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Powerlifter places eighth in world championship

Kenneth Gack, an Akeley native, has returned from the International Powerlifting Federation World Championships in New Dehli, India. He looks forward to competing this year as a Master lifter after he turns 40. (Submitted photo)

Akeley native Kenneth Gack returned from competition at the International Powerlifting Federation World Championships this fall, finishing in eighth place.

Although he didn't do as well as he would have liked to, Gack said it was an amazing trip. The championship was in New Delhi, India.

"On the squat, I got my first attempt at 622 pounds pretty easily, but in two tries at 661, I couldn't finish the lift," he said in an e-mail. "I had plenty of strength and had squatted over 680 pounds at the end of my training cycle in the gym, but ended up losing my balance on both lifts and going over backwards."

On the bench press, Gack said his three attempts were too light and he completed all easily, the third lift at 512 pounds.

"I should have easily been able to press another 30 pounds for a personal record," he said.

Gack finished all three of his deadlifts, finishing with a 611 pound lift, which was more than he had done in competition in a couple of years.

"I finished 8th place out of 10, but there is no way I'd have caught up with the Russian or Ukrainian lifters even if I'd gotten all 9 of my lifts," Gack said. "My total was just over 1,740, and the gold and silver medalists totaled over 2,200 pounds."

Regardless of the detractors, he said it was an amazing trip.

"It was interesting to be exposed to a culture so alien to my own," he said. "It was also a treat to hang out with some of the top lifters in the world. I had the opportunity to get advice and training tips from Tony Harris, a powerlifting world champion, for example."

After Gack turns 40 in March, he will qualify to compete as a Master lifter. His competition schedule for the next year includes Arnold Sports Festival, Columbus, Ohio in March and USA Powerlifting Masters National Championships, Killeen, Texas in May.

He anticipates doing well in the Masters age group, and hopes to return to the World Championships as a Master lifter in June at the USA Powerlifting Open National Championships, Palm Springs, Calif.

Gack began powerlifting when he joined the U.S. Air Force at 18 years old. His parents, Fran and Myron, still live in Akeley. He now lives with his wife, Tracy, and two boys in Lake Stevens, Wash., outside of Seattle.