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updated: 11/14/2013 5:42 AM

At 15, Huntley teen has five world weightlifting records

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  • Video: Teen World Record Powerlifter

  • The medals won by Dominic Swanson at the World Powerlifting Congress World Championships in Prague.

      The medals won by Dominic Swanson at the World Powerlifting Congress World Championships in Prague.

  • Dominic Swanson, a Huntley High School sophomore, just became the holder of five world weightlifting records. Dad Gary, a former powerlifter himself, is the family trainer.

       Dominic Swanson, a Huntley High School sophomore, just became the holder of five world weightlifting records. Dad Gary, a former powerlifter himself, is the family trainer.
    Photos by Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

  • Dominic Swanson, pictured before his trip to the world championships in Prague, bench presses 225 pounds during a workout at his home in Union.

       Dominic Swanson, pictured before his trip to the world championships in Prague, bench presses 225 pounds during a workout at his home in Union.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 
 

He left home with one world record.

Now, he has five. At age 15.

Huntley High School sophomore Dominic Swanson achieved the feat last month in the World Powerlifting Congress World Championships in the Czech Republic.

Dominic, who previously held the world record in the bench press among his age and weight class, represented the U.S. team in the competition in Prague.

The powerlifting competition involves a combination of bench press, squat and dead lift; there is a separate contest for just the bench press.

Dominic set world records in all four disciplines and also broke the overall record for the combined powerlifting at 1,063 pounds. He competed in the 220-pound weight class with boys from 13 to 15 years old.

"It felt good because I always wanted to go to the world powerlifting meet," Dominic said. "Setting all the records was amazing. It's been one of my goals since I started training."

Dominic was 13 when he took first place in his age range and weight class at the American Powerlifting Federation/Amateur American Powerlifting Federation Illinois Power Raw Challenge. He holds state and national records in the squat, dead lift and bench press.

Dominic first broke the world record for the bench press in May during the National Powerlifting Championships in Dearborn, Mich. He hoisted 259 pounds, shattering the 8-year-old record of 244.5 pounds.

In Prague, he twice shattered his own May record by lifting 275 pounds in the individual bench press, and 265 pounds in the bench press portion of the combined powerlifting meet.

"I was surprised," said Swanson's mother, Renee Swanson of Union. "We knew he'd go and do something. I was just happy that he was asked. It was very exciting watching all the different countries come together."

Dominic's world records in the combined powerlifting meet for squat and dead lift are 380 pounds and 418 pounds, respectively.

Dominic said the toughest part of the challenge was adjusting to the Russian judges whose standard for a successful squat is a lot more stringent.

"The Russian judges would make everybody go down a lot farther," he said.

With these five records under his belt, Dominic is looking ahead to helping his older sister, Karlie, train for her first powerlifting competition next month in Sugar Grove.

The Swansons have a 2,000-square-foot gym in the backyard of their Union home, where they train.

Dominic doesn't appear to be finished chasing records; he hopes to compete in the 16- to 17-year-old bracket of a national powerlifting meet in March.

He's not afraid of taking on bigger weightlifters from powerhouse high school teams, says his father, Gary Swanson, who himself is a former powerlifter.

"We've been powerlifting 35 years," said Swanson, who has been training Dominic since he was 8.

"He wants to compete against the older kids. He's got the capability. He's been in enough meets. We'll see what he can do."

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