Jim Rush had a meteoric and accomplished powerlifting career. He won the USPF Teenage Nationals, USPF Collegiate Nationals, and won Nationals (Juniors Nationals) before the age of twenty.* This was when powerlifting in the United States consisted of only one organization. In 1979, at the Senior National in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in the 148 class, Jim went 551 319 595 1466 and tied  Clyde Wright for first place and a berth on the world team. However, he lost on body weight. At the time, Jim was one of the top three 148ers in the world. Later that year, Clyde Wright became world champion.

Subsequently, Jim moved up to the 165 pound weight class and his squat shot up to a world class level. Prior to the 1982 USPF Senior Nationals, Jim was handling world record poundage in training. At the 1982 USPF Seniors, Jim squatted 666 pounds, but missed a 705 pound squat. Jim’s best lifts @ 165 were 666 374 650 1642. In 1984, at the ADPFA Nationals in Rosemont, IL, Jim took second place in the 165 place via 595 325 573 1493.
*Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Junior Nationals was open to any powerlifter who had not won Junior Nationals or Senior Nationals.