Surrounded by tons of fun and energy, the second edition of Deadlifts & Dames rocked the Steel Athletics gym in Tamuning.
Miara Leon Guerrero showed she was a force to be reckoned with, defending her title to bring home the hardware on Saturday with a top lift of 330 pounds.
“For this one, I didn’t really train a lot, it was more for the charity and the cause,” said Leon Guerrero, who won the first Deadlifts & Dames with a lift of 315 pounds. “It brings people together, you see people from different gyms and it's fun.”
Jessica Johnson took second place and Erika Camacho finished third out of a field of 17 female competitors. Marcy Duenas and Antonia Guerrero received honorable mentions.
A total of $900 in donations was collected to support the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence.
Event organizer Desiree Eay said she wanted to create an event with an emphasis on celebrating women and empowering women when she first started planning Deadlifts & Dames.
“I wanted to take the focus off the fact it was a powerlifting thing and more like, let’s come together as women and celebrate and empower one another ... that’s really the main focus,” Eay told The Guam Daily Post.
“The fact that people came out of different ages from different gyms to help a good cause, that’s awesome,” Eay said. “I’m trying to break the idea that it’s this and that gym ... really, we should be creating a powerlifting community as one to really encourage each other.”
Eay thanks all the community partners who helped support the event.
Saturday also included a men’s competition – the max reps produced in two minutes determined the winner. Guam weightlifter Dave Bautista, fresh off the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa, ripped out 78 reps in two minutes to top the 12-man field.
Bautista said it brings exposure to the sport and also brings together “a lot of health-conscious people ... giving each other ideas on how to be involved in other sports.”
“Powerlifting is still developing, but this is great to help the community and make the sport bigger,” Bautista said.
In the men’s competition, Angelo Macugay finished a close second and Steel Athletics owner JJ Ambrose finished in third place.
Ambrose acknowledged the need to support the smaller, more niche sports on island, promising, “I want to give them an outlet. ... At the end of the day, we want to make Guam a better, healthier place to live.”
As a local business owner, Ambrose and his wife, Francesca, have said it’s important that they give back to the community to help make Guam a better place.
The first Deadlifts & Dames competition in April collected donations for Harvest House and the immensely popular Glorified Sparring exhibitions each have collected donations to help support various community causes.
“We want to give everyone the same experience. ... We continue to put money in and grow the gym so that we can be sure to give everyone the best experience,” said Francesca Ambrose. “When you have more than enough, you don’t build a bigger fence, you build a bigger table.”
The fourth Glorified Sparring exhibition will be held Aug. 23 with proceeds to benefit Rise Up Guam. Francesca Ambrose expects another packed event and welcomes all amateurs who are up for the challenge.