EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The World Powerlifting Congress is hosting the World Powerlifting Championship in Manchester, England this week. The United States is sending six competitors to compete and two of them are from Evansville.
Mike Stagg, a long time powerlifter will be one of the six to compete. He is also the trainer to Erin Vincent, an aspiring powerlifter with a goal to follow in the footsteps of family before her.
“Definitely gets me out of my comfort zone because I don’t think I’m as strong as I really am,” Vincent said.
“You know, for Erin’s size and in her age, she’s really strong,” Stagg said. “In fact, she’s quite a bit stronger than she realizes even now. When we finally get her to actually believe how strong she is, there’s no telling what she’ll be able to do.”
Vincent was once a body builder but found a passion for power lifting at ‘The Pit’ one of Evansville’s oldest barbell clubs. Stagg, a trainer and member of the club since the 1980, helped Vincent make the transition and it couldn’t have gone any better.
“Mike noticed how much I was lifting and convinced me to try powerlifting,” Vincent said. “So after the bodybuilding competition a week later, I entered my first powerlifting competition and placed first in my weight class.”
It really goes to show you never know what you’re capable of and it helps impressing the one’s closest to you.
“She’s quite a young lady,” said Gordon Jones, Erin’s father. “She’s done a lot of different things throughout her lifetime, and this is probably one of them that we couldn’t believe [that] she’d be doing this.”
For Erin, and her family, weightlifting runs in the blood.
“Both of my brothers did powerlifting and bodybuilding,” said Vincent. “My younger brother passed away last July and him and I had always talked about doing some sort of competition together and we’ve kind of put it off and put it off. And so finally in January, I got my mind straight and got back in the gym and started training there.”
Jeremiah was always an inspiration to Erin. A loving, caring brother and a competitor in his own right. But her work-ethic is a bit different, at lease according to her father.
“And him and Jeff were really competitive as far as who was the strongest and toughest and all that stuff,” Jones said. “And then here we got Erin and she might be out doing both of them.”
Even when you’re as competitive as Vincent, having confidence in your own ability doesn’t always come easy. But now, with both Erin and her trainer qualifying for the World Powerlifting Championships in England this week, confidence can come one day at a time.
“[I am] just trying to keep her to lift inside herself, not worry about what other people are doing,” Stagg said. “Don’t get distract it and just focus on what you’re doing so you have a good experience. And she goes over and does the best she can do. The chips will fall where they fall.”
With the memory of her brother in mind, she can only hope he’s watching down with a smile on his face and maybe a competitive gene or two flowing.
“I think he’d be proud,” Vincent chuckled. Shocked that I’ve made it this far [and] maybe a little jealous.
After competing in the WPC this week, Erin’s goal is to coach her own powerlifting team from Posey County all the way to the Special Olympics next year.