One hundred and twenty world class powerlifters will compete Feb. 6 in honor of lifting legend Jerry Capello, a local competitor who passed away in June of 2009. The event—the Jerry Capello Memorial WABDL Powerlifting Competition—takes place from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, 2250 Biddle Road in Medford.
Capello’s longtime lifting partner, Bill Anderberg, will deliver a memorial tribute during the event, including a video presentation highlighting Capello’s illustrious career. Capello’s family will be in attendance.
Capello, from Butte Falls, holds the second highest deadlift (806 pounds) in World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters (WABDL) history, regardless of weight class. The mark stands as the open class WABDL World and National Record. Jerry became the oldest and lightest person to ever deadlift over 800 lbs. Upon his passing, the WABDL created its Hall of Fame and inducted Capello as its first member.
“Jerry had an unbelievable influence on everyone he came in contact with,” said Anderberg, who is one of the organizers of the event along with Sam Pecktol and Dan Gutches, who will all be competing. “Although he was one of the greatest powerlifters ever, what’s important is his ability to make everyone else around him a champion. He loved the competition, but for him it was much more than that. It was about friends, family and helping others achieve their goals.”
Highlighting the event are world record holders Brent Howard, Tom Eisman and Jim Nickerson. Howard, who goes by “Sergeant Rock,” is a former world champion lifter known for his showmanship in getting the crowd involved. Nickerson is a current World Champion and Eisman, a 51-year-old powerlifter from New Jersey, was ranked No. 1 in the nation in two weight classes. He boasts the top three heaviest deadlifts in his weight division in the U.S. in the last 25 years with lifts of 766, 760 and 755 pounds.
“I know Jerry will be smiling on all of us,” said Eisman. “I’m inspired and excited to get this opportunity to lift at a meet for Jerry and his family.”
The event begins at 9 a.m. with the bench press competition in several categories, including Women, Open Men and Master Men. Trophy presentation for the bench press is at 1 p.m., followed by the deadlift competition at 2 p.m. Trophy presentation for deadlift is at 4:15 p.m.
Sponsors of the event include Answer Page, Arby’s, On-Site Screeners, Inc., and Gold’s Gym, which is where Capello trained.
This is a meet that everyone has targeted to put on their best performance for Jerry. All of Jerry’s family will be there,” said Anderberg. For more information call Anderberg at 541-773-3838 or 541-282-9654.