North West Team Challenge 2016

The 2016 Team Challenge was the best ever!  OK so there have only been two so far but this competition had everything - divisional records smashed, awesome new talent discovered, deadlift battles, birthday cakes and barbecues!


 Muscle Maidens had a rocky start - one week out from competition, they were down to a single team member.  Luckily, our awesome #TEAMNW community came together and two new Maidens came forth.  Amy McDermott of Taylor’s Strength was joined by Helena Gregory and Victoria Eldridge who bravely stepped up to compete with only a couple of days’ notice.  Amy hit pbs in every lift, adding 17.5kg to her total from January and qualified for the British Junior Classic.  Helena similarly made huge improvements on her January debut, going 9/9 and adding an impressive 22.5kg to her total.  Victoria wasn’t left out, hitting or matching pbs in every lift, including a landmark 100kg squat.  The Muscle Maidens finished in 5th place with 775.981 combined Wilks points.

I Thought this was a 5k (great team name!) – Both Brynkelly Leahy and Joella Clegg put in great performances in their first competition, Brynkelly qualifying for the British Junior Classic.  Mariella Fisher (sub-junior) smashed divisional records in bench, deadlift and total and exceeded the qualifying total for the Senior British Classic as well as wining herself a place in the North West Championships at the end of the year.  4th place with 815.992 Wilks points.

The Power Puff Girls had fun saving the world before bedtime!  Hannah Philp hit an impressive pb squat of 130kg.  Alexandra Wiacek lifting in the 57s for the first time went 9/9 and smashed the divisional bench records in that class, hitting pbs in every lift.  Both went into the top 5 North West rankings with these results.  Jill Rutter had a great day out, hitting a massive pbs in squat and deadlift and adding 10kg to her total.  Bronze medal placing with 939.155 Wilks.

Deadlift Divas ran the world!  At least according to their walk-out music.  Emma Sulllivan lived up to the team name with a pb deadlift of 155kg – adding 7.5kg to her previous best total.  Kim Cowell got her name up in lights with a divisional bench record of 70kg and stuck 20kg on her total, despite moonlighting in strongman competitions.  British Champion Chelsey Logue had an exciting day trading bench records and battling in the deadlift with Izzy Osbourne of the Power Stranger.  Chelsey walked away with divisional records in bench, deadlift and total having added 10kg to her total.  Silver medals for the Divas with 1011.075 Wilks.

The Power Strangers absolutely stormed it.  Lois Sharpe, our other sub-junior, hit pbs in squat, bench and total and won herself a place at the North West Champs.  Izzy Osbourne had a brilliant scrap with Chelsey of the Deadlift Divas and came away with a divisional squat record of 150kg and pbs across the board.  The sensation of the day though was the incredible Bobbie Butters.  Although this was her first competition with us, Bobbie has previously competed in weightlifting and with the BDFPA.  As a junior 63kg lifter, Bobbie opened with a 140kg squat which exceeded the current British record by 15kg!  Although Bobbie didn’t quite hit depth with her next attempts at 150kg, they were very close and clearly the strength wasn’t an issue so we would hope that the European record of 155kg isn’t far away.  Bobbie’s best bench at 85kg matched the current British record and her best deadlift of 160kg puts 10kg on the current British record.  This left Bobbie with a total of 385kg which would smash the British record by an unbelievable 50kg and match the gold medal total from last year’s world championships.  Bobbie went straight to the top of the North West all-time rankings with 419 Wilks points.  Gold medal placing with 1084.190 Wilks.


Screaming Barbell Warriors had the toughest time on the run up to the comp with team member after team member dropping out.  Nicky Duvall stepped in at the last second in her first competition.  Unfortunately, Nicky didn’t manage to get a squat passed but pulled it back on bench and deadlift and is already planning her comeback at the County Championship series.  Rebecca Hellyer on her way back from injury hit a pb in deadlift and added 12.5kg to her total.  Danny Lee, the only original member of the team left standing, hit pbs in squat and bench and put 7.5kg on his total.  10th place with 638.571 wilks.

