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Ottawa University Gains Powerlifting as Varsity Sport

By Jon Painter
On September 28, 2018

Photo by Bruna Pacheco

Ottawa University is one of the few schools in the region to add men and women’s powerlifting to its sport repertoire. While many colleges have powerlifting as a club sport, Ottawa University has continued to grow its athletic teams with this addition as a varsity scholarship sport. With powerlifting, Ottawa now fields 28 varsity teams.

The Braves powerlifting team is coached by Dillon Adams. Adams is also the Director of Athletic Performance at Ottawa University. Currently, the roster is composed of three women and four men, though Adams says there will be additional multi-sport athletes joining in the spring after their primary sport’s season is finished.

Squat, bench and deadlift are the three lifts Braves athletes must execute at a powerlifting competition. Powerlifters have three attempts at each lift and are ranked based on the sum of the three weight totals.

“It’s a team sport, but it’s very individualistic,” Adams says.

Athletes will have the opportunity to qualify for nationals both as a team and individually.

The powerlifting team will compete in national qualifying meets. Adams says the first meet for the Braves powerlifting team is Dec. 5 in Lawrence, Kansas. After a team or athlete qualifies for nationals, the athlete will go on to compete against other qualifiers in April.

Adams says, “I would like us to grow to 15 to 20 just pure powerlifters, and then with that, qualify 10 to 12 every year for nationals and have a few national champions.”

His goal is to be known nationally while competing and winning against the likes of big schools such as KU, Kansas State and Ohio State.

“People know that if Ottawa is at a meet they’re really going to have to bring it so they can beat us,” Adams says.

Freshman X’zaviare Hampton, a member of both the Ottawa University competitive cheer and powerlifting teams, says he is excited for the start of powerlifting.

“I feel like it’s honestly an amazing honor to be a part of this, just even a part of this school in general, so I’m going to go out there and do my freaking best,” Hampton says.

Hampton also offers some advice for those undecided about their college future or about whether or not they should join the powerlifting team.

“If it’s something that you like to do or it’s something were you want to build your strength, go ahead and do it because you’re going to have a really fun experience. …Not only that, but he (Adams) is going to get you right, he is going to get you were you want to be.”

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