Powerlifting fans rejoice: One of the biggest powerlifting meets of the year is about to kick off this weekend, and believe me, you don’t want to miss it.
The Kern US Open is taking place in San Diego, California and from May 12th-13th, and it’s set to host some of the best athletes in the sport. This meet was invite-only and boasts over $250k in cash prizes, so you know these athletes are going to bring their absolute best performances to the platform.
To be honest, the title above is meant to be ironic. I wrote “who to watch”, but in reality, we should be watching every athlete competing. Yes, every athlete competing is that good and I’ve included a little bit of information on everyone below covering their biggest lifts, records, and accomplishments.
If you’re interested in watching the stream for the US Open, we’ve embedded links to each platform for the first and final days.
Day 1: Red Platform
Day 1: Blue Platform
Editor’s Note: All information in regards to records and rankings were incorporated from openpowerlifting.org and powerliftingwatch.com. Many thanks to these two powerlifting resources!
- Maria Ramos: Ramos currently holds the 105 lb all-time squat world record (with & without wraps) at 170kg (375 lbs) and is ranked number one for all-time 105 lb female athletes.
- Melissa Grix: Grix’s best total to date comes in at 269kg (595 lbs).
- Jenn Rotsinger: Rotsinger currently holds all-time world records in the squat (162kg/358 lbs), deadlift (192kg/424 lbs), total without wraps (444kg/981 lbs), and total with wraps (460kg/1,015 lbs).
- Samyra Abweh: Abweh is a 19 year old up and coming athlete with her highest Wilks score sitting at a strong 518.
- Jessica Brown: Brown is currently ranked 7th all-time for the 123 lb women’s weight class with her best total coming in at 467kg (1,030 lbs).
- Kaylie Klitzing: Outside of powerliftiner, Klitzing is an IFBB Pro.
- Sam Bechand: Bechand’s best Wilks to date was a score of 544 set at 132 lbs.
- Stefanie Cohen: Cohen currently holds all-time records in the squat (182kg/402 lbs), deadlift (220kg/485 lbs), and total with no wraps (489kg/1,080 lbs). Cohen is ranked number for all-time performance from a 123 lb athlete.
- Esther Lee: Lee is young up and coming powerlifter who recently set multiple state records at her first competition and had only been lifting for ten months prior to competing.
- Suzanna Davis: Davis is currently ranked 6th for the all-time 132 lb female athletes and has held all-time world records in the past.
- Susan Salazar: Salazar currently holds two all-time records and they’re a deadlift of 221kg (491 lbs) and total with no wraps 539kg (1,190 lbs). She’s currently ranked number two for all-time 132 lb female athletes.
- Alora Griffiths: Griffiths is currently ranked 17th for all-time 132 lb female athletes.
- Jen Smith: Smith currently sits in fourth for best all-time 132 lb female athlete performance recently totaling a massive 514kg (1,135 lbs).
- Marianna Gasparyan: Gasparyan is ranked number one for best all-time 132 lb athletes and currently holds three all-time world records.
- Van Nguyen
- Blanca Viloch: Viloch is ranked number three for all-time performances in the 123 lb weight class and has recently moved up to compete at 132 lbs.
- Jamie Christenson: Outside of powerlifting, Christenson is a 2x Pro Lightweight Strongwoman.
- Caterine Gonzales
- Tasha Wolf Whelan
- Stacy Burr: Burr is currently ranked second for all-time female 148 athletes, and currently holds the total record with wraps for her 604kg (1,333 lb) total.
- Erika Hipwell: Hipwell is currently ranked 53rd for all-time 148 lb female athletes.
- Lillian Mayo: Mayo is a 20 year old up and coming powerlifter.
- Maggie Delgado: Delgado is an up and coming Los Angeles based powerlifter.
- Ashley Contorno: Outside of powerlifting, Contorno is a full-time physical therapist and has a best total of 428kg (965 lbs).
- Maria Panferova: Panferova is currently ranked second in the all-time 165 lb female athletes.
- Jennessa Labbate: A teacher by day, Labbate has totaled 369kg (815 lbs) in competition.
- Gina Aversa: Aversa currently holds the all-time deadlift world record with her 252kg (561 lb) pull and is ranked 5th all-time for 165 lb female athletes.
- Ahley Terrian: Terrian is currently ranked 125th all-time for 165 lb female athletes.
- Lacey Mesley: Mesley is ranked 74th for all-time 165 lb female athletes.
- Karen Guo
- Rhiannon Keith: Keith is currently ranked 21st for all-time female athletes and doubles as a figure competitor.
- Michelle Sothen: Sothen is a masters powerlifter and is ranked 205th for all-time 165 lb female athletes.
