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GCU Powerlifting Hosts Femme Fatale Meet in 2nd On-Campus Event

Lopes Powerlifting
September 29, 2021

Lopes’ lifter Madison Willis takes 2nd place in division

By: Giovanni Hicks/ GCU Club Sports Writing staff

“It was truly inspirational to compete in this event alongside such strong women.”

Lopes’ lifter Madison Willis will cherish this moment for a long time.

After hosting a successful powerlifting meet on GCU’s campus for the first time in August, the Grand Canyon University Powerlifting Club collaborated again with Preacher Power Barbell Club to host the United States Powerlifting Association Femme Fatale Powerlifting Meet at GCU’s Canyon Activities Center. The all-women’s meet included over 40 women, ranging from the ages of 18 to 65. GCU’s own Madison Willis claimed second place in her division, which is an impressive feat considering this was Willis’ first official powerlifting meet.

“I wanted to go out there, have fun, and hit personal records on all my lifts,” said Willis. “I was able to do just that.”

Willis lifted a total of 495 pounds – posting a 187-pound squat, 88-pound bench press, and 220-pound deadlift. The sophomore lifted 104 pounds on her third bench press attempt, which would have put her total at 511 pounds, but the meet judges deemed the attempt unsuccessful because Willis lifted her hips off the bench.

“I know that I need to improve my bench press technique,” said Willis. “Other than that, I felt great about all my lifts.”

The overwhelming encouragement from the audience and other lifters inspired Willis’ performance.

“The support during this meet was through the roof,” said Willis. “There was never a quiet moment in the gym. Thank you to all the women that competed, and everyone that came out to support us.”

Lopes’ Head Coach Jimmy Vasquez, who helped Willis prepare for her first meet, was impressed by her performance on the platform.

“She made it look easy out there,” said Vasquez. “Her training and preparation were great. I can’t wait to see what she does in her next meet.”

Vasquez made it his goal last year to add more women to the club. After an outstanding turnout in both events, he recognized the ability of on-campus meets to draw more female interest.

“Having events like this certainly helps us expand and reach more female athletes on campus,” said Vasquez. “I’ve had more women than ever show interest in the club after having these on-campus meets.”

Vasquez will be competing next for the Lopes on November 7 in the USPA Drug Tested World Championship Meet in Costa Mesa, California.

If you have questions about joining the powerlifting club, fill out a prospective athlete form here.