This is our final installment of USAPL Raw Nationals previews, covering the final day of lifting in Orlando, Florida. We’ve seen some crazy lifting so far, but the men’s 120kg and 120kg+ weight classes who lift tomorrow, October 15th, could produce some of the best performances of the whole even, particularly from Dennis Cornelius and Ray Williams.

Men’s 120kg

Dennis Cornelius

When you think of the 120kg class you’ll probably think of Dennis Cornelius. World record holder in the squat and total, previous world record holder in the bench, and 2X IPF world champion, Dennis is a force to be reckoned with and the best 120kg lifter in IPF history. At the World’s this year, Dennis re-took the world record squat (previously chipped by fellow American lifter Anthony Harris) with 386kg on his back. Since then, he’s posted insane squat numbers on Instagram, including a 400kg squat in early August, and a 900lbs (408kg) squat just this September. This is brand new territory for a 120kg lifter, let alone hitting the landmarks that few 120kg+ lifters have ever hit. Watching Dennis lift will be just as big a spectacle as Ray Williams in the super heavyweights.

Jared Martin

With neither Hifon Smith, Anthony Harris, nor Mike Tuchscherer competing at Raw Nationals this year, Jared Martin is just about the only lifter apart from Dennis who can reach the 900kg milestone in the 120kg class at Raw Nationals. Though he’s about 100kg off of Dennis’s total, we’ll likely see Jared remain in the silver medal position following on from the same result last year.

727 for a double

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Tristan Nazelrod

The battle for the bronze medal will be a tight one in the 120kg class. Leading the pack will be Tristan Nazelrod, who after placing seventh last year with his 815kg total, is now nominated third after totaling 830kg at the Arnold with many the top 120kg lifters absent. Right on Tristan’s tail though are a whole bunch of strong 120kg lifters, including Ryan Stills, Zachary Sprenkle and Joey Franzo, who have all totaled 800kg+ in the last year. Tristan will need to perform his best to win the bronze medal.

Men’s 120kg+

Ray Williams

It’s money time – the world’s strongest super-heavyweight Powerlifter will be competing once again. Ray’s kept his training numbers relatively private for this Raw Nationals compared the lead up to other competitions. At the 2017 IPF World Championships this year, Ray had a ‘bad’ day, yet still managed to win the best overall male lifter title by Wilks score. After a fight for a 470kg squat on his second attempt (7.5kg less than his world record), Ray skipped his third attempt. He then benched 242.5kg and deadlifted 380kg on his second, missing a world record attempt (to chip his own record by .5kg) on his third. Still an immense performance. We don’t have a clear idea of what Ray has been putting together in training since then, but the mystery will make it even more exciting. Make sure you’re watching Ray lift just in case he makes history once again.

Jaisyn Mike

Last year Jaisyn Mike placed third at the Raw Nationals next to Ray Williams and Dennis Cornelius, who briefly dabbled in the super-heavyweight category. He then had an epic performance at the 2017 Summer Power Fest, totaling 932.5kg including a 272.5kg/ 600lbs bench press (5kg below the open 120kg+ world record), and all as a Masters 1 lifter. He’s now nominated second next to Ray, and will fight hard to achieve the silver medal he’s predicted to get.

Beau Moore

Competing in bench press-only since 2014, Masters 2 lifter Beau Moore has only done a handful of three-lift meets. After two years competing at the bench press-only Raw Nationals (and winning the open in 2016), this will be Beau’s first three-lift Raw Nationals, and he’s nominated third in the open category with his 897.5kg total. It wasn’t long ago when the 120kg+ open world record total was held by Blaine Sumner, so to think that a 1965-born lifter is now 2.5kg off to doing so is simply mind-blowing. When Beau ends up competing internationally in a three-lift competition, he’ll shatter the existing 120kg+ M2 record, which currently stands at 803kg, almost 100kg less than his nominated total.

About the author: Ramsay Kirkhy

Ramsay holds a BSc in Psychology and is currently studying for his MSc. He is also a certified Personal Trainer with three years’ experience. Along with his studies, he has a huge passion for Powerlifting, competing in the 74kg division in Great Britain, also writing for the 9for9 Media blog.