By: Mary Ann Cozza
Waldo Villarreal, a senior criminal justice major and the UHD powerlifting team’s co-captain, scored big in a recent match thanks to his dedication and focus under pressure.
Villarreal earned first place in the Collegiate Division and third place in the Junior Division at the USA Powerlifting (USAPL) National Bench Press Championship held in Orlando, Fla. earlier this month.
He qualified for this prestigious meet by winning his division at the USAPL Spring Powerfest held this past July in Spring, Texas. In Orlando, Villarreal struggled with the extremely tight judging, missing his first two attempts of three on technicalities. On the third attempt, he came back to successfully lock out a 336.0 pound lift.
To add more pressure to the situation, this meet was also the first time Villarreal has lifted at a contest without his UHD teammates or head coach John Hudson, assistant professor of English.
Coach Hudson said, “Waldo’s fine performance under such challenging conditions reflects the mental focus and discipline he has developed and honed since he joined UHD’s powerlifting team as a freshman in 2008.”