By Steve Keenan
There’ll be a lot of grunting and groaning going on in the Valley High School gym on Saturday, May 18.
Beginning at 11 a.m. that day, the school will host the first USPF Coalfield Championship, a powerlifting event that will attract male and female performers from the middle school and high school levels, as well as open lifters representing the older set.
“I think it’s going to be great for the area,” said Valley teacher and coach Makie McCommack, one of the organizers. “It’s something new.
“It’s a growing sport.”
McCommack, who will guide several of his strong corps of VHS lifters at the event as well as competing himself, expects a crowd of 50 to 60 entrants. There will be a mixture of raw and equipment classifications, and participants will compete based on age and weight class. McCommack, who set the American raw bench press record for superheavyweights at a recent competition, hopes to improve on that mark on May 18.
The lifting disciplines included will be squat, bench press and deadlift, in that order.
Entries from those ages 13-and-up are still being accepted, McCommack stressed. If they aren’t already involved, participants must pay a fee and register as a member of the United States Powerlifting Federation on the day of the event.
McCommack said the meet was originally envisioned to be geared toward Coalfield Conference schools, but many of the schools won’t be taking part. Besides the Greyhounds, he expects schools such as Fayetteville, Nicholas County, Scott and South Gallia, Ohio, to compete, as well as individuals from a wide-ranging area that includes Lewisburg, Parkersburg, Charleston and Princeton-Bluefield.
Some of the best high school lifters will include Greyhounds, he feels. Among those competing will be Slayton Beard, Nathan Phillips, Garren Rowe, Darius Hutchinson and Dallas Parisen.
The event is sanctioned by the United States Powerlifting Federation and serves as a qualifier for the 2014 national championships in Chicago. For more, visit www.uspf.com.
For more information locally, call McCommack at 304-389-0252.