Wow. It’s taken us a few days to process everything post-Nationals (and retrieve the laptop with Sunday’s results from the prison that is the Titanic Exhibition Centre).

I think it’s safe to say that the IPF National Championships 2017 was the best event we’ve run to date. I hope it surpassed your expectations as lifters and the sheer amount of time and effort that we put into it shone through.

As with every event, lifters come first. The IPF National Champions 2017 were:

  • Hazeline Hu (52, ABS) – 365 @ 51 (461.87 Wilks)
  • Chloé-Jade Mcdonald (57, SMI) – 323 @ 54.8 (386.53 Wilks)
  • Brónagh McPeake (63, SMI) – 427.5 @ 62.4 (462.47 Wilks)
  • Louise Millar (72, CUS) – 425.5 @ 71 (419.20 Wilks)
  • Leslie Hoare (84, ABS) – 415.5 @ 83.2 (372.33 Wilks)
  • Lauren Rooney Crowe (84+, SMI) – 405 @ 118.6 (324.53 Wilks)
  • David Keane (59, RPM) – 255 @ 49.8 (262.04 Wilks)
  • David McQuillan (66, ABS) – 562.5 @ 65.8 (442.80 Wilks)
  • Jack Brady (74) – 567.5 @ 73.6 (409.79 Wilks)
  • Adam O Cathain (83, CGL) – 663 @ 83 (442.55 Wilks)
  • Barry Pigott (93) – 787.5 @ 92.8 (495.18 Wilks)
  • Michael Bruce (105, RHY) – 705 @ 103.6 (423.28 Wilks)
  • Colin Power (120, SEP) – 732.5 @ 114.6 (426.02 Wilks)
  • CoachSean Crowe (120+, SMI) – 718 @ 135.5 (403.23 Wilks)

Your best lifters were:

  • Male: Barry Pigott who was just a few kilos away from the IPF’s first 500 Wilks.
  • Female: Brónagh McPeake who edged out Hazeline Hu by just 0.6 Wilks with a phenomenal final deadlift.

When it comes to the Club Championship it was a very, very close affair but Coach Crowe and the Strength Militia team narrowly pipped ABS Powerlifting to the post with CityGym Limerick picking up bronze. The top three clubs were:

  1. Strength Militia (Seán Crowe) – 57 Points – 1,979 Wilks
  2. ABS Powerlifting (Jay Farrant) – 54 Points – 2,189 Wilks
  3. CityGym Limerick (Arthur Lynch) – 44 Points – 2,142 Wilks

The standard across the board was amazing and there were very few categories where simply turning up got you anywhere near the podium. We still have work to do in some of the shallower weight classes but we’re getting there.

Before a single lifter could even weigh-in there was a phenomenal effort put in by a small handful of dedicated lunatics:

  • Jay Farrant did all of the leg-work in securing the venue and co-ordinating equipment. The work he put in started over six months ago and it showed all weekend.
  • James Hanley organised a sterling crew of referees, spotters, and loaders to cover the event.
  • Chris Walshe single-handedly erected the banner rigging and sound system on Saturday morning.
  • Geno Biancheri, Niall Nugent, CoachSean Crowe, Jay Farrant, and Sean Ryan put in hours of work on Friday laying out the venue.

Once lifting kicked off, two men built an atmosphere like nothing we’ve seen before at an IPF meet:

  • Geno Biancheri, the Premier Pirate of Powerlifting, kept the crowd pumped up all day and added kilos to every lifter’s total.
  • Chris Walshe put together a music and light show to accompany the lifting that pushed every lifter along and made for some truly memorable record breaking attempts.

Keeping the lifters safe on the platform was an amazing spotting and loading team which included Niall Nugent, Dave Moran, Røb Parnell, David Walsh, Matthew Hogan, Kevin Campbell, Pearse Tohill, Jason Fehily, Dean Salmon, Callum McCormack, Billy Ahern, Darragh Hayes, Ian Wafer, Jonny Gardner, and Danny Mcilhagga.

Your referees for the weekend were Darragh Hayes, Leslie Hoare, Sinéad Ní Chonchubhair, Alison May, Jonny Gardner, Danny Mcilhagga, Laura Walsh, Louise Millar, and Jason Fehily – between them that crew made over 2,400 individual calls on lifts over the weekend and they did it as fairly and impartially as I’ve ever seen.

One of the IPF’s core missions is to keep our sport clean and fair for all of the athletes involved. Our anti-doping officer Dr. Tara Conlon put in an incredibly long shift over the weekend making sure our anti-doping programme was executed and the doping control team and lifters knew what to expect.

Finally, on the table and generally just giving a hand anywhere and everywhere we had Mr. Jacked Adam O Cathain and the ever-so-sexy Mr. Louis Warren.

If I’ve forgotten anyone above, a thousand apologies. For everyone who was involved in bringing Nationals together, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The full results are linked here. Stay tuned for some exciting updates about Nationals 2018 in the next couple of days.

Rob, Seán, Jay, and the entire IPF Committee