By Taylor Young
New College students are known for their academic strengths, but with a newly resurgent club in campus, they are demonstrating physical strength.
The Powerlifting Club, with new student captains, has grown to about 20 members, and on Nov. 10 will send four lifters to the 16th Annual USA Powerlifting Florida Collegiate State Championships in Orlando.
Powerlifting began last year as Novostrength, launched by student James Nunez. After Nunez’s graduation in May, second-year student captains Jacob Brody-Ogborn and Daniel Schell lead the team. Powerlifting is coached by Jordan Borges, a competitive lifter who has competed with Team USA. He designs the workouts throughout the week.
Brody-Ogborn had been lifting since the age of 3 and had a passion for getting strong and was into different types of lifting. He saw powerlifting and was into it, so he decided to join the team.
Schell is a world-class competitor in archery – he is on Team USA, ranked second in his division – and wanted to become stronger and came to like the sport of powerlifting.
“Competition is very important to me. Powerlifting is no different,” Schell said. “I like pushing myself to high level in almost everything that I do, so it was only natural that I started competing in powerlifting.”
Schell said powerlifting complements archery. “The stronger the archer is, the better they will typically do. You see it all the time; size and strength is evident when you look at who stands on the podium.”
Not everyone is a world-class athlete, of course, and everyone has different reasons for powerlifting – some see it as a way to get a workout in with no intention of competing.
“We are all focused on the same goal of improving ourselves,” Brody-Ogborn said. “We all have different motivations for being on the team but we all share this same goal. This strengthens us as a group.”
That broad appeal has helped the team grow from 10 members at practices last year to 20 members this year. They also are now holding three practices a week, up from two last year. The team’s “mock meet” last year, with New College students competing in a variety of lifts, drew attention. And Brody-Ogborn writes weekly emails inviting the community to participate, and team members sometimes bring friends.
The result is a close community of New College students. “Outside of the weight room we now have a bond with these people,” Brody-Ogborn. “Additionally, the powerlifting workouts are hard so this bonds the team even more because we all know these people have gone through what I have. Respect and friendship build through this.”
“The Powerlifting Team is a really great community here on campus,” Schell said. “I might be having a long day or whatever, and I can come in to the gym and be surrounded by a good group of people who all support each other and hit a workout. I’m really proud of the work that everyone has put in and supported the creation of this team.”
Looking forward to Orlando meet, the three team members who competed last year – Schell, Brody-Ogborn, and Taylor Young – will participate in the regional competition. They’ll be joined by new member Isabella Cibelli Du Terroil. She was interested in powerlifting because of her cousin who is also a lifter.
Although Cibelli Du Terroil was here last year, she didn’t compete in the competition last April because she felt she wasn’t prepared enough. After the mock meet in May and more time to prepare, she felt ready for the upcoming meet.
“I’m excited and a little nervous, but now I feel much more prepared than last year,” Cibelli Du Terroil said. “After the mock meet last year, I like the feeling of competing.”
The Powerlifting Club practices every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the New College Fitness Center.
— Taylor Young is an intern in the office of communications and marketing at New College of Florida.