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Hofstra's powerlifting team makes way for women

Adrenaline and upbeat music filled the air as competitors from the Hofstra Powerlifting Team got ready to face their opponents in the Hofstra Fitness Center at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. This was the first time Hofstra hosted a Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate (RPS) competition, bringing attention to the powerlifting team and its members. The meet was composed of different lifts, such as squats, dead lifts and bench presses, which were judged by a panel. Each judge decides if a lift was a pass or fail. To pass, the lifter must receive two out of the three judge’s approval.

Stephanie Tattrie, a junior Japanese and computer science major and vice president of the Powerlifting Team, said, “I’m really excited about it because it gives a lot of attention to the Powerlifting Team. A lot of times I feel like we’re overlooked, but this gives us a good name.”

Four members of the Hofstra Powerlifting Team competed. Those who were not competing acted as spotters or came to show support for their teammates.

Although powerlifting is often perceived as a primarily male sport, women at Hofstra have been making their mark.

Credit to wikimedia

 Senior accounting major Margaret O’Callaghan joined the team two months ago and competed for her first time on Saturday. She explained that being a member of the team has allowed her to practice the sport more comfortably.

Beaming after clearing her opening squat of 140 pounds, O’Callaghan said that lifting has long been something that interested her, but she was “always too scared” to try it in her normal gym routine because she was intimidated by the equipment and other people in the Fitness Center.

When asked if she had ever felt any intimidation at practices when lifting alongside the men – some lifting 600 pounds – O’Callaghan said she felt completely welcome on the team.

“[The team is] so nice and wants you to do well,” O’Callaghan said.

Some athletes enter RPS as single entries. Keaton Simmons, a freshman finance major explained the benefit of competing with a group. 

Simmons said, “It helps to be on a team, to have people back you up.”

Coach Taylor Acosta is a Hofstra Powerlifting Team alumna. Back in 2013, Acosta started lifting and was the only girl on the team. Now, the team has five or six active female members.

“I feel like me being a coach helped with that,” Acosta said. As a recent graduate, this is Acosta’s first year as a coach. Acosta hopes to be a good role model and show other women that they can “lift heavy.”

Junior exercise science major Jamie Zimmerman said that the greatest thing she has taken away from being on the Powerlifting Team is the ability to “not be afraid to push your boundaries.”

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