Northern Wyoming Daily News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

By Alex Kuhn
Sports Editor 

Adding more medals to the collection

Chopper CrossFit powerlifting team returns from another successful powerlifting meet


August 12, 2017


The Chopper CrossFit powerlifting team pose together with their medals after a successful outing at the Wyoming State and Mountain West Regional powerlifting meet. Pictured are Alek Torres, Sydnee Jameson, Randall Homan, Anna Fetter and Alejandra Rice.

WORLAND - The Chopper CrossFit powerlifting team has the means to begin building their own Iron Throne from the hit HBO show "Game of Thrones", but rather than using the swords of vanquished foes, Chopper can build theirs from the medals they've won from powerlifting competitions.

Traveling to Laramie for the Wyoming State and Mountain West Regional powerlifting meet on June 17, the Chopper team, consisting of Randall Homan (Chopper CrossFit owner), Anna Fetter, Sydnee Jameson, Alejandra Rice and Alek Torres, returned home with five first-place medals and some new records to their name.


In his first powerlifting meet Alek Torres had to cut weight the night before, this time though he made weight early and there was no need for late night/early morning runs.

"I actually maintained weight and ate less the week prior. I felt much better and weighed in the day before rather than the day of. I got to go out and eat and enjoy everyone's company rather than be a grouch, so that was fun," said Torres.

Although he fell short of some of his goals, Torres still took first and set a new personal record in deadlift, lifting 468 pounds.

"All of it was pretty fun and I'll have good memories from this competition. I didn't hit all the numbers I wanted but it was still fun. I PR'd [personal record] in my deadlift. On deadlift I opened at 418 then jumped up to 440, and on my third lift I hit 468 but they didn't give me the lift because I was hitching. But I counted it in my books, so I was happy about my deadlift," said Torres.

Having already competed in a powerlifting competition, the second time around was a much more calm experience for Torres as he knew what to expect, keeping his nerves at bay.

"I knew what to do and not be so nervous. The first time out I was nervous but this time I was able to breathe and function instead of being nervous," said Torres.

Torres also gained a new training strategy after competing in Laramie.

"I got deadlift down and now I need to work on my squat. I'm going to take it one lift at a time. It would be nice to set records on all three lifts but that's not the case for me. I'm going to focus one lift, get solid at a weight, maintain it then move on to the next lift and do the same. Then maintain weight in all three lifts," said Torres.


Competing in her third powerlifting meet Anna Fetter approached the state meet like it would be her last, because it would be her final competition in 2017.

Not long after the meet Fetter had a hysterectomy and as a result be sidelined for the remainder of the year.

"Originally my doctor wanted to do the surgery before the competition, but I told him that wasn't going to happen. I had been training for months for this competition and wanted to compete before I had to take all this time off," said Fetter.

Fetter did say she had the support of a medical student, who was assisting on the surgery, who perfectly understood the reasoning to delay the surgery.

As her last competition for the year Fetter's plan was to give it her absolute all, leaving nothing to doubt.

"Knowing this was going to be my last competition this year, I just wanted to give it everything I could. I hit new PR's and I feel like I did really well. I didn't fail any lifts until my last one. I hit a PR and was asked how much weight for the next lift. I looked at Randall and he said shoot for the moon. So I went as heavy as I could.

"I got it about six inches off the ground and couldn't move it. I told Randall before I went on stage that I was going to throw up or cry, I ended up crying, but I didn't even care. And Randall (Homan) told me that I'll hit it and that's my goal for next time. That's my purpose for doing this, to do better than the last time," said Fetter.

Fetter has set personal records in every competition she's been in and for her that's what it's all about.

"Every time I've done better than the last and that's what it's about. Nothing will ever be good enough and when I hit my goal I'll set another and move on to that," said Fetter.

Outside the improved personal performance, Fetter enjoyed having her whole family there to cheer her on. During a competition in January Fetter's husband watched her for the first time and had so much fun that for the Laramie meet they decided to bring their children along.

"It was fun to have all of them there. The kids loved it. They probably like staying at the hotel and swimming in the pool more, but it was fun to have them there. They see us train in here every day and to show them what all this training is for, I loved it. They had fun and told us that when they're old enough they want to lift and that makes me happy," said Fetter.

Now on the mend, Fetter still goes to the Chopper gym to encourage her fellow gym members through their workouts and is counting down the days until she can start to train.

"So I have to watch everyone workout, while I walk on the treadmill, which is tough. It hurts me to just watch them because I want to be working out with them," said Fetter.


Just like Fetter, Alejandra Rice has improved by leaps and bounds after every powerlifting competition.

In Laramie, Rice broke national powerlifting records in the squat and deadlift in the 181-pound weight class, pulling 286 and 324 in the two lifts.

