“Once you get under that bar, this heat comes in your face from the lights and the judges and you just get this adrenaline rush. You grab the bar, tighter than you ever have at practice… and you make the lift and it’s the best feeling ever,” Sara said, her face excited at just the memory of competing at her last powerlifting meet. Only two years before, Sara Pelletier, treasurer of the Penn State Powerlifting Team, had never even heard of the sport.
As a freshman, she was standing in line at the White Building when a member of the team struck up a conversation with her. Pelletier, impressed by the girl’s 135-pound bench press, decided to attend a meeting and when she met some new friends on the team, she was sold. While she valued the team and individual aspects of the sport as well as the challenge that it presented, it was the diversity and welcoming nature of the members that made her stick to it.
Starting with a max squat of 85 pounds and now at a max of 250 pounds, Pelletier has not only taken on a new sport, but has committed to a lifestyle that has changed everything. She has lost weight, improved her self-esteem, made best friends and a boyfriend on the team, and has become a force to be reckoned with on the competitive roster. Her goals include making gains in all her lifts, improving her technique, and performing well at Collegiate Nationals in Providence, Rhode Island in the spring.
About the Contributors
Senior / Photojournalism and Spanish
Haley Nelson is a senior pursuing majors in Photojournalism and Spanish as well as minors in International Studies and Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies. Her dream is to be a foreign correspondent, telling stories and sharing news abroad.
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Abhar Shah is a senior from Easton, PA majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in sociology. After spending two years at Penn State Berks he looks forward to achieving great things in his time up at University Park. His passion for sports writing and broadcasting began when he went to his first Celtics game in 2010. In the future, he hopes to be writing for the Boston Celtics or working for ESPN. His experience range from being a part of the football and basketball staff on ComRadio to interning for WPSU Sports Production and StateCollege.com. In addition, Abhar also is a part of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalists and a huge contributor to THON having danced his sophomore year and now is part of the R&R committee.