Ten members of the Florida Polytechnic University Women’s Powerlifting team competed in the USA Powerlifting Collegiate State Championship in Orlando, Florida, on Dec. 3-4. Madison Yonash, the team’s captain and coach, and Breanne Menikheim qualified for the national powerlifting championship competition to be held next April in Texas.
“It was a super amazing experience,” said Yonash, a junior majoring in business analytics. “Every one of us totaled – that means they got at least one of their attempts for squat, bench, and deadlift.”
For the second straight year, Yonash qualified to compete at the national level. She tied for third in her weight class and will travel with Menikheim to Arlington, Texas, for the 2023 USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals on April 13-16.
“Overall, my main goal was to have fun, but my other two goals were to qualify for nationals and to break 200 pounds on the bench,” said mechanical engineering sophomore Menikheim, who placed second in her weight class. “I was able to accomplish all of those things. It was a great meet for me.”
For Yonash, who is also the team’s founder, the experience of competing alongside so many women from Florida Poly was inspiring.
“It makes me so happy to see how the team has progressed,” she said. “It was so nice seeing our group in our purple singlets and being able to cheer them on as they cheered me on.”
Alyssa Wagner, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, said she was proud to compete at the Orlando event and see the strength shown by women from across the state.
“It’s amazing to see what humans are capable of,” Wagner said. “I was able to hit my personal record and had a great time.”
The team spirit on display at the event is what powerlifting is all about, Yonash said.
“The most important thing is the community we have cultivated,” she said. “I’ve had multiple girls say they would have never started lifting if it was not for this team giving them the confidence to get to the gym and try new things.”
Learn more about Florida Poly’s Women’s Powerlifting at the link or stop by the gym at the Student Development Center at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays to join practice.
Director of Communications