Powerlifters bring home gold and a world record

Published 9:13 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kavelle Martin set the AAU Women’s Special Olympics world record in the deadlift, lifting 92.5 kilograms or 204 pounds, while winning the gold medal at the 2011 AAU World Powerlifting Championship in Kissimmee, Fla. Nov. 5-6. Martin, here during a practice with coach Rob Kelly, lives in Zuni and the Suffolk Special Olympics powerlifting team practices at the Zuni Presbyterian Homes.

The Suffolk Special Olympics powerlifting trio of Kavelle Martin, Daryl Taylor and T.J. Woolfork completed an incredible year of competition, winning gold medals at the 2011 AAU World Powerlifting Championships on Nov. 5-6 in Kissimmee, Fla.

Martin, Taylor and Woolfork, who live and practice at the Zuni Presbyterian Homes in Zuni, won the international medals to go with state titles and golds at the 2011 AAU Powerlifting Nationals in Las Vegas in July.

Martin set a new AAU World Record for Women’s Special Olympics Deadlift with her best lift, at 92.5 kilograms or 204 pounds.

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Martin beat her personal record of 200 pounds, which she set in Las Vegas.

Martin won the overall gold in the Special Olympics 24-39 age group. Taylor won the overall gold in the men’s Special Olympics 24-39 group and Woolfork did the same in the men’s 40-and-older division.

The AAU World Powerlifting Championships hosted a visit from the Afghanistan National Olympic Committee as the committee was on a trip to Florida and Colorado to learn more about building youth and Olympic sports programs.

Rob Kelly is the team’s head coach. The team practices on Saturday mornings in a makeshift gym inside a large garage at the Presbyterian Homes.

Kelly and the Suffolk Special Olympics are working toward hosting The Suffolk Games on May 19-20. As part of a goal to expand the powerlifting team and all of the programs in various sports, the Suffolk Games will include powerlifting, tennis, track, bocce and golf, with other competitions, such as swimming, still to be determined.