JACKSONVILLE — When Lumberton High School graduate Michael Dudley isn’t focusing on saving lives as a combat medic with the U.S. Marine Corps, he’s in the gym testing his body’s thresholds as a competitive weightlifter.
Dudley, who graduated from Lumberton in 2006, is making noise on the weightlifting circuit after first-place finishes at the 100 percent Raw World Powerlifting Competition and the Arnold Sports Festival.
Dudley said he is proud to be a product of Robeson County.
“It feels great coming from there (Lumberton) and being able to excel at something. It makes you feel good,” Dudley said.
Dudley set a world record on the way to a victory in the bench press contest at the World Powerlifting Competition. He successfully lifted 524.7 pounds at a body weight of 218 pounds.
The 100 percent Raw Powerlifting Federation enforces a set of rules that is stricter than many other organizations. The federation does not allow lifters to wear shirts, wraps, or any other kind of special equipment during their lifts. The use of supplements and drugs is also prohibited
“It’s invite only, so only the best weightlifters get invited,” Dudley said about the competition.
He also took first place at the Arnold Sports Festival in the Animal Cage Event, which pits lifters against each other in a variety of exercises, such as deadlifts and squats.
Dudley said his next goal is to make the U.S. national weightlifting team and compete in the Olympic Games in 2020. The date and location of the trials has not yet been finalized.
Dudley was a wrestler during his time at Lumberton.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Tester_Brandon.