Joe Sullivan has been putting up some serious weight in prep for the USPA US Open. The CETC US Open Powerlifting Championships will be held April 15-16th and take place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, California. For the full roster of lifters competing, check out this link.
In the last two weeks we’ve seen some monstrous lifts from Sullivan, but none as big as the squats he’s been putting up. Yesterday, Sullivan shared a video of an 880 lb squat in knee wraps that looks relatively quick for a heavy single in a peaking phase.
Sullivan will be competing in the 220 lb weight class and aiming for breaking the current USPA Classic Raw records. The current USPA squat record for the Classic Raw 220 lb weight class is held by Kevin Oak at 843 lbs. With his recent 880 lb squat, Sullivan might find himself in a position to set a new record.
Sullivan’s strength is getting to record breaking status, but he’ll have his work cut out for him in competition. Other notable competitors in the 220 lb weight class include 242 lb deadlift world record holder Yury Belkin and Jeremy Avilla.
Belkin normally competes at a heavier weight, but remember he pulled 927 lbs at a weight of 227 lbs. It will be interesting to see if his deadlift strength will be able to top the current USPA record of 804 lbs held by Luigi Fagiana.
Outside of the 220 lb weight class, there are multiple lifters to keep our eyes on. The 181 lb weight class is going to be very competitive with two of the bigger named athletes including Ben Pollack and John Haack.
Haack and Pollack are both known for their explosive strength, so it will be interesting to see the 181 lb weight class play out. Haack recently squatted 744 lbs in training, which is only 5 lbs off the current record held by Maliek Derstine.
The 242 lb weight class shouldn’t be anything less than exciting as well. This class is filled with crazy strong lifters and includes Kevin Oak, Vadym Dovganyuk, and Larry “Wheels” Williams.
If you’ve been following Oak or Williams, then you know these two have been training together and have cumulatively been putting up insane lifts. Williams last squat video includes a massive 837 lb squat (spotted by Oak to the left), which crushes the current USPA Raw Classic 804 lb squat record held by John Rivas.
In regards to the 275 lb, 308 lb, and super heavyweight categories there are a ton of elite lifters to keep our eyes on. A few of the bigger names in respects to these weight classes include: Zahir Khudayarov (275 lb), Nick Best (308 lb), Rob “Da Savage” Hall (308 lb), David Douglas (SHW), and Andrey Malanichev (SHW).
For the ladies, we have multiple athletes to follow and watch as well. In the 105 lb weight class, April Shumaker, she’s the current 97 lb and 105 lb bench press world record holder. Also, Stefanie Cohen in the 114 lb weight class, and Emily Hu in the 123 lb weight class (current 123 lb bench and total world record holder).
The 132 lb weight class is going to be very competitive with lifters like Suzana Salazar (first woman to total over 9x her bodyweight raw) and Marianna Gasparyan (current 132 lb squat and total world record holder).
In the 148 lb weight class, Stacy “BAMA” Burr will be one of the top athletes to watch, as she recently earned the title of 2017 IPL Worlds Best Raw Lifter. The 165 lb weight class includes elite lifters like Gina Aversa (IPF deadlift world record holder) and Kristy Hawkins (squat and total world record holder).
These are only a few of the elite lifters the CETC US Open Powerlifting Championships will be hosting. We may have missed a few, so be sure the check out the full roster to follow your favorite powerlifters.
This meet features a payout of $40,000 to the best lifters in the lightweight, heavyweight, and women’s weight classes, which is based on the highest recorded Wilks formula. With so many record holders and big names competing, it’s nearly impossible to predict who’s going to take home the big purses when the meet arrives.
Feature image from @joesullivanpowerlifter Instagram page, @bilbo_swaggins181 Instagram page, @larrywheels Instagram page, @stefcohen Instagram page, and @kristy_hawkins Instagram page.