Morinville athletes off to Whitecourt for weekend powerlifting competition

Above and below from left: Morinville residents Scott “Crusher” Wallace, Cole Wallace and Marion Peterson are off to Whitecourt this weekend to compete in a Canadian Powerlifting League tournament. – Submitted Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

Three Morinville residents aged 12 to 61 are putting months of training into play this weekend to compete in a Canadian Powerlifting League tournament in Whitecourt Mar. 18 and 19.

Marion Peterson, Scott “Crusher” Wallace and his son Cole Wallace will lift heavy things in three categories on Sunday, Mar. 19. Peterson is competing in the middle-weight masters 60-65 category, Scott Wallace in the heavy-weight masters 45-50 class, and Cole Wallace will be at the event as a guest lifter, due to the minimum competitor age being 13.

Both the senior Wallace and Peterson will compete in the whole gamut of the bench press, squats and deadlifts; Cole Wallace will focus exclusively on his deadlift, which is currently north of 250 pounds.

This weekend’s competition is a first for 61-year-old Marion Peterson, an aerobics instructor in her 20s has had a life-long love of athleticism. Last summer, Peterson started training with Wallace and liked weightlifting so much that she decided to ramp it up to compete.

“I think the training and prep was amazing; I loved the journey,” Peterson said of the past several months’ efforts. “I learned so much in this training. It’s made me stronger. I’m truly thankful to Crusher for pushing me and believing in me.”

Peterson went on to say that although she hopes for a win, she is proud to have had the opportunity to compete.

Wallace, previously named Washington State’s Strongest Man, B.C. and Alberta’s Strongest Man, and won a national competition in his class, learned he had metastatic carcinoma cancer and had surgery in December of 2021. After battling his way through treatment to start training himself and others again, doctors told him the disease had travelled last summer, and he now had stage 4 cancer in his spine, femur, and liver.

The athlete’s training of himself and his training partners has primarily occurred during multiple rounds of chemotherapy and controlled amino acid therapy.

“Finally getting my [weight lifting] numbers back to respectability has been a huge accomplishment,” Wallace said. “A lot of people wrote me off due to my ongoing cancer battle over the last 14 months or so. For me to be able to overcome the surgery, the radiation, the chemo, and then ongoing Immunotherapy and still be able to do what I do and get back to that level is actually really unbelievable. So I’m pretty proud of that.”

With a long career in strongman sports, competition is nothing new for Scott Wallace. However, the upcoming powerlifting competition is a first for him.

“I’m really just proud that considering all the external factors I’m dealing with, I’m able to train and compete in something strength related,” he said, adding he does not have any big expectations this weekend. “I do have my sights on a couple of records that might be reachable, so I’ll see how it goes on game day. It’s been a fun process training and learning about powerlifting as there are some big differences between that and Strongman.”

Weigh-in and equipment check for the three Morinville athletes takes place on Saturday, Mar. 18. The three will compete on Sunday, Mar. 19. The two-day event is the Alberta provincials leg, with the top athletes going on to nationals later this year.

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