Over 30 participants competed in the MCCS Hard Corps Push-Pull Meet at Stone Bay Fitness Center on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Aug. 17. The powerlifting competition consisted of two lifts, the bench press and the deadlift, where competitors lifted for a one-rep max.

Monica Nilson was the overall winner in the women’s Masters Category as Melissa Yoshikawa won the Open Category. Stephanie Burke took the women’s Novice Category.

U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brett Christenson won the men’s Masters Category as Robert Zacharias was the overall winner in the Open Category. Joseph Eggleston won the men’s Novice Category. Nine other participants were given gold medals for winning their weight class.

For Christenson, the Push-Pull Meet was a nice tune up in between other competitions and heavy training sessions. Christenson, who won the Class 8 gold medal, sees benefits in competing because he learns something every time. He also thinks lifters are more likely to hit a personal best during a competition.

“Everyone is there, so usually you’ll hit a bigger lift because of all that excitement,” Christenson said, who is drawn to powerlifting because of the community element.

Dennis Yeddo, a longtime fitness facilities manager with MCCS, said that the Hard Corps Series events keep the competitors goal-oriented and focused on their training throughout the year. It’s also self-satisfying for the lifters when they hit a personal record in front of an audience.

“It’s a great series for these guys and women,” Yeddo said. “They really love the powerlifting. They really like to show what kind of weight they can lift.”

The Push-Pull Meet was the third leg of Semper Fit’s Hard Corps Series. The next event in the Hard Corps Series will be the Strongman Competition in late November. In January, there will be a powerlifting meet that will consist of squatting, benching and deadlifting.

Selections in the Push-Pull Meet were made based on the Wilks Formula, where the weight lifted and the lifter’s weight determine the overall strength of the lift.

According to fitness facilities manager John Heger, over half of the Hard Corps Series meets’ competitors are first-timers.

The Push-Pull Meet was open to all authorized patrons of MCB Camp Lejeune.

To learn more, visit www.mccslejeune-newriver.com/hardcorps.

Competition Results:

Overall Category Winners:


Novice: Stephanie Burke

Open: Melissa Yoshikawa

Masters: Monica Nilson


Novice: Joseph Eggleston

Open: Robert Zacharias

Masters: Brett Christenson

Weight Class Winners:


Class 3, Novice: Marissa White

Class 8, Novice: Nikki Taylor


Class 3, Novice: Richard Ung

Class 5, Novice: Tom Palacio

Class 6, Novice: James Patton

Class 8, Novice: Max Loper

Class 5, Open: Anthony Corio

Class 6, Open: Ade Mubarak

Class 7, Open: Adam Franklin