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Powerlifting: Cajuns Place Second at Collegiate Nationals – epic and video link included

Click here for epic and video (coming soon) of the recent 2008 national, courtesy of Kirk Lavergne, Powerlifting Club President:  http://www.angelfire.com/theforce/ragincajuns/ 

  On the weekend of April 10-14, the UL Lafayette Men’s Powerlifting team nearly accomplished a monumental feat at the Collegiate National Championships in Denver, Colorado. Although 45 Universities bring teams to the annual competition, Louisiana Tech has dominated the sport for the past 35 years and has placed first at the competition in 14 of the last 15 years. ULL was seeded 4th going into this competition and nobody (except us) thought we had a chance at upsetting the perennial champs with our team of mostly underclassmen. In the end, it came down to the last lift of the day and we placed second by a single heart-breaking point:

First place–La Tech–58 points

Second place–ULL–57 points

Third place–West Point–50 points

            Nearly every member of the ULL team lifted more then they had ever previously lifted during this three day competition and some lifters totaled over 200-pounds more than their previous best. It was, without a doubt, the best performance the ULL powerlifting team has ever put together and in the end, 6 men and 1 woman were named All-American for their performance. All-American status is awarded to all lifters who place in the top three of their respective weight class. ULL All-Americans are listed below:

181 pound class—Melissa Scott was our lone female All-American. Melissa, a freshman from Pineville High School, rocketed herself into third place with a massive 259-bench press.

114 pound class–Justin Doan, a 19-year old freshman from East Beauregard High School, came through with a clutch 314 pound deadlift to edge out the first seeded West Point lifter and take first place.

123 pound class–Demetrius Thomas, a 19-year old freshman from Byrd High School in Shreveport managed to place third thanks to an incredible 380-pound squat and a 380-pound deadlift.

132 pound class–Chris Wright, a 20-year old sophomore from Abbeville High School, deadlifted a personal best of 429-pounds on his way to a third place finish.

148 pound class–Mike Broussard, a 19-year old freshman from Cecilia High School, was one of the most dominant lifters of the meet. His lifts of 479 in the squat, 347 in the bench press, and 507 in the deadlift placed him first in the Nation in the 148 class. 

242 pound class–Kerry Louque, a junior from St Charles High School in LaPlace, is our team captain and the leader of the team. At the request of the coach, Kerry gained 25-pound in two months to lift two weight classes higher than he usually competes. He weighed in as the lightest person in his weight class and finished third with a 639 squat, 424 bench press, and a massive 650 pound deadlift.

275 pound class–Colin White, a 19-year old freshman from Northshore High School, came into the meet seeded fifth and nearly pulled off the upset of the meet. Colin, knowing that he had to win first place for our team to defeat La Tech, somehow totaled 164-pounds more than he ever had before. He squatted 667 pounds, bench pressed 440 pounds, and deadlifted 606 pounds to give him the lead. Just after Colin pulled 606, in the last lift of the three day competition, a lifter from the University of Florida pulled 611 pounds and placed first (over Colin) by 5-pounds. It was the most dramatic finish to a Collegiate Powerlifting meet that I had ever witnessed.

Fortunately, we kept our chins up. We were all proud of our second place finish and the best part is the fact that only one senior will be lost to graduation. All of the other 35 team members will be returning for next year’s competition which will be hosted by LSU. We will start training next week with one goal in mind…a national title in 2009!!

Results of ULL lifters

114—Adrianne Thibodeaux—4th place

165—Abby Holmes—4th place

198—Melissa Scott—3rd place 

198—Trish Green—3rd place

114—Justin Doan—1st place

123—Demetrius Thomas—3rd place

132—Chris Wright—3rd place

148—Mike Broussard—1st place

148—Jeff Melancon—did not place

165—Sam Benentt—4th place

165—Dexter Salters—10th place

181—Mike Melancon—5th place

181—Carl Landry—6th place

198—JP Vincent—18th place

242—Kerry Louque—3rd place

242—Nick Mayon—did not place

275—Colin White—2nd place

Travis Werner,  Coach, UL Powerlifting Team