Power lifting: Elk River’s Hickman nabs 3rd, and biggest, title of year at Las Vegas

Dawn Hickman, 4-10 and 101 pounds, hoisted 325 pounds in the squat event here at WPC nationals in Las Vegas. (Photo provided by Steve Hickman)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Elk River power lifter Dawn Hickman picked up her third, and most significant, championship of the year last weekend.

Hickman, 44, earned the Best Lifter honor among 30 women at the World Powerlifting Congress national meet in Las Vegas, held Nov. 6-11.

Competing in the 105-pound class, the 4-foot-10, 101-pound waitress lifted a total of 804 pounds, a personal best. She had PB’s of 325 in squat and 304 in dead lift (previous bests 309 and 286) along with 176 on bench (her PB is 210).

She out-lifted all females from 97 through 148 pounds and was named Best Lifter for the meet.

Dawm Hickman stands firm for a 304-pound dead lift. (Photo provided by Steve Hickman)


“Every power lifter’s goal is to get Best Lifter of the meet,” said Steve Hickman, her husband who serves as handler at meets.

Dawn Hickman previously was best lifter at American Powerlifting Federation nationals in South Carolina in June, and United Powerlifting Association nationals in Iowa in April.

But the WPC was the biggest meet, said Steve Hickman, with over 400 lifters from over 20 countries, and the toughest  competition, as top-3 finishes in one national meet or other are required.

Asked what it takes to succeed at that level, Dawn said you must be ready to deal with anything.

“You definitely have to be ‘on’ that day. I don’t sleep much the night before. You are using different equipment, and sometimes it goes a lot quicker than in the gym. Sometimes you’re ready (to lift) but somebody gets hurt and you have to wait. Things like that. You have to stay focused.”

Dawn,  a waitress and manager at Daddy-O’s Cafe in Elk River, started lifting at age 35. She trains at home in a well-equipped gym that she and Steve, a noncompetitive lifter, assembled in a former garage.

Along with trainers Lloyd Hemenway and Mike Anderson, they have a club called West Metro Team, with sponsorship from West Metro GMC and Buick of Monticello.

You can view her lifts on You Tube (type in 2012 WPC, Dawn Hickman).