Fifty-two of Ontario’s strongest post-secondary students competed at the Ontario Powerlifting Association’s fourth annual College and University meet on Feb. 6.
And they were a lot stronger than last year.
The competition, hosted by Seneca College in Markham, hosted athletes from 21 different Ontario post-secondary schools lift, breaking a total of 31 Ontario collegiate records on the day.
Despite a rough start, London, Ontario’s Jacob Hall ran away with both best overall lifter and lifter’s choice awards — at his first-ever competition.
Representing Fanshawe College, Hall overcame some bad squat attempts, and a failed water-cut that forced him to move up into the 183-pound weight class.
“The squat I opened with is usually pretty easy, but today it felt like such a grind,” Hall said. “First meet jitters hit, and I jumped up to 518 (pounds) which was just way too heavy.”
Despite missing his second and third attempts, Hall’s day took a turn for the better.
“I came back strong on the bench, and that felt really good. It was a lot of work I put into it, and I’m just really happy with the result.”
On the day, Hall squatted 496, bench-pressed 292 and dead lifted 612 pounds for a 1400 pound total, at 166 pounds bodyweight.
Brock University’s Leandra Parker won best female lifter and the University of Waterloo won best team.
Chris Sousa, organizer of the event, praised the athletes for their etiquette, and hard work on the day.
“We love the lifters that come out,” Sousa said. “They’re athletes in a class of their own, really respectful.”
In addition to continuing to provide meets for local lifters and grow the sport within the community, Sousa hopes to one day branch out, and organize a much larger meet.
“We’d like to host a national collegiate championship, or help out with a world collegiate meet. Until then, as you guys keep coming, we’ll keep hosting meets for years to come.”
Going forward, Hall plans on competing at the OPA Provincial Championships later this year, and Canadian Nationals in 2017.