The University of Rhode Island’s powerlifting team competed at the collegiate Cup Powerlifting Meet at Foxwoods Resort Casino last Saturday.

This event was put on by USA Powerlifting, a reputable powerlifting federation. The university was represented by 32 athletes. The majority of the competition included athletes from Northeastern University and Boston College.

Powerlifting is a sport that consists of three different weightlifting exercises. These exercises are the squat, the bench and the deadlift.

The team at the University of Rhode Island was created last year by Daniel Reagan with the help of several other students. The club became recognized by the URI Student Senate at the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester. The team has over 50 athletes who train together in preparation to compete in powerlifting at the collegiate level.

For many of URI’s athletes, this was the first powerlifting meet they had ever competed in. But what the team lacked in experience they made up for in camaraderie and enthusiasm. Each time an athlete from URI stepped onto the stage to lift, the rest of the onlooking team would begin to roar with encouragement.

“I loved the feeling of being up on the stage and having everyone watch as you struggled to be better then you have ever been before ” said powerlifting team member Kelli Hingerton.

The team proved to be competitive as it had 11 of its 32 athletes place top three in their respective weight classes. This early success demonstrates the huge potential the team has as a whole as they continue to train and better themselves for further competition. Below is a summary of the athletes who medaled.

Gina Beretta placed first in the 52 kg weight class. Heather Wolfenden placed second in the 63 kg weight class. Kelli Hingerton placed third in the 72 kg weight class. Cassandra Czarn placed second in the 84 kg weight class.  Jeff Book placed first in the 66 kg weight class. Tommy Gottschalk placed first in the 83 kg weight class. Daniel Reagan placed second in the 83 kg weight class. Connor Cronan placed third in the 93 kg weight class. Peter Tho placed second in the 105 kg weight class. Chris Lato placed third in the 120 kg weight class. Steve Carabitses placed second in the 120 kg-plus weight class.

“The atmosphere at the meet was amazing,” said URI powerlifting team member Colby Sousa. “Our team really came together and showed how much we all love the sport and each other. It was a lot of fun and I am grateful to have had this experience. I can truly call this team my family.”

The team’s next competition will be at the beginning of the spring semester.