- Laurie Smith: Smith is ranked 104th for all-time 165 lb female athletes.
- Julia Moller: Moller is a 20 year old up and coming powerlifter.
- Amanda Wolff: Wolff is ranked 107th for all-time 165 lb female athletes.
- Katrina Bielomyza: Bielomyza is currently ranked 10th for all-time 181 lb female athletes.
- Ashley Lepcin: Lepcin is currently ranked 13th for all-time 181 lb female athletes.
- Ashley Sukar
- Karina Mosqueda
- Chakera Holcomb: Holcomb is currently ranked second for all-time female athletes at 181 lbs and owns two world records with her 264kg (584 lbs) deadlift and total without wraps at 647kg (1,427 lbs).
- Marisa LeBlanc
- Valerie Dew: Dew is currently ranked 81st for all-time 198+ lb female athletes.
- Claudia Garcia
- Morgan Turner: Normally a 90kg athlete, Turner’s best lifts are a 184kg (408 lb) squat, a 110kg (242 lb) bench, and 232kg (512 lb) deadlift.
- Ana Perez
- Carina Davis: Davis is currently ranked 87th for all-time female athletes.
- Gerald Dionio: Dionio is currently ranked number one in the all-time 148 lb male athletes and holds an all-time world record for total with & without wraps with a strong 669kg (1,477 lbs).
- Keith Correa: Correa is currently sitting in 29th for all-time 148 lb male athletes.
- Vincent Falzetta: Falzetta is currently coming back from a minor injury and is sitting in 24th for all-time 148 lb male athletes.
- Sami Vaskelainen: Vaskelainen is currently ranked 156th for all-time 148 lb male athletes.
- Richard Navarra: Navarra’s best total comes in at 647kg (1,427 lbs) and is ranked 32nd all-time for 148 lb male athletes.
- Joao Lazarin: Lazarin is a chiropractic student by day, and currently sits in 39th for all-time 165 lb male athletes.
- Robert Axeselle
- Nazareth Stotts: Junior powerlifter Stotts is currently ranked 85th for all-time 165 lb male athletes.
- Rostislav Petkov: Petkov is currently ranked first for all-time 165 male athletes and holds the all-time world record total with & without wraps at a massive 784kg (1,730 lbs).
- Nick Henwood: Henwood is currently ranked 132nd for all-time 165 lb male athletes.
- Josh Hyaduck: Hyaduck’s best total to date at 165 lbs come in at 737kg (1,625 lbs) and is ranked 15th all-time for 165 lb male athletes.
- Roy Glenn: Glenn is ranked 101st all-time for 181 lb male athletes.
- John Haack: Haack came in second for best lightweight lifter at last year’s CETC US Open and currently sits 5th for all-time 181 lb male athletes.
- Maliek Derstine: Derstine currently holds two all-time records for both the total without wraps at 862kg (1,901 lbs) and total with & without wraps at 884kg (1,951 lbs). Currently, Derstine is ranked first for 181 lb male athletes.
- Patrick Morrison: Australian based Morrison is currently ranked 14th for all-time 181 lb male athletes.
- Kody Blazek: Blazek’s best total to date comes in at 847kg (1,868 lbs) and is ranked 4th for all-time 181 male athlete performances.
- Eddie Ryckman: Ryckman is currently sitting in 89th for all-time 181 lb male athletes.
- Erbol Nauanov: Russian powerlifter Nauanov’s currently ranked 11th for all-time 181 lb male athletes.
- Nick Israel: Israel is currently ranked 33rd for the all-time 181 lb male athletes.
- Pitbull Torres: Torres also competes in the 165 lb weight class and sits in 2nd all-time (with wraps). In the 181 lb weight class he’s ranked 36th all-time.
- Anthony Hobaica: Hobacia’s best total date currently sits at 870kg (1,920 lbs) and he’s ranked 2nd for all-time 181 lb male athletes.
- Carlos Moran: Moran is currently ranked 28th for all-time 198 lb male athletes.
- Mohamed Arnoat:
- Ashton Rouska: Junior powerlifter Rouska is currently ranked 22nd all-time for 198 lb male athletes.
- Blaze Alpha: Alpha is currently ranked 116th for all-time 198 lb male athletes.
- Joe Sullivan: Sullivan has been putting up big numbers in training lately and is ranked 133rd for all-time 198 lb male athletes and 4th for 220 lb male athletes.
- Ben Pollack: Last year, Pollack walked away with $40,000 as the best lightweight lifter at the CETC US Open. This year, he’s moved up a weight class and has shifted some of his attention towards bodybuilding. He’s currently ranked 1st for all-time 198 lb male athletes and 3rd all-time for 181 lb male athletes.
