Ramstein outlifts Fort Hood in nationals

Jen D. Rodriguez
Herald-Post staff writer

***image1***It came down to four points. Ramstein Rams clinched the U.S. Military National Powerlifting Men’s and Women’s Championships at Heidelberg’s Patton Barracks gym Saturday, outlifting the Fort Hood Phantom Corps, 90-86.

This is the first time the military national powerlifting event was held in Europe, and it took a European team to stop Fort Hood’s 11-year win streak in the event.

“We were a little worried about Fort Hood because we had not seen them,” said Ramstein coach and powerlifter Willie Williams. “When we saw them in person, our expectations were lowered. The team we beat was not the best they had to offer.”

“Everyone wanted to beat us,” said Fort Hood trainer Johnny Graham, who is also vice-president of U.S.A Powerlifting.

Out of the 24 competing powerlifters in Saturday’s event, nine were Rams, with five of the nine placing first in their weight classes.

Ramstein lifted a team total of more than 5,400 kilograms, just as they did two weeks ago to win the U.S. Forces-Europe Men’s and Women’s Powerlifting Championships, also held at Patton gym.

“It was a long, hard year and it showed our hard work really paid off,” said Williams. “I know we have to go back to the gym and hit it hard for next year when we go to Fort Hood to defend our championship.”

Ramstein’s first-place winners were Horace Youson at 165 pounds, Jimmy Scott at 198, Troy Saunders at 220, Derrick Baldwin at 242 and Willie Williams at 275.

Heidelberg’s only first-place winner was first-time powerlifter Tracey Briggs, who won her 148-pound weight division, lifting a total of 200 pounds.

“I had nothing to lose,” Briggs said, “The competition is a way to gauge how I’m doing when it comes to bodybuilding.” Briggs is a personal trainer contractor in Heidelberg.

Other first-place winners were Karen Youngblood (Fort Hood), 165 pounds; Rhonda Clark (Fort Hood), 181; David Emeott (SHAPE), 181; Donald Collier (Fort Hood) 198; and Cliff Mannis (San Antonio, Texas), 220.

Three 26th Area Support Group competitors placed third: Mannheim’s Shy Petrina, 181 pounds, and Albert Montgomery, 165 pounds, and Heidelberg’s Fred Lehman at 242 pounds.

Better Opportunities for Single Servicemembers from Darmstadt and Babenhausen served as spotters and loaders for the event.