VISTA, Calif. -- The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Drug and Alcohol Free Powerlifting team took first place at the 2006 Amateur Athletic Union North American Powerlifting, Bench, Deadlift, and Pushpull Championship in Vista, Calif., June 24.
The team took part in the same competition last year, but took second place. This is the first time the team has earned first place in a team competition since it was assembled by coach, David Roman, the base drug demand reduction coordinator, in January 2005.
“This is a big victory for the base, to go to the same contest and get better results,” said Roman, a retired Marine. “This time we brought home first place. It says a lot for the team.”
Comprised of six members, the team began training for the competition in early January, after taking second place in its previous competition in December at the 2005 A.A.U. World Bench, Deadlift, and Pushpull Championship in Laughlin, Nev.
“We were due for a first place finish, after all the work we’ve been putting in to it,” said Wade Kisse, who has been with the team since it was formed. “It’s an awesome feeling.”
To be a part of the team, each member made sacrifices in their personal lives to ensure they could achieve peak physical performance.
“These Marines had to maintain abstinence from all alcoholic beverages while training for this competition,” Roman said, adding that Marines don’t use illegal substances to get ahead of the competition.
In addition to taking home the first place trophy, each member finished first in their individual age/weight categories, with two members breaking records.
Phillip Brown set and re-set a new military record for the deadlift in the 198-pound and below weight class. Brown’s first attempt of 584 pounds broke the record and on his second attempt he re-broke it with a lift of 622.75 pounds. On his third lift, Brown attempted an American, world and military record lift of 666.75 pounds, however he was unsuccessful.
David Roman broke an American and military record with a bench press of 341.5 pounds in the 242-pound Masters Division.
“Phil was just phenomenal,” said Roman. “He lifted six-hundred and twenty-four pounds at a body weight of one-hundred eighty-six pounds and he’s only twenty years old. He’s a beast.”
Roman said he is very proud of the team for stepping up their training and taking powerlifting to the next level for this competition.
“All the lifters went beyond their capabilities at the competition to bring home this trophy,” he said. “I could not be more proud of them. These guys were not experienced lifters earlier this year, but they became experienced while training for this meet.”
After a few weeks of rest the team will regroup at the East Gym during the third week of July and begin training for the 2006 World Bench, Deadlift, and Pushpull Championship in Las Vegas in December.
Any Marine or Sailor who is interested in training and competing with the team, and is willing to abstain from alcohol and other performance enhancing drugs, is encouraged to come out.