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Bench press, deadlift competition strengthens bonds, muscles

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Ana Shockey, 50th Security Forces Squadron, bench presses 135 pounds during the annual Bench Press and Deadlift competition at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2018. Shockey finished second overall in the women’s competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

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Danielle Hayes, Air Force Detachment 807 Office of Special Investigations, focuses on her bench press during the annual Bench Press and Deadlift competition at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2018. Hayes placed first in the women’s category, competing against five others. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

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Danielle Hayes, Detachment 807 Air Force Office of Special Investigations, tests her strength at the annual Bench Press and Deadlift competition at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2018. Hayes started with a deadlift weight of 355 pounds and totaled 410 pounds on her final lift, shattering the women’s record. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

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Ana Shockey, 50th Security Forces Squadron, deadlifts while Airmen watch during the annual Bench Press and Deadlift competition at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2018. Shockey bench pressed a total of 135 pounds and deadlifted a total of 270 pounds. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

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Anthony DeSimone, 50th Operations Support Squadron, deadlifts 535 pounds during the annual Bench Press and Deadlift Competition at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2018. Desimone competed against twelve other males and six females, finishing second overall. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

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Anthony DeSimone, 50th Operations Support Squadron, bench presses 325 pounds during the annual Bench Press and Deadlift competition at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2018. Desimone finished second in the men’s competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

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Zoe Reyes, 705th Combat Training Squadron-Operating Location Alpha, bench presses 120 pounds during the annual Bench Press and Deadlift competition at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2018. Reyes placed third overall in the women’s competition. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

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Zoe Reyes, 705th Combat Training Squadron-Operating Location Alpha, deadlifts 245 pounds during the annual Bench Press and Deadlift competition at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Jan. 26, 2018. Reyes competed against five other women and placed third overall in the women’s category. (U.S. Air Force photo by Christopher DeWitt)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

Nineteen Schriever Airmen put their strength and focus to the test at the annual Bench Press and Deadlift competition at the Schriever Air Force Base Fitness Center Jan. 26.

Each competitor was allowed five total lifts per event. If a participant failed their second lift at the same weight, they were eliminated.

The top three females and males earned gift cards.

Anthony DeSimone, 50th Operations Support Squadron and first time Schriever competitor, placed second to Ian Sayler, 1st Space Operations Squadron, in the men’s category.

DeSimone bench pressed a total of 325 pounds and deadlifted a total of 535 pounds.

“I was pleased with my performance overall,” he said. “My deadlift was actually a personal best for me. I only regret not going heavier on each exercise; I was pretty conservative about not trying to lift too much and potentially wasting an attempt.”

DeSimone added the most challenging part of the competition was having so many people watch the event.

“Even though I work out in a crowded gym, most people are focused on their work outs. They aren’t paying attention to you,” he said.

His favorite part of the competition was the support and camaraderie from his fellow Airmen, both competitors and audience members.

“It was awesome to see all the competitors cheering for each other, getting each other pumped-up to hit their lifts and providing words of encouragement when attempts were missed,” DeSimone said. “I had a great time getting to hang out with a bunch of fellow Airmen who share a common interest.”

Danielle Hayes, Detachment 807, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, also competed in the Schriever competition for the first time, and broke the record for most weight lifted for both bench press and deadlift in the women’s category, beating out five other competitors.

Hayes bench pressed a total of 195 pounds and deadlifted a total of 410 pounds.

“The competition was very different,” she said. “I’m used to more women and more audience members, and it was just a different environment. I’m used to loud music, yelling and cheering. It was very quiet.”

Hayes said she enjoyed giving fellow participants tips to better their performance.

“It was really great communication and they were all very receptive to what I had to say,” she said.

Hayes has weight-lifted competitively for one year after switching from a type of functional fitness to powerlifting due to injury.

She competed in her first competition in April 2017, and placed fourth overall.

In November 2017, Hayes took fifth overall in the United States Powerlifting Association World Championship.

“It’s kind of a part time job for me,” she said. “This is my sport. I don’t do anything else. Powerlifting is my thing.”

She said she appreciates the fitness center for hosting the event, and their excellent utilization of time and space.

DeSimone concurred.

“I’m really thankful we have a tremendous staff at the fitness center that provides these opportunities for Team Schriever,” he said.

The next fitness center competition is the Lazyman Triathlon, Feb. 1-28.

For more information about fitness center events, call 567-6628.

Top three males:

First place: Ian Sayler, 1st Space Operations Squadron

Second place: Anthony DeSimone, 50th Operations Support Squadron

Third place: Tommy Taylor, 1st Space Operations Squadron

Top three females:

First place: Danielle Hayes, Detachment 807, Air Force Office of Special Investigations

Second place: Ana Shockey, 50th Security Forces Squadron

Third place: Zoe Reyes, 705th Combat Training Squadron-Operating Location Alpha

Commander’s Cup Standings:

First place: 1st Space Operations Squadron, 115 points

Second place: 50th Operations Support Squadron and Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 50 points

Third place: 50th Security Forces Squadron, 45 points

Fourth place: 705th Combat Training Squadron-Operating Location Alpha, 30 points