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WADS airmen win silver at powerlifting competition

Head to Nationals next week in Spokane

Senior Airman Zachary Nelson, left, Tech. Sgt. Nick Soriano, middle, and Staff Sgt. Christopher LaCour, right, pose for a photo during the Northwest Regional USA Powerlifting Competition July 29. Courtesy photo

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Two WADS airmen assigned to the 225th Support Squadron won silver medals at the Northwest Regional USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Competition in July and are headed to Nationals next week.

Competitors travelled from all over Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana to compete at the regional competition in Tacoma in order to qualifying for Nationals in Spokane from Oct. 11-15.  

Staff Sgt. Christopher LaCour, a mission systems technician, competed in the 93 kg (205 lbs.) weight class and Senior Airman Zachary Nelson, also a mission systems technician, competed in the 74 kg (163 lbs.) weight class.

The powerlifting competition consisted of performing three different types of movements: squat, bench and deadlift.  Each competitor had three attempts at each lift, the highest number counts towards the end total, and the total of the three lifts is what is counted.  

LaCour competes in the sport of powerlifting because it is his passion.  "I love the process of committing to a meet and training to compete and achieving my personal goals," explained LaCour.  "It is nice to win but I am satisfied with personal progression with my performances.  It's about getting better along the way."

LaCour felt it was the "cherry on top" when he qualified for Nationals since he was competing in a weight class that was different from the last five competitions he entered.  He qualified for Nationals by lifting a total of 662 kg and placing in the top three in his weight class.

Nelson competed for the experience and feels that powerlifting is fun and both mentally and physically challenging.  "I was surprised that I got a silver medal because it was my first powerlifting competition," expressed Nelson.

In order to prepare for the competition, LaCour and Nelson did two-hour powerlifting workouts, five days a week. "There was a specific program Sergeant LaCour follows and I would follow along on the same days that we lifted together," said Nelson.  "On the days we lifted separately, I would do my own workout which was similar to the program." 

There are some lessons learned that LaCour wants to pass along to aspiring weightlifters.  "Do not underestimate your potential and what you are capable of achieving," explained LaCour.  "The mind is stronger than the body and the sky is the limit.  It's about moving forward and beyond, enjoy the journey and bring along those who want the same things as far as goals of self-improvement."

LaCour and Nelson will be accompanied to Nationals by Tech. Sgt. Nick Soriano, 225th Support Squadron plans and scheduler, as their coach during the competition.  He will be assisting in making sure that they are prepped before each lift and have the right number sets for them on the platforms.

After Nationals, the plan is to compete as a team (Bigfoot Power) at the Team Phoenix Holiday Classic in December in Everett, Washington, and then go on to the 2019 USAPL Military Nationals.

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