The Virgin Islands Powerlifting Association has rapidly grown over the past six months and held its first national meet in its history on Saturday at Rock Life Crossfit.
The national meet provided Virgin Islands powerlifters the opportunity to record scores that could potentially qualify them for future international events as well as the Virgin Islands powerlifting national team.
The total includes the lifter’s highest squat, bench press and deadlift.
Madeline Scott won the Women’s Open 84 kg category with a total score of 515, which included a female-meet high deadlift of 217.5 kg.
Alexis Walker took first place in the Women’s Open 84 kg-plus division with a total of 540.
Deshawn Larrimore and Maria Rodriguez had a tight race in the Women’s Open 63 kg, with Lattimore edging out Rodriguez by 10 kg, 350-340.
Priscilla Delmoral was the lone participant in the Women’s Open 57 g class and had a total score of 297.5.
The men’s side of the event saw Akeakme Jones put up a total of 595 kg and win the 83 kg weight class.
Christian Habihirwe’s 795 kg total gave him first place in the 105 kg class.
In the 120 kg Men’s Open division Boris Terry’s 842.5 kg was the highest total of the day.
Robert Massey, the president of the association, first started traveling for powerlifting in the 1990s individually and in 1993 formed the Bend Bar Club to allow more Virgin Islanders to start traveling to compete.
In its first year, the Virgin Islands club took home two gold medals as Raymond Victorine won the Police and Fire Games Gold Medal in July and Leal Slyvester, the first Virgin Islander to represent Team USA, the World Blind Powerlifting Championship in October.
After that event Massey went on to coach Team USA Blind Powerlifting for 13 years.
In 2006, the Bend Bar Club, officially became a member of the North American Powerlifting Federation and became the Virgin Islands Powerlifting Association.
The association has hosted Caribbean meets before, including the largest NAPF event in 2016 outside of the U.S. and Canada on St. Croix which saw 245 lifters compete.
Massey said that the biggest accomplishment of the association so far was in 2011 when William Schouten set the 10-year record for the NAPF in the super heavyweight category.
Schouten also won bronze at the 2012 Arnold Classic in Ohio.
The association was down to one member, Vice President Ronland Walker, before they hired Kimberly Walford as the general secretary about six months ago and now the membership is at 40 members.
Walford’s biography on rouge.com says, “Pound for pound, she ranks among the greatest American powerlifters of all time, regardless of gender. And in her late 30s, there is zero indication that Kimberly Walford is slowing down. The Connecticut native and Rogue athlete is now a six-time IPF Raw World Champion [2x in the 63 kg class, 4x in the 72 kg], and holds IPF Deadlift World Records in both of those weight classes [221 kg and 243 kg respectively].”
Massey said that one of the biggest struggles of the association has been finances and a lot of cost has been out of pocket but Walford is now working on becoming recognized by the Olympic Committee to help that issue.
The association’s goals are to make this competition an annual event and win team medals in events around the Caribbean, and with increased membership that could be more of a possibility because they now have more opportunities to accumulate points.
The USVI Powerlifting Federation is the only recognized governing body of all powerlifting in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The USVIPF provides athletes interested in powerlifting the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Virgin Islands territory, district and/or local competitions.
The USVIPF is recognized as an affiliated national federation member of the largest international powerlifting federation in the world – the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF). The IPF consists of more than 100 countries organized under six geographical regions.