Eleven members of UHD Powerlifting competed in the 2015 USAPL National Collegiate Powerlifting Championships in Atlanta, Georgia from April 10-12, a meet that featured a record of 400 competitors from 50 schools.
The men’s team placed 8th in – the same placing they earned in 2014 – finishing 8 points behind 7th place Army, while defeating 33 other teams, including such powers as Louisiana Tech, Penn State, and Boston College.
Team captain Kenny Nguyen, a sophomore, earned the highest place for UHD, finishing second in the 145 weight class with a personal best 1455 total for the three lifts–squat, bench press, and deadlift–and improving on his fourth place finish as a freshman in 2014. Kenny will represent the United States as a member of Team USA at the International Powerlifting Federation’s Bench Press World Championships to be held in Sweden in May, where he is well positioned to break the Junior World Record for his weight class. Sophomore Isaias Gonzalez placed third with a personal best total of 1162.9 in the 130 weight class. At superheavyweight, Jaime Villa placed 7th.
The women’s squad earned a combined score of 22 points, securing an 8th place finish. The Gator women finished ahead of 25 other teams, including Boise State, Louisiana Tech, and UCLA.
Yazmin Trujillo, a walk-on member lifting in the 103 weight class, pulled a clutch final-attempt deadlift of 242.5 lbs. to move up to 7th place in a weight class stacked with more experienced women. Senior co-captain Briana Villarreal followed suit in the 158 weight class, pulling an impressive final deadlift of 413 lbs. to secure a 6th place finish in a field of over 40 very strong women. UHD’s heavyweight duo of freshman Priscilla Perez and sophomore Amber Blankemeyer battled to earn 4th and 5th place, respectively.
“The performance of our lifters at this meet against the highest level of competition in collegiate powerlifting bodes well for the 2015-16 academic year,” said coach John Hudson. “With the experience and talent already on the team, combined with what promises to be our most talented recruiting class ever, the Gators will be a top-five team at the 2016 USAPL National Collegiate Powerlifting Championships.”