UNCG students show strength last Saturday at Rec

Madison Wyker/The Carolinian

Madison Wyker/The Carolinian

By Daniel Johnson, Staff Writer

Published in print Apr. 1, 2015

What do you usually do for your Saturday morning?

Sleep in following a long school week? Sleep in after a night of young adult debauchery? Sleep in just because you enjoy sleeping? Typically, I partake in the third of these options. Yet, my Saturday slumber was disturbed somewhat due to an exciting event which occured at the UNCG Recreational Center this past Saturday.

On a bright, early afternoon, about two-dozen students were packed into the cramped weight room of the Rec Center to watch or participate in the second annual Bench Press Competition.

The rules of the contest are simple: All you need is one good lift of the maximum amount of weight you feel you can do. You get three attempts of lifting the weight amount you’ve chosen.

However, the competition was not so much focused on how much weight a single person can lift; it was more focused on the camaraderie of the members in the competition.

Every time a participant would hit their chest as they brought the weight-bar down, preparing to push the bar back up, the bystanders and competitors would cheer them on.

The best moments came when the lifter would struggle to push the bar up, and those in attendance would turn into a motivational coach and cheer the person on.

The moment when the person lifting would extend his or her arms, completing the round, the room would explode in cheers and applauds.

In the twenty minutes between the final lifter and tallying up the final scores, people were lifting with their competitors around them, counting how many seconds they can hold the bar.

The noon competition opened with the female competitors first.

Following the competition, I met up with two of the competitors and asked how they felt they did.

Graduate students Courtney Hartnett and Myra Stockdale both enjoyed the day, but felt like they could have done better.

“I never done one of these before, and though I was disappointed that I did not get 115 pounds, it has been cool to meet and talk to people,” Hartnett said.

“It has been a really good experience— I wanted to hit 165” Stockdale said.

“I got to 175 and failed, but it has been a really fun experience seeing all these people trying to get the same type of goal I am,” Stockdale concluded.

Following the female competitors were the male lifters, who varied in size and classes from as light as 140 pounds all the way up to 240 pounds.

After the competition ended and while people waited to hear who won, junior Nathan Donnelly and senior Marcus Shiraldo both talked about the day they had.

“I could have been better, but it was not too bad” said Donnelly.

“I always feel like I could do a little better” was Shiraldo’s response.

For athletes like the competitors on Saturday, they always feel like they could do a little better as they continually seek ways to improve.

Pushing a little harder, lifting a little more or having better technique are the usual thoughts of weight lifters following a day of pushing weights.

As much as the lifters enjoyed each other’s company, it was still a competition.

The first place winners for the male and female competition were Shiloh Bryant and Christina Dart, respectively.

The winners received a gift bag featuring water bottles and an external battery charger.

However, everyone competing was a winner that day for one reason.

All those competing got a free t-shirt!

Though, as rewarding as t-shirts are, technically there were only two winners, which were Shiloh Bryant and Christina Dart.

But the event was extremely successful, and the Rec Center will try to accomplish the same thing next year for their third annual competition.

Categories: daniel johnson, madison wyker, Sports

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