Iron Dawgs do well in Africa

October 31, 2008

by Jordan White

Emanuel “TJ” Taylor, a senior computer science major, lifted his way to a second place finish in the Iron Dawgs’ trip to the Junior World powerlifting competition in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Joshua Chovanec, head coach for the Iron Dawgs, said Tech sent three students to attend as competitors for the Junior World USA Team, where each student performed deadlift, squat and bench press lifts. The combined total of these three lifts were ranked against students of competing countries in different weight classes to determine a winner. Taylor said he placed second in the world for the 60 kilogram, or 135 pound, weight class.

“It was a good experience for me overall because I have been exposed to better competition,” Taylor said. “Now I know what I need to train towards.”

In his three lifts, Taylor said he scored 551 pounds in squat, 320 pounds in bench lift and 523.5 pounds in deadlift. The total, 1,394.5 pounds, is over 10 times his total body weight.

Taylor said he was under a workout routine known as “shiko,” a routine consisting of high volume weight at low reps for five sets, in preparation for the event. Monday and Friday would encompass squat and bench. Wednesday would be deadlift and bench.

“The thing that made this workout difficult is you may have to do more than one workout in the same day plus accessories,” he said.
Sandra Sebastian, a Tech alumna, said she finished third in the 81.0 kilogram class.
“[Taylor] always trains hard and he’s a really good worker,” Sabastian said. “He’s one of those guys that just is strong.”

She said Taylor is ridiculous in strength for his size, but he is a very quiet guy who tends to do things in a set routine that works for him.

Chovanec said Tech sends at least two or three students each year to compete for Junior World USA Team.

“If I had to guess, we had about 40 lifters be a part of the Junior World team since our existence as a club sport at Tech,” he said.

He said the other student to compete was Melissa Navarro, a junior sociology major, who placed third in the 220 pound and up class, known as the heavyweight class.

He also said the Junior World competition is the highest ranked event in the world for club sports, where the victor was, and usually is, Russia. Despite Team USA’s efforts, the Russian team once again claimed victory.

Taylor said he gained a lot of experience from the trip and will not hesitate to say “yes” if he is asked to go again.