Powerlifiting Club brings home three top finishes

Barksdale, Gaitan and Buck place at meet

By Alina Hernandez
On April 20, 2017

Photos contributed by Caitlyn Buck

Three members of the Ram Powerlifting Club placed in the top five at the USA Powerlifting Collegiate National Meet held April 7-9 in San Antonio.

Brittney Barksdale placed first in the 185 pound weight Collegiate Raw category. Two other members of the Ram Powerlifting Club placed in the Collegiate Equipped Category.

Alyssa Gaitan placed fourth in the 138 pound weight category. Club President Caitlyn Buck placed fifth in the same category.

"I’m always more excited for Collegiate Nationals than any other meet," Buck said. "It’s an amazing experience and all the college teams there make the atmosphere incredible. There’s nothing else like it."

Faculty sponsor and associate professor of kinesiology Dr. Adam Parker said powerlifters have three attempts each at squat, bench press and deadlift.

"The highest weight successfully lifted for each of the three lifts is added up," he said. "The total of the three lifts is the score for the athlete."

Barksdale squatted 358 pounds, benched 203 pounds and deadlifted 364 pounds.

Gaitan squatted 364 pounds, benched 209 pounds and deadlifted 374 pounds. Buck squatted 370 pounds, benched 198 pounds and deadlifted 364 pounds.

The athletes compete in different weight categories, Parker said. They also compete in either raw or equipped lifting.

"Equipped lifters use special clothing called squat suits, bench shirts and knee wraps," Parker said. "This special equipment provides elastic support to the lifters, enabling them to lift heavier weights than they otherwise would be able to lift."

Athletes do not wear any special equipment in raw lifting.

To qualify for this meet, lifters had to achieve a certain total score at a previous USA Powerlifting meet earlier this year.

Buck lifts four days a week for two to three hours.

"Our workouts are always heavier and more intense to get us ready to perform our best on the platform," Buck said.

Twelve members of the club qualified for the national meet. They were: Frank Callahan of Austin, Ethan Coulter of Fort Worth, Josh Fisher of Katy, Kali Mendez of Sonora, Carlos Ochoa of San Antonio, Tori Reyna of Midland, Josh Williams of Azle, Philip Wilson of Pflugerville and Eddie Zapata of San Antonio.

Buck said there were about 800 lifters at the meet. There were about 30 lifters in her weight class.

"I think a little bit of nerves is a good thing; it shows you really care about it and realize what a big deal it is," Buck said. "But as long as I feel really prepared, I don’t get too nervous. We work really hard all year and this is our chance to show what we can do."

Some of the schools represented at the meet were the University of Texas, Texas A&M, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy and numerous others.

Members of the Powerlifting Club will compete in at least two more meets this year.

"At least one member will be competing at the USAPL Bench Nationals, in June," Parker said. "Several more will compete at a meet called Summer Powerfest. It usually goes on in August."

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