Day one of the 2021 Kern US Open — which took place April 24-25, 2021, in San Diego, CA — was headlined by the impressive performance of Chad Penson. Day two featured historical moments of its own, thanks to one woman. Hunter Henderson, who was competing in her first powerlifting meet with knee wraps, broke the all-time raw with wraps squat record in the 75-kilogram division not once but twice.
Here are her stats from the meet:
- Squat — 295 kilograms (650 pounds), new ATWR
- Bench Press — 147.5 kilograms (325 pounds)
- Deadlift — 260 kilograms (573 pounds)
- Total — 702.5 kilograms (1,548 pounds), new ATWR
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The former record holder, Kristy Hawkins, was representing the World Raw Powerlifting Federation as a referee and was the head judge for Henderson’s attempts. The Kansas City, MO native, who weighed in at 74.5 kilograms, approached the bar with 287.5 kilograms (633 pounds) on her second attempt and easily hit the squat. After three white lights indicated a good lift, Hawkins and Henderson embraced in a touching show of sportsmanship.
Maybe some of Hawkins’ strength rubbed off on Henderson because she broke the newly minted record again during her third attempt of 295 kilograms. Just like that, Henderson firmly planted the flag as the sole owner of the all-time world record in the women’s 75-kilogram category.
What makes Henderson’s feat even more impressive is that this is only her fifth meet as a competitor ever. She first competed in 2018 at the USPA Strong Barbell Club Powerlifting Championships. Her last meet before the US Open was the 2020 WRPF Showdown. She has yet to taste defeat within her division in any of her competitions. Going into the competition in San Diego, CA, her previous best squat was 242.5 kilograms without wraps. That is actually still the second-highest raw squat in her division, behind Hawkins. She had never competed in knee wraps before this contest.
Henderson’s best career bench press was 145 kilograms. She was able to increase that to 147.5 kilograms on her second attempt at the Kern US Open. Her final attempt of 152.5 kilograms was unsuccessful.
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As for the deadlift, Henderson’s best mark going into this competition was 252.5 kilograms. She actually opened with 260 kilograms in San Diego. That would be her only successful attempt out of the three. She made two attempts at 267.5 kilograms, which would have taken the deadlift world record in her division, but she missed both. Nonetheless, her first lift gave her a total of 702.5 kilograms, which gave her the total world record and her second world record of the day.
Featured image: Photo by Justin Yoncé /@jyonce43 on Instagram