Limestone Barbell Club members Jaylan Ferguson and Alexander Register recently became the first student-athletes from the University to compete at a USA Powerlifting Collegiate National Championship event.
Earlier this month, nearly 600 lifters representing over 120 institutions from 47 states gathered in Baton Rouge, LA as part of the USAPL National Championship, and Register and Ferguson put together their best performances while under the pressure of the biggest stage in collegiate powerlifting.
Ferguson, a sophomore from Spartanburg, competed on April 10 in the 105 kg (231 lbs.) weight class that included 48 student-athletes. He made all three attempts in the squat, including a personal record on his second attempt with 227.5 kg (501 lbs.) and his 232.5 kg (512 lbs.) third attempt. He continued with another three-for-three performance in the bench press by making 125 kg (275 lbs.), 132.5 kg (292 lbs.), and 135 kg (297 lbs.), the latter two being personal records.
In the deadlift, Ferguson opened with 250 kg (551 lbs.), which gave him a personal record total at 617.5 kg (1,361 lbs.). He jumped to 260 kg (573 lbs.) on his second attempt for a new personal record in the deadlift and another personal record in the total at 627.5 kg (1,383 lbs.). His last attempt in the deadlift with 272.5 kg (600 lbs.) stopped just short of lockout and slipped from his grip. Ferguson placed 28th in his first Collegiate National Championship.
On April 11, Register, a senior from Elgin, SC, competed in the 120 kg (264 lbs.) weight class with 18 others. He started off very well in the squat making all three attempts, 227.5 (501 lbs.), 235 kg (518 lbs.), and 240 kg (529 lbs.), the latter two being personal bests. In the bench press, he opened with 165 kg (363 lbs.), then his second attempt stalled during the upward motion with 170 kg (374 lbs.) and was turned down two-to-one by the judges. Undaunted, Register made the same weight on his third attempt for a new personal record.
In the deadlift, he opened with 232.5 kg (512 lbs.) and then jumped to 242.5 kg (535 lbs.) on his second attempt in an effort to achieve a new personal record in the deadlift and total. While he pulled the weight to completion, it was turned down two-to-one for hitching, a jerking motion while moving upward on the thighs. His third attempt was similar to his second. Despite missing these attempts, Register was able to achieve a personal record in the total with 642.5 kg (1,416 lbs.) and a 12th place finish at his first USAPL National Championship event.
The championships were the fifth competition for Ferguson and Register during the 2020-2021 academic year. Their first competition was in September of last year in Columbia where Register totaled 570 kg (1,256 lbs.) and Ferguson totaled 517.5 kg (1,140 lbs.).
“Through six months of dedicated training, Alex was able to raise his total 72.5 kg (160 lbs.) and Jaylan was able to increase his total by 110 kg (242 lbs.),” said Limestone head coach Adam Blalock, who is an Assistant Professor of Physical Education. “Those efforts allowed these two young men to not just qualify for the National Championship, but to be truly competitive. I am extremely proud of them.”
The Limestone University Barbell Club has been competing regularly in powerlifting and weightlifting since 2014, and it is now supported by the institution’s intramurals program. Blalock has worked in the field of Strength & Conditioning at the collegiate and high school level, as well as in the private sector, throughout his career.
USA Powerlifting is affiliated with the International Powerlifting Federation (IPF), the oldest and most respected powerlifting organization in the world. The IPF has strict and enforced guidelines regarding technical performance and drug testing.
Accompanying photo: Jaylon Ferguson, left, and Alexander Register, right, smiling behind their masks after competing at the USAPL Collegiate & Junior National Championships.