Ironton powerlifters Austin Rowe, Tom Saul and Drew Wells set state and world records by winning the  RP.S. Federation meet in Newark, N.J. (Jimmy Walker / The Ironton Tribune)
Ironton powerlifters Austin Rowe, Tom Saul and Drew Wells set state and world records by winning the RP.S. Federation meet in Newark, N.J. (Jimmy Walker / The Ironton Tribune)

Archived Story

Record-setting trio win meet

Published 2:31am Thursday, February 21, 2013

Jim Walker


They didn’t just win the meet, they put an exclamation point in it.

Ironton power-lifters Tom Saul, Austin Rowe and Drew Wells not only won the championship in their weight class at the New Jersey Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate Meet held Jan. 28-29 in Newark, but they set state and PRS world records in the process.

All three were in the Raw Modern.

Wells won the 165-pound class in the Teen 18-19 age division by setting records in squat (410 pounds), deadlift (450), bench press (250) and total weight (1,110).

Saul matched Wells with records in all four categories while lifting in the 220-pound class in the Teen 18-19 age division.

Saul’s 1,420-pound total was not only state and world records but he racked up the top overall lift. He had a 500 squat, 605 deadlift and 315 bench.

Rowe was in the 181-pound class in the Teen 18-19 age division and he posted three records in four categories. Rowe benched 240 and set records in the squat (540), deadlift (505) and total weight (1,285).

Saul has lifted at federation meets, but it was a first for Rowe and Wells who are still in high school.

“I was terrified,” said Wells. “I wasn’t expecting to win first.”

Saul said he used his experience to keep the other two relaxed and prepare them for what to expect.

“The rules are completely different than high school. It’s very strict,” said Saul.

Rowe said he had some anxious moments as well.

“I was worried about not going deep enough on my squats,” said Rowe.

There are three judges and lifters are not allowed to rack their lift until give the green light by at least two of the judges. Wells found out the hard way.

“I was very jumpy. I failed two lifts because I racked it and I didn’t get the call,” said Wells.

Fortunately, lifters are allowed three lifts and they get a fourth if they are going for a record.

Despite his previous experience, Saul had his concerns as well.

“I was nervous. I was trying to keep calm when I got to the dead lift. That’s not my thing. That’s what was funny. I broke the record by 30 or 40 pounds,” said Saul.

Although federation meets drug test, all three preferred the RPS meet to the high school level.

“It’s a lot more professional,” said Rowe. “The floor area is better and not cluttered.”

“People are more friendly. If you are competing, everyone will cheer you on,” said Wells.

Saul said the meet is more like a community or family atmosphere. He keeps in contact with several lifters.

“There’s no real rivalry between lifters,” said Saul.

Wells and Rowe are seniors at Ironton High School and Saul — who was a state high school champion last year — has been their coach. Rowe also won at the state meet last year and Wells placed third.

The state meet this year is March 9.

“I’ll teach anyone who want to learn,” said Saul who ranks among the top 100 lifters for the 2013 year.

The trio doesn’t plan to stop at the state meet.

“We hope to do more (meets) this summer. We’re going to do some traveling,” said Saul.


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