Open letter to all lifters

Posted: May 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


I just wanted to thank everyone for entering our meet, and take a few minutes to go over a few details with you, especially the first-time competitors:

The final roster of lifters can be found here:

The flights are as follows:

BP Flight A: Women 105 to 148
BP Flight B: Women 165-SHW, Men 132-165, Men 275
BP Flight C: Men 181-198
BP Flight D: Men 220-242

DL Flight A: Women 105-148
DL Flight B: Women 165-SHW, Men 132-165, Men 275
DL Flight C: Men 181-198
DL Flight D: Men 220-242

Registration will open at 7AM, as will weigh-ins. Lifting will start promptly at 9AM.

If you have not already done so, or you are new to the sport, I cannot stress enough to familiarize yourself with the rule book, which can be found here:

Click to access USAPL-Rulebook-2013_1.pdf

I would suggest reading (at minimum) the section on personal attire, and the performance of each lift, and the causes for disqualification. All athletes should understand the rules that govern their sport, and powerlifting is no different. I see talented lifters at every meet that suffer needlessly by being unfamiliar with the rules.

Each lifter will need the following to compete:

-A one piece lifting suit must be worm by all competitors. This can be a loose wrestling singlet, or a supportive suit suit sold by Inzer, Titan or Metal. These suits may be hard to find locally, I would suggest finding one quickly. E-mail me if you need help with this; I can suggest a few retailers.

-All lifters must wear shoes that are athletic in nature. No boots are allowed, except for those specifically designed for powerlifting competition. Vibram Five Finger shoes are NOT allowed by USAPL rules. Deadlift slippers are allowed, but deadlifting in socks or bare feet is not.

-All women must wear a t-shirt for both the bench press & deadlift. Men must wear a t-shirt for the bench, this is optional for the deadlift. The sleeves must end above the elbow, and cannot be rolled up. A bench press shirt is allowed for equipped lifters.

-Socks that reach the bottom of the knee must be worn by all who deadlift.

If you are not sure if your singlet, suit or bench shirt is allowed by USAPL rules, please e-mail me with the specific brand name & model & I can tell you.

All lifters must be members in good standing of USA Powerlifting. If you have purchased a membership this year, please have your ID card with you when your register on meet day. Memberships will be available for purchase the day of the meet. However, this adds time to the registration process. Please consider purchasing a membership directly from the USAPL. This can be done online, quickly & easily, and your card will be e-mailed to you within a few days. Here is the link to purchase a membership:

Keep in mind, a USAPL membership is cheaper to purchase online than at a meet. Having a membership also speeds up the registration process, and may just keep a bad case of nerves in check.

T-shirts will be available for purchase at this meet. Final pricing depends on the size of the order, the type of t-shirt, and sizes ordered; XXL and larger usually run a few dollars more. I expect the sale prices to be in the $15-20 range. Keep in mind that weigh in time is limited, and we have a large number of lifters entered in this meet. You will have plenty of time to purchase a shirt; please make sure registration, weigh in & rack height check is your priority when you arrive.

Even though we usually do not have a formal equipment check, rules governing equipment shall be enforced. If you have any concerns on meet day, any available referee will be happy to check your personal attire & gear.

Best of luck to all lifters, and please do not hesitate to email me or call (240)216-2099 if you have any specific questions or concerns I have not addressed here.

Mike Sichelman
Meet Director

PS-Your email address will be kept on file & may be used to announce future meets and emails such as these. If you do not wish to receive future contact, please let me know & I will take you off the list

Name Age Weight Divison Gear/Raw Lifts
Shyami Murphy 47 105 Open Raw BP/DL
Jo Ann Miller 31 114 Open Raw BP/DL
Rachel Leslie 28 123 Open Raw BP/DL
Susan Stephens 46 123 Open Raw BP/DL
Ashliegh Kling 30 132 Open Raw BP/DL
Hieu Truong 30 132 Open Raw BP/DL
Alexis Kajencki 31 132 Open Raw BP/DL
Jaimie Carleo 29 132 Open Raw BP/DL
Mona Min 33 132 Open Raw BP/DL
Emily Karl 25 148 Open Raw BP/DL
Emily Socolinsky 39 148 Open Raw BP/DL
Susan Clayton 51 148 Open Raw DL
Natasha Atkinson 50 148 Open Raw BP/DL
Kristen Lang 23 148 Open Raw BP/DL
Anna Onishi 38 148 Open Raw BP/DL
Kayla Peters 25 165 Open Raw BP/DL
Sara Stuz 30 165 Open Raw BP/DL
Kate MacShane 30 165 Open Raw BP/DL
Sarah Ferrell 19 165 Open Raw BP/DL
Amanda Shepherd 27 SHW Open Raw BP/DL
Christine Roche 40 SHW Open Raw DL
Name Age Weight Division Gear/Raw Lifts
Iain Burgess 70 132 Open Raw BP/DL
David Edmund 35 132 Open Raw BP/DL
Jose Romero 20 148 Open Raw BP
Jeffrey Morgan 16 148 Open Raw BP/DL
Keith Schomig 41 165 Open Raw BP
Thomas Potter 36 165 Open Raw BP/DL
Reuven Tolchin 33 181 Open Raw BP/DL
Robert Giles 28 181 Open Raw BP/DL
Michael Williams 27 181 Open Raw BP/DL
Joel Milby 19 181 Open Raw BP/DL
Gary Calabrese 59 181 Open ? BP
Melvin Diaz 24 181 Open Raw DL
Mike Ricci 27 181 Open Raw DL
C W Ensor 27 181 Open Raw DL
Reece Hunter 26 181 Open Raw BP/DL
Michael Shaffer 25 181 Open Raw BP/DL
David Amici 19 198 Open Raw BP/DL
Dennis Reamy 71 198 Open Raw BP/DL
Kevin Severs 23 198 Open Raw BP/DL
Rohit Monga 21 198 Open Raw BP/DL
Sean Swetnam 24 198 Open Raw BP/DL
Nathaniel Hancock 36 198 Open Raw BP/DL
Robert Hitzelberg 29 198 Open Raw BP/DL
jacob Ziff 20 198 Open Raw BP/DL
Howard Sturman 56 198 Open Raw BP
Bruce Knox 28 220 Open Raw BP/DL
Paul Tolstoi 60 220 Open Raw BP/DL
Truet Purnell 46 220 Open Raw BP
Timothy Clavelli 21 220 Open Raw BP
Thomas Skowronski 45 220 Open Raw BP/DL
James Martin 22 220 Open Raw BP/DL
Tim Roberts 45 220 Open Raw BP
John Swenson 26 220 Open Raw BP/DL
Aryhel Freeman 30 220 Open Raw BP/DL
Mike Muskey 45 242 Open Raw BP/DL
Taylor Murphy 19 242 Open Raw BP/DL
Brian Walker 33 242 Open Raw BP/DL
Douglas McMillan 34 242 Open Raw BP/DL
Francis Dawson Jr 24 275 Open Raw BP/DL


