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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Second annual powerlifting meet uplifts community, awards three men, one woman

Breze Reyes / Hilltop Views
Senior Ellyzabeth Morales-Ledesma prepares for the squat. She competes against herself as the only woman in the meet. She took home the women’s division prize.

RecWell hosted the second annual powerlifting meet where students competed against each other for prizes on Nov. 4 in the Recreation and Athletic Center. Powerlifting is a competitive strength sport where athletes lift their maximum weight in the three main lifts: squat, bench and deadlift. The goal is to lift the heaviest weight they can successfully.

Freshman Chris Guerrero competes in the deadlift. He was the middleweight winner and the overall winner, lifting the heaviest weight for a total of 1,235 pounds. (Breze Reyes / Hilltop Views)

The competition is divided into weight classes, so all athletes with the same body weight are in the same category. The athletes are allowed three attempts, divided into rounds. For this meet, each competitor started at the weight they were confident with and added more in the following round. 

There were three groups in the men’s division. The lightweight winner was sophomore Jesiah Rodriguez. The middleweight winner was freshman Chris Guerrero, who also was the overall winner with the highest total of 1,235 pounds and the heaviest of each lift. The heavyweight winner was sophomore Ahmed Alnoman. The women’s division winner was senior Ellyzabeth Morales-Ledesma.

There are certain criteria that the athletes must meet to make a successful lift. For the squat, judges look for balance with the bar, depth in the squat and the ability to follow the commands. Athletes must wait for a “rack” command before putting the bar back. For the bench press, they need to unrack the bar, lower it to their chest, extend their arms up and wait for the “rack” command before putting it back on the rack. For the deadlift, athletes must start in the correct position, lift the bar smoothly without any hiccups, stand up fully extended and wait for the “down” command to drop the bar.

The idea to start a powerlifting meet on campus originated with the competitive sports coordinator, Brian Romaniello.

Junior Paul Trevino competes in the deadlift. The athlete starts at a weight he was comfortable with and adds more each round. (Breze Reyes / Hilltop Views)

“The goal is to build community,” Romaniello said. “We’re looking for this to be taken on by a team, for club sports to have a powerlifting team so it can be a tradition that continues. Maybe even have a budget to expand and possibly invite other schools.” 

Last year, zero women participated in the meet. This year, there was one: Ellyzabeth Morales-Ledesma. 

“I wish there were more girls so I could actually have someone to compete with,” Morales-Ledesma said. “Last year I didn’t compete because I would’ve been the only girl. This year I told myself to compete even if I was the only girl because girls need to see that other girls can do it.”

Eleiko Sports lended St. Edward’s with a deadlift platform, a bar, full kit of calibrated kilogram plates, plate racks and deadlift loader. This allowed the meet to flow better and happen a lot faster than the previous meet.

“We have traction, I think a lot of people on campus really like powerlifting,” fitness coordinator and meet judge Aldo Samaia said. “I think it’s definitely something that we are going to keep doing in the future. As for me, I don’t know if I’ll always judge, who knows maybe one day I’ll compete.”

RecWell will continue to have this competition annually, and they are hoping to expand the meet. They hope to have more participants in both women’s and men’s divisions and possibly be able to invite other schools.

Ahmed Alnoman is a sophomore competing in the deadlift. He was the winner of the heavyweight group. (Breze Reyes / Hilltop Views)
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Breze Reyes
Breze Reyes, Staff Writer
Breze is a senior majoring in communication with a minor in journalism and digital media. It is her second semester writing for Hilltop Views. During her free time, Breze likes to be outside in the sun, hang out with friends, practice yoga, swim at the lake/Barton Springs, read books and try new restaurants.

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