• Marcy Behrmann

Local Women Take Top Spots in 2019 Fall Classic


Woodmere Fitness Club rocked with heavy metal and heavier weights on September 22, 2019 for the Woodmere Fitness Club Fall Classic.


Two local women took the top spots. Monica Rose, who trains in Garden City, Long Island, won the Women’s Open and Gila Rapp of Woodmere Fitness Club took first place in the Women’s Masters. Walter Ostrowski topped the Men’s Open and Masters fields.




Rapp, 43, was competing at WFC for her third time. She tried lifting in 2016, but really committed in 2017. In 2017 she deadlifted 81 pounds and at September’s meet she pulled 251 pounds.


Rapp enjoys the adrenaline rush of competing and finds the process comes with some surprises.


“It’s interesting to see what you can do when you don’t think you can. You surprise yourself,” said the Woodmere resident. “There is a sense of satisfaction you don’t get from other things.”



The competition had its share of ups and downs. A high point: Ben Koppel, son of Woodmere Fitness Club owner Inna Koppel, competed for the first time. For Inna, the joy kept coming as she watched her son, her trainees and many friends compete at her gym.



Esther Nahon competed in September for the first time, although she has been strength training at WFC since 2014.


Her favorite lift is the squat. Nahon’s first attempt was 163 pounds and she ended with 189 pounds.


Nahon, 35, had been attending classes at the gym but was having a lot of knee and back pain. Her doctor mentioned surgery or injections to alleviate her symptoms. She decided to try lifting.


“When I started lifting I had no more pain,” said Nahon. “The strength I’ve gained over these years has really taken me a long way.”


Nahon said the competition exceeded her expectations.


“I was nervous to go out there. But then I realized ‘I got this. I trained for this,'" said Nahon, a speech and language pathologist who works with children privately and in a school setting.

Nahon invited two of her students to the meet in addition to her parents, sister, nieces and friends.


“This is something I teach my students every day – to push themselves, work hard and not give up,” said Nahon. “I’m teaching my students grit and that is what you need for weightlifting as well.


“I think everyone was totally impressed by it. They had an opportunity to see what it is all about and understand why I am so dedicated to it.”



Joshua Skootsky, Yeshiva University started lifting about a year ago, under the watch of Daniel Wolf, who also competed at the meet.“I was coming off being sick for a while, and I liked the feeling of being more able to do things. This is something concrete that I could be capable with and improve on."


Skootsky felt his deadlift was his best. “It was 15 pounds over anything I'd done in training. I'm still working on continuing to develop that lift, but it was nice having a meet to aim for and peak for.”


The Fall Classic was Skootsky’s first meet, but he hopes it isn’t the last. “Sure, I'd love to compete again. I think I enjoyed the experience, both at the meet, which had a great atmosphere, but also how it gave shape to my training.”



Results are as follows:


Women's Open: Monica Rose


Squat: 145kg

Press: 55kg

Deadlift: 161kg


Lifted a total of 361kg











Women's Master: Gila Rapp


Squat: 107kg

Press: 36kg

Deadlift: 114kg


Lifted a total of 257kg












Men's Open AND Men’s Master: Walter Ostrowski


Squat: 238kg

Press: 80kg

Deadlift: 240kg


Lifted a total of 558kg











A big congratulations to all the winners!


*Interested in seeing how strength training can help you feel fit and confident? Sign up for your Starting Strength intro today!

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