur was alternating with Fergusson again. They both made 58 and 61, but after Fergusson missed 63, Courtenay’s Ed took his planned 64 and made it to go 6-for-6 with a 115 Total and finish seventh in the crowded 85kg bodyweight category.
Corey had to wait a while to start with 125, but was rock-solid with this competiton PR. 135 was next, and again solid, so Corey took 140 for his third. He Cleaned the weight with excellent technique, but knew he needed to really drive the Jerk, and drove it a tiny bit backward. Although Corey gave a courageous effort, that 308 pounds just kept travelling back and he couldn’t quite catch it.
Nevertheless, four PR lifts and qualification for the Canadian Championships with his 250 Total meant a satisfactory afternoon for Corey. He is also on the short list for Team BC for the Western Canadian Championships next month in Saskatoon, SK.
The club would like to give a huge shout-out to Nancy and Jamie Yeomans who generously lent us their mini-van for the trip to Port Alberni. Another huge shout-out to Jorgen Andersen who coached all four lifters to great results and to Chase Schurdevin who schlepped for us all day and proved an excellent video operator and photographer.
The Killerwhales are hosting the BC Junior Championships at Lake Trail School on Saturday, April 13.
– Killerwhale Weightlifting Club