SWT Sports Writer
Zions Crossroads- The 2013 Ironman National Championship and the United States Bench Press, Deadlift and Strict Curl Championships took place Saturday near Charlottesville. The 100% RAW Powerlifting Federation sponsored the event and all lifts took place without any aids except for a weight belt and wrist wraps.
Pulaski Middle School student Cherokee Widner entered the competition in the 14-15 year/132 lb category. The 14 yr old bench pressed 159.8lbs/72.5kg and 176.4 lbs/80kg in his first two lifts. In his third and final lift, he missed a 187.4 lbs/85kg. In the deadlift competition, Widner lifted 270.1 lbs/122.5 kg, 303.1 lbs/137.5kg and 330.7 lbs/150kg in his first three tries. Widner was granted a fourth attempt at a national/world record deadlift of 352.7/160kg lbs, but he basically ran out of gas. In the final event of the day, Cherokee strict curled 49, 60 and 66.1 lbs.
During the award ceremony, Widner was crowned the 2013 Ironman National Champion with a total of 506.5 lbs (bench press and deadlift total) in his age/weight category. The soon-to-be PCHS Cougar was also crowned the 2013 United Sates Bench Press Champion, Deadlift Champion and Strict Curl Champion. Widner earned four large trophies for his efforts and bragging rights for another year as this was his second straight Ironman Championship.
Competition was great that Saturday as Cherokee was able to compete against four-time Virginia State wrestling champion Jeffery Allen from Monelison Middle School in Amherst. The 198 lb 8th grade wrestler broke the world record in the strict curl with a 126.8 lb lift and also won the Ironman Championship in his weight category. Another interesting opponent was the former U.S. Ambassador of the Law of Sea Negotiation, John Moore, now a 75 year old international lawyer in Charlottesville. The University of Virginia Professor broke the world record when he bench pressed 259 lbs in the 75-79 yr old age category. Moore, who has served six presidents in his career, graciously posed for a photo with Cherokee.
Widner plans on competing in the American Powerlifting Association National Championship in Defuniak Springs, Florida in April, the 100% RAW Powerlifting Championships (American Challenge) in Currituck, North Carolina in early June and the Southern Powerlifting Federation National championships in Knoxville, Tennessee in mid- June.