BP Flight A: Women 105 to 148
BP Flight B: Women 165-SHW, Men 132-165, Men 275
BP Flight C: Men 181-198
BP Flight D: Men 220-242

DL Flight A: Women 105-148
DL Flight B: Women 165-SHW, Men 132-165, Men 275
DL Flight C: Men 181-198
DL Flight D: Men 220-242

A couple of flights will be longer than others, but this was the best combination of large & small weight classes I could muster.

Registration, which started slowly, has really started to pick up steam, especially after the Equinox Open on 4/12-4/13. We are currently at 42-44 lifters registered, with quite a few more that have e-mailed an entry but have yet to pay.  Due to demand, I will make a point of offering online registration in the future. It’s time I joined everyone in the 21st century!

It’s quite apparent that we will soon outgrow the space that Tim Gallagher at the Colosseum Gym has graciously lent us. I have agonized with trying to decide how many entries to allow at these meets, knowing that the space is small, and powerlifters, as a general rule, require an inordinate amount of space to do their thing. 38 lifters at last year’s meet was tight, but this allowed for a very intimate atmosphere. A 50 lifter limit is probably pushing the issue, but this decision was made when it appeared the Colosseum was on schedule for expansion.  This expansion has been delayed, so we will have to make do as best we can.

The upcoing meet was actually scheduled to be held outdoors to alleviate overcrowding, but the neighboring business has a history of being a thorn in the side of the Colosseum. I think it would probably be a bad idea to place the lifting platform directly in front of door of the carpet store. Call me crazy.

“Childhood’s over the moment you know you’re gonna die.”

Top Dollar, from the movie “The Crow”



I woke to the sad news that WWE legend Ultimate Warrior passed away yesterday at the relatively young age of 54.

To say that this bummed me out was an understatement. What does this have to do with powerlifting? Nothing really. But Jim Hellwig was an amateur bodybuilder in the early 80s, which makes him a brother in iron. Warrior, as he became known later in life, abandoned his career as a bodybuilder, and thoughts of becoming a chiropractor, to become a professional wrestler.

I was never a huge fan of professional wrestling, but being a pretty typical meathead, I enjoyed seeing guys in tights beating the crap out of each other well enough. My interest ebbed & flowed through the years, but I have to say that the Ultimate Warrior was perhaps my favorite star to compete in the squared circle. 

Was it the face paint? Nope. The big rockstar hairdo? No, but for the 80s, it was cool. The streamers hanging from his muscled arms? No. In fact, they kind of made him look like a kids bicycle. The different colored tights every night? Oh God no. Was it the attitude that it’s time for little guy (relatively speaking) to win one? Yup. That, and how he stood on principle & fought for his intellectual property later in his career, even though it cost him years in the ring.

It’s been years since I followed wrestling. Since the Rock became a movie star, no one has held my interest. I wasn’t even aware that Wrestlemania was last week. But I did see that the Hall of Fame Induction ceremony was on TV Monday night, right after Monday Night Raw. I made sure to spare a few minutes to watch Warrior speak to the crowd. And I’m glad he finally got his due from the WWE, who rode his coattails, and those of his contemporaries, to untold wealth. 

If it’s not entirely obvious why I’ve posted this, it’s because this is yet another reminder of man’s mortality in general, and mine in particular. Like Rocky Balboa (another favorite of mine) said “The older I get, the more things I have to leave behind. That’s life.”


Godspeed, Mr Hellwig.

(I’m sure calling by his given name would piss him off, seing as he legally changed his name to “Warrior” long ago. But I do this as a sign of respect. After all, we all come into this world with only one thing in our posession; our name.)








Image by cjarmstrong

Image by cjarmstrong


A brand new Ivanko black oxide power bar and 2.5kg collars have been purchased for use at all USAPL meets directed by On Deck.

Demand for USAPL meets in the Baltimore/Washington corridor is at an all-time high! We hear your requests, and a Push/Pull meet will be announced in the next few weeks. The Colosseum Gym in Columbia has again graciously offered to host, and we are currently awaiting sanction approval. Keep an eye on this space, because the meet is expected to fill quickly.