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Keydet Powerlifters Claim Team Titles

Cadet Holly Njabo '20 deadlifts during the powerlifting competition in Cocke Hall.

VMI powerlifting team member Holly-Guilaine Njabo '20 deadlifts 231 pounds during a match in Cocke Hall on Jan. 20.—VMI Photo by Chris Floyd.

LEXINGTON, Va., Jan. 30, 2018—The United States Powerlifting Association brought its Collegiate Raw Nationals to VMI’s Cocke Hall Saturday, Jan. 20, and they left behind some hardware.

Seven different VMI lifters took first place in their respective weight classes, and the group of cadet athletes claimed two team titles in one of their most successful competitions ever.

“This is the most champions that we have had at a meet of this level,” said VMI head coach Lt. David Henson. “A lot of the cadets set personal records and broke state records. We are extremely proud of the team.”

Though VMI was awaiting official results to post those state records, Henson and his charges do know that they captured team titles in both the women’s and co-ed divisions in the meet that featured 15 teams from across the country.

Included among the individual winners for VMI was Annie Wilson ’20, who finished first in her division and was named the best junior female lifter at the meet.

To win an individual title, a lifter must complete three lifts in three different disciplines (squat, bench press, and deadlift), and when all of the lifts are tallied, the individual with the highest total weight is declared the winner. Wilson finished with a total of 787 pounds, including a 358-pound deadlift.

Also placing first for VMI was Virginia Villani ’19, who finished with a total of 700 pounds. Abigail Zyk ’20 totaled 721 pounds to win her weight class, while Holly Njabo ’20 finished with 580 pounds to win her weight class.

On the men’s side, Sean Kim ’20 took a top finish with his total of 800 pounds. Alec Ewansik ’20 counted a 490-pound dead lift among his top effort as he finished with a total of 1,255, and Wyatt Fagan took first place as both a squat and deadlift of over 600 pounds contributed to his 1,600-pound total.

“The team has spent a majority of this season preparing for this meet,” Henson said. Coach [Rebecca] Wilder and I are very pleased with the effort that the cadets have shown both in practice and at the competition.”

Preparations now begin for the biggest meets of the season for the Keydets. Next up is the Virginia State Meet, which will be held on post March 10. The USAPL Collegiate Nationals are slated to take place at Texas A&M University in April.

-Chris Floyd



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