The North Bend Eagle


Dodge lifting to new heights and records

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 2/3/16

What started out as a hobby and a way to get in shape for the NBC track team, has led Katey Dodge to become one of the strongest women in the country.

She lifts enough weight to hold the AAU American record in the women’s raw 220-pound class open division for squat and bench press.

Dodge liftKatey Dodge power lifts at the USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals in October 2015.

Dodge, a Morse Bluff native, has lifted 375 pounds from a squat position and bench pressed 182 pounds.

After her graduation from NBC in 1999, she went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, earning a degree in agribusiness and accounting in 2004. She has gone on to a successful career and a marriage to John Price Jr. They have a 5-year old son, John III.

Dodge lifted some while a student at NBC, mostly to get in shape for track. While taking a weight lifting class in college, she saw some fliers posted around the campus recreation center about a power lifting club.

“My instructor encouraged me to go to it saying ‘I think you would be good at this,’” Dodge said. “I almost didn’t go, but I was going to go run anyway and the meeting was next to the indoor track I was headed to, so I figured I’d stop in and see what it was about.”

She started training with the collegiate group in the fall of 2003 and ended up doing well enough to qualify for collegiate nationals in April 2004.

The seed was planted.

Dodge has now competed in numerous USA Powerlifting and AAU competitions. And not just compete, she has done well at the meets. At USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals in Scranton, Penn., in October she placed 15th out of 34 in her weight class. Dating back to 2004 Dodge has placed between second and fifth in several national meets as an equipped lifter.

There are three lifts in a weight lifting competition: squat, bench press and deadlift. There are two types of lifting. “Raw” uses just minimal supportive gear, with a belt, knee sleeves and wrist wraps. The second type of lifting is called “equipped,” which adds supportive suits and bench shirts as well as knee wraps for squat.

Dodge familyJohn Prince Jr., John III and Katey Dodge give a smile.

Each lift is judged by three referees looking for proper technique. They make sure the lifter musts commands to begin lift, reach proper depth of squat lift, watch for foot movement or butt, head or shoulders lifting up in bench press, and hitching the bar or failure to lock the knees at the top of the dead lift.
Each judge gives three points per lift.

“We get nine total competitive lifts for the entire meet,” Dodge said. “In a perfect world we aim to go nine (points) for nine lifts and get 27 from the three referees. I’ve pulled that off once in 12 years and it was this last August.”

A comparison that may be more familiar to North Bend is the pole vault. The vaulter tells the judges at what height they will start competing at. They don’t want to start too high, because not clearing any height eliminates them from the competition.

Likewise, the lifter tells the judges at what weight they will start lifting. If she successfully lifts that weight, she gets to add weight and go again. If not, she will repeat the same weight. The lifter gets credit for the highest attempt in each discipline that is a good lift that is ruled a good attempt by the referees.

Dodge practices three to five times a week. She has lifts with a club in Lincoln, but she also has a setup at home to practice with her husband’s help. She participated in five competitions in 2015, but says she is cutting back to three or four this year.

“Or so I say now,” Dodge added.

She has gone to meets in Lincoln, Orchard, North Platte; national meets in Omaha, St. Louis, Baton Rouge, San Antonio, Denver, Scranton, and went to Guatemala City for a North American championship. She was a listed as an alternate for Open Worlds in 2008 in Canada, but did not need to attend.

Lifters compete against each other in weight classes similar to a wrestling tournament. Everyone has to weigh in within a certain window of time prior to competition. At that time they will declare what weight they will first attempt for each lift. Dodge competes in the open class age group, which is open to any age lifter. There are also age categories for teens and those in their early twenties, and for people older than 40. State and national records are also kept by age groups.

How much has Dodge lifted? In supportive gear she has lifted from squat 408 pounds, bench pressed 275 pounds and from a deadlift 386 pounds. Without the supportive gear, raw, she lifted 375 pounds from a squat, bench pressed 182 pounds and deadlifted 364 pounds in competition.

As far as a future, Dodge says there is no time limit for her participating in the sport, as long as there are no injuries.

“There are a number of masters lifters still actively competing in their 60s, 70s and even 80s,” she said. “There are actually a lot of new lifters, many of them open and masters (age 40 and above), now that crossfit style workouts have become more popular and exposed more people to weight training. Back when I started competing it was mainly high school kids and a few masters lifters.”

Dodge has earned her credentials as a powerlifting judge and has that in her plans. But for now, she will keep lifting.

“I am definitely not at my peak yet,” Dodge said. “Last year I put over 100 pounds on my total for all three lifts."


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