"I was shocked because I didn't even know that I broke national records but we were sitting at Texas Roadhouse when Randall told me that I broke those records. I started to bawl because I was so excited," said Rice.

While Rice did break the records they will not officially enter the record books just yet, as there was no notification that the records had been broke. But rest assured for her next competition notification will be sent when she breaks them again during a competition at the end of August or early September.

"They may not have been official because you have to notify them and we didn't do that. But when we go to this next one we'll be notifying," said Randall Homan.

Rice's performance caught the eye of one of her powerlifting role model Salina Vega, who is a powerlifting trainer out of Colorado Springs and has a presence on YouTube.

"There was this lady from Colorado Springs named Selina Vega and she wanted me to go down there and train with her. She came up to me after the competition and was telling me how I should go to Vegas for Nationals just to see how it is. She is so amazing," said Rice.

Added Rice, "I was admiring her from far away because she is my goal. I've seen her weightlifting videos on YouTube. She came and approached me and gave me her card, wanted to talk and get a picture. I was just shocked that my role model was talking to me and telling me all that I could do."

Powerlifting was not something Rice loved to do at the start. But with the success she's had and the confidence that it has brought, powerlifting has turned into her passion.

"To think about it makes scares me a bit. A year and a half ago I hated this so much. They had to drag me here but now I love it. It's still pretty crazy because I'm only 15," said Rice, "Looking back on it I don't know where I would be without lifting. I'm really happy that it's in my life and I'm getting stronger. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with it too. I feel much more confident now that I've started lifting."

Originally the plan was to use the lifting as a means to train for swimming. Now with a handful of medals and records falling by the wayside, Rice is looking for powerlifting to take her further than she ever thought.

"I just wanted to lift to get better at swimming, but now that's switched. Swimming will be my school sport and this will be my main focus...With lifting scholarships I could become an Olympic lifter if I wanted to. So that's my No. 1 thing that keeps me going," said Rice.

Rice qualified for the National Powerlifting meet in Las Vegas during a January competition, but due to tight schedules won't be able to attend. Instead, Rice will focus on qualifying for the Worlds Powerlifting meet, also in Vegas, on Nov. 3.


Sydnee Jameson was the new addition to the Chopper CrossFit powerlifting team and like her teammates got it done by taking first in her division.

"It was awesome, a lot of fun and a good experience. I've never been to a powerlifting competition and I got to see everyone lift and that was pretty cool. It was just really fun with everyone being together as a team and as friends," said Jameson.

Having the support of her teammates at competition helped Jameson with her nerves. She also talked on the encouragement from Chopper members while she was training for the state competition.

"When you have the team we have behind you it definitely takes the nerves and anxiety away and is very helpful," said Jameson. "Everyone that comes here, even those that didn't go to powerlift, have been very supportive. It's such an awesome family-like group here. Everyone is encouraging one another and Randall did a great job of teaching me the lifts."

While she took first, Jameson didn't meet some of her own personal goals, which she'll use as motivation during her training.

"I had some very specific goals in mind and didn't hit the numbers I set, but I still took first. That was fun and good to come out on top still. It's motivated me to keep pushing myself and just like Randall says it's never enough," said Jameson.

Powerlifting was fun for Jameson but her goal is to compete in as many competitions as she can, whether they be powerlifting, CrossFit, running or bodybuilding.

"My thing is I want to have all kinds of different experiences and the gym has done that for me. I've been able to compete in all different kinds of competitions. I've done a bit of everything, competed in a running meet, did a CrossFit competition and now a powerlifting competition," said Jameson.

"I'll probably do another one, but my next goal is a figure competition which is more isolated training, like bodybuilding," said Jameson.


Watching his gym members/trainees like Fetter, Jameson, Rice and Torres have the success they've had is what it's all about for Chopper owner Randall Homan. What makes it even better for him is the positive community that his gym has created.

"Everyone was fantastic and did an excellent job," said Homan.

"We've built a pretty good community and that's one of the things I'm most proud of. We've built a family around this place to where any of these people can go to any class, are well received, cheered on and comfortable. That's been the goal since we've started this gym and I'm really proud of that factor."

Like the other lifters Homan took first, but wasn't completely happy with his performance.

"I did well and won my division. It was kind of a disappointing meet for me because I didn't do as well as I wanted, I did better than I have but not as well as I wanted. If that makes any sense," said Homan.

With the state competition in the rearview mirror Homan wants to put more focus into training his members and preparing for the CrossFit Festivus Games that will be held at Chopper in October.

"It was a good overall meet but that will be the last one I compete in for some time. I want to focus on training and coaching more, and getting everyone where they need to be. If I'm competing alongside them I won't be able to do that as well. We're growing and getting more people here and the biggest thing we're excited about is CrossFit competition here. It's called the Festivus Games and it's a novice and intermediate competition," said Homan.


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