Over the weekend, the 2018 USAPL Raw Nationals in Spokane, Washington wrapped up. This meet hosted well over 1,000 athletes and had a ton of great matchups. In my opinion, one of the best weight classes to watch was the exciting women’s -84kg open category, which had a ton of hype going into the meet and lived up to the excitement.
Two athletes in particular brought the hype and both continued to push one another to new feats while expanding the depth of USA’s open -84kg powerlifters. Daniella Melo and Amanda Lawrence cumulatively broke every single USAPL -84k Open American Record at this meet (along with breaking some unofficial IPF world records), and their performances were both legendary. Keep in mind, both of these athletes are still juniors.
To kick off their squats, Daniella Melo went 3/3 and finished her attempts with a 227.5kg/501 lb lift. This topped the current American Record that Melo already holds from the 2018 SBD Pro American by 5kg and her current world record by 14.5kg.
Then came Lawrence, who has a squat that routinely makes it on “big lift” powerlifting Instagram pages. Lawrence ended up going ⅔ on the day, and opened with 226kg/498 lbs and hit a 238.5kg/525 lb second, which then awarded her with the American record.
Moving onto the bench press — a lift Melo excels in — both athletes prepared for an epic battle. Each just previously broke an American Squat Record, and defending champ Melo knew she needed a big bench to make up lost ground.
For the bench press, Lawrence ended up going ⅔ and concluded her attempts with a 107.5kg/237 lb lift. Melo kept her 3/3 trend going, and opened with 122.5kg/270 lbs. The attempts was nearly the heaviest bench press completed by her competitors, and it was her opener. On her second lift, Melo hit a smooth 130.5kg/287 lb bench, and for her final lift she bumped up to 136kg/300 lbs for an American Record.
Heading into the deadlifts, Melo had a slight edge over Lawrence, so it came down to their deadlift attempt grit. Melo opened with 225kg/496 lbs, hit a 238kg/524 lb second (an American Record), and missed a 245.5kg/541 lb third.
Lawrence’s opener came in at 220kg/485 lbs, then she jumped to 235.5kg/519 lbs for a second. On her final attempt, she called for 245kg/540 lbs on the bar, which was a lift that would top Melo’s previously set American Record. Lawrence hit it with ease and finished with a 591kg/1,302 lb total earning her a second place finish in both the Open and Junior category.
Melo’s lifts awarded her with a 601.5kg/1,326 lb American Record total and a back-to-back National Championship in both the Open and Junior categories.
Needless to say, these two athletes were and are incredibly fun to watch and are helping to push the sport of powerlifting even further. This record shattering performance was a perfect example of how much these athlete’s are helping to bring to their weight class.
Feature image from @miss_amanda_ann and @daniellamelo Instagram pages.