Last weekend, Coach John Hudson and the men’s powerlifting team competed at the USA Powerlifting (USAPL) inaugural Texas Collegiate Regional Powerlifting Championship held at South Side High School in San Antonio.
This year, UHD is making the transition from WABDL competitions, a two-lift bench press and deadlift format, to USAPL, a more difficult three-lift squat, bench press and deadlift format. The Championship would be the Gators first competition in this format.
Due to injury, illness and academic ineligibility, the men’s team featured mainly freshmen. But the Gators made the most of their opportunity, defeating the defending USAPL men’s champions The University of Texas. Heavily favored University of Texas -San Antonio placed second, while Texas placed third. Other schools represented include Lamar University, Texas State University, Sam Houston State University , the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana State University, and Palo Alto College.
Some individual highlights of the meet:
- All three UHD women competing in the meet placed first: Sophomore team co-captain Dorthy Tran in the 185 weight class, freshman Cristal Cabral at 158 and freshman Amber Blankemeyer at SHW.
- Medalists among the men were freshman Isaias Gonzalez at 130 pounds – first place, freshman Kenny Nguyen at 145 pounds – first place, sophomore Anthony Grimes at 145 pounds – second, and freshman Michael Alviar at 264 pounds – second.
- Key to the team victory were the bonus points earned by freshman Kenny Nguyen, who won the award for Best Lifter pound-for-pound among lightweight lifters. Nguyen’s performance was exceptional, with a 468.2 pound squat, an incredible 442.0 pound bench press and a 501.5 pound deadlift for a 1412.0 total. His bench press set a new American Collegiate Record and broke the existing American Teen Record by 35 pounds. He also set Collegiate and Teen Records in the total. The bonus points Nguyen earned from his Best Lifter award and his records made the difference in pulling ahead of the other teams.
- Sophomore Jordan Glenn continued his amazing recovery from a catastrophic pectoral tear by benching an all-time best 501.5 pounds in the 205 pound weight class, becoming only the third UHD powerlifting team member to bench 500.
- Freshman super heavy weight Adolfo Gonzales, tipping the scales at 375 pounds, became the fourth UHD powerlifting team member to bench 500 with 501.5 and is the first freshman to accomplish the feat.
Next up for the Gators will be the Aggie Showdown at Texas A&M in February, followed by the WABDL National Collegiate Championships, where UHD will attempt to win an unprecedented seventh consecutive WABDL National Collegiate title. In April, the Gators travel to Orlando to take on approximately 40 other schools at the USAPL National Collegiate Championships. This will be the Gators first time entering the event as a team. If the Texas Regional performance was any indication, the Gators will be ready to make their mark on their biggest stage yet.