- Killian Carolan: Irish junior powerlifter Carolan is looking to improve his all-time ranking for the 220 lb weight class.
- Damien Pezzuti: Pezzuti has held all-time records in the 181 lb weight class and is currently ranked 75th for all-time 220 lb male athletes.
- Carlos Reyes: Reyes best total to date for the 220 lb weight class is 945kg (2,045 lbs) and he’s currently ranked 14th all-time for 220 lb male athletes.
- Garrett Fear: 20 year old Fear is an up and coming powerlifter.
- Blaine Houck
- Thomas Van Boven: Van Boven is currently ranked 129th for all-time 220 lb male athletes.
- Mitchell Fountain: 20 year old Fountain is currently ranked 209th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Travis Nelson: Nelson currently sits in 185th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Tony Montgomery: Montgomery’s best total at 242 lbs comes in at 907kg (2,000 lbs) and he’s ranked 55th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Joel McCaughan: Australia based powerlifting McCaughan sits in 184th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Yury Belkin: Russian powerlifting legend Belkin is currently ranked 1st for both the 220 lb and 242 lb all-time men’s weight classes. In addition, he owns the 242 lb all-time deadlift record (439kg/970 lbs) and total with & without wraps (1,034kg/2,281 lbs).
- Chris Bridgeford: Junior powerlifter Bridgeford is ranked 7th for all-time 242 lb male athletes and has been deadlifting north of 900 lbs as of recently.
- Jordan Wong: Wong is currently ranked 91st for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Daniel Clancy: Clancy holds 203rd for the all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Andrew Herbert: Herbert has been hitting huge 400kg (880 lb)+ squats in his recent training and is ranked 16th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Ogden Myklebust: Myklebust is currently ranked in 34th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Janos Rajmund Nagy: Nagy sits in 107th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Vladimir Dergunov: Dergunov’s best total to date in the 242 lb weight class is 872kg (1,912 lbs) and he’s ranked 96th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Nick Terry: Australian powerlifter Terry is ranked 114th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Kevin Oak: Oak currently owns the all-time squat world record for the 242 lb weight class with his strong 377kg (832 lb) squat without wraps. He’s currently ranked 19th for all-time 242 lb male athletes.
- Ryan Sylva
- Matt Sohmer: Sohmer’s best total to date at 275 lbs is 902kg (1,990 lbs) and he’s currently ranked 96th for all-time 275 lb male athletes.
- Andy Huang: Huang’s best 275 lb total (994kg/2,193 lbs) was set last year at the CETC US Open and he’s ranked 12th for all-time 275 lb male athletes.
- Adam Leidigh: Leidigh is currently ranked 126th for all-time 275 lb male athletes.
- Foster Parnell: Parnell’s best total at 275 lbs is 924kg (2,039 lbs) and he’s currently ranked 67th for all-time 275 lb male athletes.
- Perseus Black
- Zachary Wittusen
- Tyler Cummings: Cummings is currently ranked 51st for all-time 275 lb male athletes.
- Cooper Wage: Wage also competes in the 308+ lbs weight class and is ranked 43rd for all-time 308+ lb male athletes.
- Rob Philippus: Philippus frequently squats 900+ lbs with ease and holds the all-time 308 squat record without wraps at 418kg (922 lbs). He’s currently ranked 11th for all-time 308 lb male athletes.
- Big Boy
- Larry Williams: Williams currently owns the 242 lb and 275 lb all-time total records without wraps. In the 242 lb weight class Williams is ranked 5th for all-time male athletes and 3rd in the 275 lb weight class.
- Dennis Cornelius: Cornelius is an IPF world record holder and currently sits in 5th for all-time 308 lb male athletes and 6th for all-time 275 lb male athletes.
- Brandon Carpenter: Carpenter is currently ranked 37th for all-time 308 lb male athletes.
- Nihad Opalic
- Brandis Dew: Dew currently sits in 163rd for all-time 308+ lb male athletes.
- Brandon Allen: Allen’s best total to date at 308+ lbs is 1,044kg (2,303 lbs) and he’s currently ranked 11th for all-time 308+ lb male athletes.
- JP Price: Price recently squatted over 1,000 lbs in training and is ranked 7th for all-time 308+ lb male athletes.
- Victor Sanchez
- Shawn Doyle: Doyle’s best total date comes in at an absolutely huge 1,089kg (2,403 lbs).
- Bruce Leaupepe
- Nick Fisher: Junior powerlifter Fisher currently sits at 65th for all-time 308+ lb male athletes.
- David Douglas: Douglas is ranked 24th for all-time 308+ lb male athletes.
Feature image from @steficohen, @oakstrong, and @that_hugeasian_guy Instagram pages.