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Fresno State Powerlifting Club Advances to World University Championships
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By News
Published 2 weeks ago on
June 10, 2024

Fresno State's Powerlifting Club is heading to the FISU World University Championships in Estonia this summer. (Fresno State News)

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Fresno State’s Powerlifting Club recently competed at the 2024 University National Championships on April 11 in Reno, Nevada, where the Bulldogs placed first in the men’s division and second in the women’s division.

The wins advance the club to the FISU World University Championships July 23 through 27 at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

“Words can’t describe how proud we are of everyone who competed,” the team said via Instagram. “Placing (in) our first national-level meet was beyond our expectations.”

The Powerlifting Club was established in fall 2022 by a small group of friends who were gathering at a gym in Fresno and wanted to bring the sport to campus. The powerlifting team now consists of 25 students.

Powerlifting is a sport that involves lifting the maximum amount of weight possible in three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. Athletes have three attempts in each lift, totaling nine lifts performed during a competition. The weight of their best squat, bench press, and deadlift are added up for their total score.

‘Heart of Gold’

“When Roman (Pawar), Simon (Zhamkochyan), Michael (Perez), and Aaron (Rettig) first started envisioning our future club we saw a team that was not only strong in strength but in heart too. We can say with certainty that every one of our teammates has (a heart) of gold,” the Instagram post added.

The Powerlifting Club is open to all students, including those who do not have prior powerlifting experience.

Annika Vong, a third-year political science major who is new to powerlifting, said, “Before this, I had no experience. (Being on the team) has been such a great, (empowering) experience, and I’ve found a family here.”

The team posted on Instagram, “It brought tears to our eyes seeing the teamwork and support in our own team, and the kindness and friendliness being extended out to other teams (at the national championships) as well. Words can’t describe how proud we are of the whole team and we can’t wait to see what we will do next.”

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