Calverton teen sets records in national powerlifting competition

In 2019, Andrew MacGray of Calverton wrestled and performed soccer for Riverhead High School. But as soon as the pandemic put sports activities on hiatus, he was caught and not using a solution to compete.

With his power from prior coaching fading, MacGray determined to select up just a few items of weightlifting tools and create a house fitness center to get match. It remained a interest for just a few months, a exercise each on occasion with a buddy. Eventually, he began lifting for 2 hours on daily basis in October of final yr. 

And then, in early February, MacGray was scrolling on Instagram, “I got here throughout a video of a man powerlifting in a contest and I assumed that was actually cool. So I regarded into it, I watched a lot of movies and did a lot of analysis,” MacGray mentioned.

Months later, what began as a interest has turned MacGray right into a state and nationwide powerlifting document holder — and a possibility to compete on a world stage later this yr.

MacGray, then 15 years previous, registered for his first powerlifting competitors in northern Vermont. The “Kingdom Classic” was held on March 6 with MacGray as its youngest competitor. MacGray lifted within the 132lb weight class for opponents ages 13-15. with a 281.1lb squat, a 154.3 bench and a 374.8lb deadlift.

When the occasion was over, MacGray held the primary place document for his deadlift and whole competitors rating for his weight class, and second place for his squat, in all nationwide occasions sponsored by the United States Powerlifting Association (USPA). He additionally broke all information for New York state opponents.

“After that, one of many administrators that was placing on the meet was such as you’re fairly robust, and instructed me that I obtained certified for the nationwide championship,” MacGray mentioned.

And so, he stored coaching. What began as a house fitness center in his basement has grown right into a full set to get him prepared for competitions. “I began with just a few weightlifting tools like a barbell and some plates, and now I’ve a complete set that prices me most likely over like $8,000,” MacGray mentioned.

MacGray, who at present doesn’t have a coach, is self taught. He needed to do intensive quantities of analysis when he began. 

“The solely manner I used to be studying was by way of YouTube, and watched hours on, hours of coaching movies to assist me. I’ve learn a number of books to attempt to get my coaching proper, as a result of it’s not simply understanding, it’s additionally weight-reduction plan,” he mentioned.

His weight loss program since he’s began competing has consisted of Greek yogurt, rice and hen, which MacGray mentioned he ate over a pound of a day. “You can ask my dad and mom, even they thought that was form of loopy at first,” he mentioned.

MacGray had finished the coaching, he had certified for the competitors, now he needed to get to California, the place the nationwide championships was held.

He began elevating cash for his journey with a GoFundMe and by designing and promoting tee shirts, sweat shirts and tank tops with customized logos that learn the inspirational phrase “Hard Work Pays Off” and confirmed a Gorilla deadlifting. In the tip he raised round $1,400 for him and his household to fly to the occasion and keep close by.

The USPA National Championships was held in Palm Springs from July 12-16. MacGray, now 16, carried out with a 292.1lb squat, a 165.3lb bench and a 374.8lb deadlift. 

“When I used to be competing, I used to be nervous after all as a result of I’m a nervous human being,” MacGray mentioned. “But after the primary carry, the second carry… I remembered I needed to keep calm, and I used to be having a great time and making an attempt to offer it my all.” 

His carry within the deadlift solely competitors obtained him a world powerlifting league junior males’s world document for in his weight class. He additionally broke earlier state information together with his deadlift and his squat for New York state.

“It was superior as a result of my household was there and so they have been tremendous joyful for me, and congratulating me,” MacGray mentioned.

MacGray mentioned he’ll proceed to compete in future powerlifting occasions. His efficiency on the nationwide championships has earned him a spot within the USPA World Championships to start with of November.

“I used to be actually joyful,” he mentioned about his ends in the nationwide championship. “But I simply knew that I’ve extra that I can do. I’m making an attempt to be the most effective.”

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