Bench press competition lets participants show strength

Matt Orszag

Twenty-five competitors woke up early Saturday morning to lift in the Bench Press Competition at the Kent State Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

The format of the competition allowed each participant to lift one at a time. Competitors walked into the multi-purpose gym, where a bench press was centered in the room with one spotter and two weight-adjusters, ready to begin the competition.

As each competitor had his or her name announced, he or she laid on the bench. To complete a full bench press, a participant must lower the weight to the chest and lift the weight back onto the supporting rack bars. A competitor who didn’t keep his or her back straight did not receive credit for the bench press. An official cleared each bench press by giving the thumbs up or thumbs down for a success or failure.

When a competitor seemed to stall, chants of “up, up, up” and “press, press, press” were shouted from fellow competitors for extra encouragement.

Britton Miller, senior general studies major, said it was a lot of fun.

“I saw the flyer and thought it would be fun,” Miller said. “I’ve maxed out at 355 before, but I didn’t do as well as I thought I would. Maybe I didn’t have the right technique, since I wasn’t able to do as well as I thought I would today.”

Ben Cope, recreation program coordinator, said he enjoyed seeing all the participants compete.

“I thought it went well and everything was well-organized,” Cope said.

“Everyone who came made it a great tournament to watch.”

Vince Dangerfield, senior exercise science major, announced the names during the competition.

“The event went really smooth,” Dangerfield said. “It was good to see so many people coming out for it. The sponsor helped tie in what the competition is about—people challenging themselves.”

Mezomorphx, a fitness company, sponsored the competition. A raffle after the competition awarded participants with Rockne’s gift cards, Jimmy Johns subs and Kent State T-shirts. The male and female winners of the competition each received a Mezomorphx T-shirt and a free three-hour massage.

Matt Soeder, faculty member in recreational services, won the men’s weight-lifting competition.

“It was really exciting,” Soeder said. “It was the first competition I’ve won and was a lot of fun.”

Tempest’t Ziegler, senior technology major, won the women’s weight-lifting competition.

“It feels good [to win],” Ziegler said. “This is the second competition I’ve won, and it was good to see more people this year. It was really fun.”

Contact Matt Orszag at [email protected].