Chalk Dirty to Me – Pete Malone had some trouble with the squat in his first competition and unfortunately didn’t manage to put up a total.  Dan Casson lifted in the 93kg class for the first time in quite a while which gave him his best Wilks score to date and qualified for the All England.  Andy Foster had a fantastic day, hitting huge pbs in every lift, putting an incredible 27.5kg on his total and achieving the top male Wilks score of the day at 411.717.  9th place with 785.299 Wilks.

KRS-One (Rep Max) – Woop Woop!  This was the sound of the PB!  Both Martin Liu and Ian Lee did well, hitting pbs in every lift and putting nearly 20kg on their respective totals.  Ian secured his place at the North West Champs.  Dale Potter in his first competition as a senior, managed pbs in squat and deadlift, improving his previous total by 15kg.  8th place with 907.553 Wilks

Lifestyle Burnley – Adam O’Brien went 7/9 in his first competition.  Marcus Morris had a good day with 8/9 good lifts and securing himself a place in the NW Champs.  Nice to see Chris Hubel back after a break and hitting huge pbs in every lift, putting 30kg on his previous best total and qualifying for the All England!  7th place with 922.480 Wilks

Obi Wan Rep from the Taylor’s Strength stable also suffered some last minute substitutions.  Both Michael Evan and Ryan Molloy went 9/9 in their first competition, an impressive achievement.  Ryan also qualified for the All England.   Sean Broley also went 9/9 and improved his total by 27.5kg, qualifying for the British Classic Juniors along the way!  6th place with 961.114.

Fleetwood Barbell – Michael Porter sneaked pbs on squat bench and total.  Ross Pritchard PBd on squat and deadlift to improve his total by 12.5kg.   Jake Turner, after a year’s gap, still managed pbs on bench and deadlift and hit his qualifying total for the British Classic.  5th place with 1020.098 Wilks

1 Lanklet and 2 Manlets – Sam Whittington in his second competition got a squat pb and a place at the NW Championships.  Matthew Galley also managed a pb on squat and qualified for the All England.  Josh Hayford hit pbs on squat, bench and total and qualified for the British Classic Juniors.  4th place with 1028.414

Turn Down for Skwat – Turn down for what?  Tom Hanlon of Olympic Sports Gym went 8/9 in his first competition.  Graham Hayes, also in his first competition took divisional records in bench, deadlift and total – an impressive performance!  Commonwealth champion and British record holder Connor Burkhill scared the spotters with his first squat but regained his composure to nail the remaining 8 lifts which included a divisional record in bench and exceeded the senior QT for the British Classic at only 18 years old.   Bronze medal placing with 1036.432 Wilks.

Performance Anxiety – after suffering a last minute drop out due to injury, Bryn Roberts, our guest from over the Pennines, stepped into the breach.   Bryn went 9/9 and got his qualifying total for the All England.   Brothers-in-law Tom Warburton and Paul Jackson battled for supremacy, not for the first time.   Tom got a huge bench pb and Paul hit pbs on squat bench and total.   Both qualified for the British Classic.  Silver medals with 1120.781.

A Tribe Called Quad – could they kick it?  Yes they could!   Michael Giles managed pbs on squat and bench and claimed his place at the NW Champs.  Joseph Spratt, in his first competition, went 7/9 and qualified for the British Classic.  Kurtis Charnock gave us all a fright with his first squat which was a bit of a grinder – not surprising as it was a 15kg comp pb!  Kurtis also added 10kg to his bench, 20kg to his deadlift and an amazing 45kg to his total which made him second overall male on Wilks.  Gold medals with 1168.809 Wilks

Overall, this was a fantastic competition and we saw some brilliant lifting.  This competition format has definitely secured its place in the calendar and we can’t wait for next year.