June 3 & 4, 2000 AAU Raw Nationals and some other events in Mesquite, Nevada
A warning: a photographer and web designer I am not, but these may give you a flavor of the people and event, nonetheless.
As you may know, the women and sub-181 men lifted the first day, the rest the second. The mfw guys lifted in order Watson, Whitney then Pat. What follows is roughly chronological.
Audrey, Theresa, David, Pat, Gemma, Watson, Whitney
This is what the audience looked like - wouldn't you be inspired to lift strong?
Half my photos were taken with my (apparently broken) telephoto lens, meaning they came out looking something like this one. But to prove the existence of my roommate, here is a photo of Lisa.
Inside the warm up room with Watson, Whitney and Coach Eric. I pondered what the lifter on the far right was doing, and finally realized it must be squeezing into his squat suit. At least I hope so.
None of my pictures of Watson squatting came out because I was using the telephoto in the beginning. Here he is in the warm up room, getting ready to squat. The person seated to the right is one of the judges - she was tough on depth, but not as tough as Mrs. H.
Here's Whitney setting up a squat with coach Eric spotting him. The judges (seated man and woman in white) are intent on feet and depth. The spotters are in red and black (both lifters from the day before). The third judge is seated facing Whitney, about to give Whit the squat command.
Patrick is in the middle, one of the serious lifters in the warmup room that Watson was describing. The guy walking had lifted the day before (he won the Mr. GQ award among the audience) and the guy seated on the right was all over the big lifts.
Pat focusing on his squat.
We asked later if he heard us cheering him on from the audience. He said he could up until the moment he touched the bar, then it was all about the lift.
My intention was to photograph Watson benching, but my camera seems to be admiring the gluteus peak of his coach.
Providing spot is Houseboy Alternate #2
I was intending here to just show the chalk preparation for the bench, but my camera had a more specific focus...okay...I admit it, I photographed this lifter's heroic ass.
Whitney going for the tomato face look on his bench press.
Houseboy #1 is providing spot.
After this point I decided not to save again until I was done with the page, and of course, it bombed on my last photo insert. Sigh. So the comments accompanying the following photos will no doubt be more cryptic than they were the first time around. How hard is it to hit "save" she askes piteously.
David giving Patrick encouragement as Pat chalks up for the bench.
This judge is Mrs. H was was strict and proper on all the lifts. She has apparently been involved with powerlifting for over 60 years.
Patrick's ballistic bench. Note that the judge hasn't even returned his arm to his lap after giving the press command before Pat locks out and the spotters hands lag the bar by a mile, the speed was so unexpected.
Watson has the judge on the left cracking up as he sets up for his deadlift
Whitney in the background watches Watson's stellar lockout
Watson gives the required grin on locking out his deadlift, thus starting a trend among the rest of the lifters that was frightening in the big guys.
While the coach, above, makes some fast and furious calculations, Mr. Intensity ignores the grin requirement, right, as he locks out his lift.
Whitney lifted just enough to win his class on body weight and still have enough energy to go out carousing that night with his closest competitor.
I had to inclue this photo because of my history of "only the shoes in focus during deadlift photos."
Calm and focused, Patrick looks like he could hold this lockout all night long.
Following are some random pictures from throughout the meet (iow, you're almost done)
I had to include these two little girls because they were probably the only people at the meet I could have outlifted. The 8 year old wore pony tails and is pressing the collars. Her sister below, wore pigtails and has the little girl plates on. They lifted in all three events (their squat grunts were impressive) but unfortunately I didn't have my camera the other two times. I believe they both got 27 whites.
There was also a "Bench Only" meet which drew more competitors, many young, which started the whole "Who would make the best houseboy" discussion.
Houseboy choice Number One was unanimously Caleb - 17, polite, quiet, admittedly a little skinny (dear needs to learn to squat) but quite trainable.
First alternate houseboy was this young man who is holding his arms funny because he's wearing a bench shirt (which was a little over the top for a 16 year old). He competed along with about a half dozen of his siblings (the two little girls above are in his family). Dad, who wasn't hard on the eyes either, coached the kids, but didn't lift as he was apparently recovering from an injury.
The photogenic rock star shows off his flowing locks.
Watson accepts his second place award for his class. I especially like this photo because it shows he's a real lifter - he has his shorts on over his singlet, but the singlet is pulled out just enough to be obvious - the required post-competition "look."
I didn't get photos of Whitney's or Patrick's awards because I ran out of film at this point, and, as fun as all the lifting had been, the awards ceremony was looooong, drawnout, and boooooring (IMHO). But I *still* recommend going to a meet - it's interesting, entertaining, educational, and, who knows, you might find your next houseboy there.