Colin McEwen

Colin McEwen competes in the We KANA Beat Cancer Weightlifting Competition on Saturday.

KODIAK — Kodiak’s powerlifters flexed their skills — and muscles— at CrossFit Kodiak Island for the We KANA Beat Cancer’s Weightlifting Competition on Saturday morning, raising a total of $500 for the American Cancer Society, according to the event director and owner of Kodiak Athletic Club Lindsay Knight.

The competition’s 24 participants ranging from 12 years old to 49 years old had three attempts to lift maximum weight on three types of lifts: squat, bench press and deadlift. CrossFit Kodiak Island owner Shanna Rockenbach was head judge and helped the Kodiak Area Native Association organize the event. 

“There is a lot of camaraderie in powerlifting. Even guys in the same weight class were cheering each other on. We all want to see those lifts that take herculean effort to achieve,” Knight said.  “Man or woman versus the bar. The exciting ones are those lifts that we are not even sure is even going to go up.” 

Colin McEwen competed in the 242 lbs class, winning heaviest men’s squat (585 lbs) and heaviest men’s deadlift (615 lbs), beating his personal record.

Tyler Massey competed in the 220 lb class and won heaviest men’s bench press (450 lbs). 

In the Teen Men category, 15-year-old Joren Valdez competed in the 132 lbs class, squatting more than twice his bodyweight (265 lbs) and deadlifting close to three times his body weight (365 lbs). 

Leana Sippel was one of eight women who competed at Saturday’s competition. She won the heaviest women’s squat (305 lbs). 

At 12-years old, four time state wrestling champion Megan Cornett was the youngest competitor. At the powerlifting competition, she competed in the 70lb class, deadlifting 105 lbs, squatting 100 lbs and benching 55 lbs. 

I’m a little bit nervous, but mostly excited,” she told KDM ahead of the event.

Kodiak’s silver medalist at the USA Special Olympics Summer Games in Seattle, Eric Mangrobang, also participated at the event. He competed in the 181 lb class, where he squat 225 lbs, benched 145 lbs and deadlifted 260 lbs.  

“This is the first (such) event in around two decades,” Knight said, adding that he could imagine it becoming an annual event.

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