post Ooltewah High Schooler Shatters Four Powerlifting Records

Ooltewah High Schooler Shatters Four Powerlifting Records

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: December 15, 2023
Ooltewah High Schooler Shatters Four Powerlifting Records
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In a show of sheer strength and determination, 16-year-old Chase Varnell from Ooltewah High School has made his mark in the powerlifting world. This young dynamo deadlifted three times his bodyweight, smashing four world records at the International Southern Powerlifting Federation World Championship in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Varnell, who’s been lifting for three years, trained like a beast for the competition. “I hit some numbers I didn’t think I was going to hit,” he said. “But also, I’ve been training, and I hit the numbers at practice… so I was feeling pretty confident.”

Competing in the 16-17 age group, 123-pound weight class, Varnell squatted 285 pounds, benched 185 pounds, deadlifted 385 pounds, and lifted a total weight of 855 pounds. “It was a lot of fun just being able to go and do something I like to do, because I enjoy what I do,” Varnell said. “Being able to accomplish something is amazing!”

Varnell’s trainer, Jim Pickett of Agoge House of Iron, couldn’t be prouder. “He trains hard,” Pickett said. “He trains like a grown up…he’s on a mission.” Varnell is equally grateful for Pickett’s guidance, crediting his training for helping him grow his strength and perfect his form.

Family support has also been a key ingredient in Varnell’s success. “My family, especially my parents, they’ve been at all my training days, and they haven’t missed a single one,” he said. “That’s been really cool.”

Looking ahead, Varnell sees powerlifting as a long-term pursuit. “I’ll probably stick with it- probably keep competing,” he said. “Even some colleges have a powerlifting teams, or in the army there’s a powerlifting team.”

Pickett has no doubt that Varnell will continue to excel. “I hope he has the best of whatever he sets his mind to because he’s that kind of guy- he’ll get it done,” he said.

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