ARLINGTON — Four local Arlington lifters placed in the North American Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships at the World Association of Benchpressers and Deadlifters held at Portland, Ore., on March 15.
The four lifters competed in the deadlift and benchpress powerlifts. The lifters had the option to lift raw, that is with no gear, or wear a single-ply shirt.
The four Arlington lifters have qualified to compete in Las Vegas Nov. 18-23, at the World Bench Press and Dead Lift Championships.
The lifters pulled some serious iron to earn a spot in the world tournament. Two of the lifters never participated in a powerlifting meet prior to the championships.
“I was pretty proud of everyone. Our work payed off,” 20-year-old Ben Cotton said. “We all pulled personal bests.”
Cotton has been competing in the sport for six years and has the most experience out of the four. He said he placed fifth in the world when he was 18 and wanted to pursue the sport more.
Second in experience was Riley Tracey, who has lifted alongside Cotton before.
In the 20- to 25-year-old age group, Cotton placed second in the deadlift, pulling 617 pounds in the 220-pound weight class.
He placed first in bench press, lifting 358 pounds.
Tracy, in the 18- to 19-year-old 165-pound weight class, placed first in the deadlift pulling for 485 pounds.
It was Reagan Moss’ first powerlifting meet. Moss is currently a senior at Arlington High School and placed first in both lifts in the 148-pound weight class. He benched 115 pounds and deadlifted 270 pounds.
Michael Blankenship, 21, in the 20- to 25-year-old age group, placed first in deadlift, pulling 407 pounds. It was also his first time competing.
Cotton was especially proud of the first-time lifters who only trained for about five months prior to the meet. Cotton hopes that Blankenship and Moss will keep weightlifting.
“I’m trying to get them to continue, and they most likely will,” Cotton said.
Cotton would like to give honorable mention to Stillaguamish Athletic Club owner Carla Gastineau for sponsoring the four lifters, and Mike Camlin, who introduced Cotton and the other lifters to the sport. “He was the one that got us into it,” he said.