By Jim Dresbach, Pentagram Staff WriterMay 5, 2014
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - The entry numbers continue to grow when Marine Corps Community Service Henderson Hall's Semper Fit staff announces a bench-press competition.
For the second weight-lifting exhibition, 14 men and seven women took to the bench and barbell at Cpl. Terry L. Smith Gymnasium April 25. The number of women entered nearly quadrupled from the first competition, which was held Jan. 10.
"When I saw the numbers, I was definitely excited that we had more women," said Cliff Holcomb, Headquarters and Service Battalion-Henderson Hall facility manager.
The women's winners were Megan Cummings, master's category; the lightweight title was claimed by Denises Veitia and the female heavyweight championship went to Keisha Lewis.
In addition to an increase in entries, the Semper Fit staff estimated an approximate crowd of 50 spectators, who watched and cheered friends and family at the event.
"We have more competitors this time. As long as we stay consistent with the rules, we'll have more people coming in and either take part in their first competition or try to best their previous lifts," said Recreation Manager Rudy McGriff.
Eight classes were filled with lifters and Marine Staff Sgt. Matt Reep claimed a pair of first place finishes, while Tony Hawkins (lightweight), Eric Corbin (heavyweight) and welterweight return competitor Cedric Reed earned competition titles.
"The first [competition], that was my first-ever [weight-lifting] meet. I didn't know exactly what to expect," Reed said. "I think there was more networking to get the word out about this competition."