Former Afton athlete continues success with powerlifting championship

AFTON – After starting to lift for fun in college while aiding in his lacrosse training at Cazenovia College, Derek Winans found he was more into bodybuilding. But by the end of the day Friday – about a decade after his college days – Winans came home as the Arnold Classic Grand Champion.

Standing around 4-foot-11 and weighing-in at about 115 pounds, Winans competed the 114-pound weight class at the Arnold Classic on Friday, March 2. In the three lifting events – squat, bench press and deadlift – Winans totalled 1,040 pounds.

“My goal for many years was to compete in the Arnold Classic and my dream came true,” said Winans. “Some may think it may be a small dream, but to me, it was huge.”

At the age of 16, Winans competed at his first bench press competition in Cooperstown. After that Winans saw the Arnold Classic in his future. But he had faced many obstacles – both good and bad – throughout his journey before Friday’s competition.

In his junior year of college, Winans found out he had back problems. “I was lifting with some buddies when I had a sharp pain run through my lower back into my leg, which dropped me to the bench,” said Winans. “After a doctor’s appointment, I found out I had the spine of a 65 year old at the age of 21 and a disease called ‘Scheuermann’s.

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