Quick Links

Power Lifting 2019
Nick Montgomery and Cortavis Watts pose with their medals from the USA Powerlifting Jacksonville Open Championships.

Ancient alchemists failed miserably at their quest to transmute base metals to gold. By pumping iron, two members of the Beacon College Powerlifting Club produced gold and silver medals this month at the USA Powerlifting Jacksonville Open Championships.

In the club’s first sanctioned competition, Nick Montgomery earned a gold medal in the 93kg weight class, collegiate division. Cortavis Watts hauled in the silver medal in the 83kg weight class, collegiate division.

“I wasn’t expecting to win, so when my name was called I was exhilarated,” said Montgomery, 19, a freshman psychology major. “I am proud to have been able to represent Beacon at the Jacksonville Open and bring home our first ever gold medal.”

Kyle Close, coordinator of club and recreational sports, and a former collegiate powerlifter at Louisiana State University, noticed Montgomery and Watts “pushing heavy weights in the gym daily” and encouraged them to compete.

Power Lifter

Beacon Director of Fitness Steve McDaniels provided the duo with a workout program. Close schooled them on judging criteria and competing in powerlifting meets.

At the meet, every lifter received three attempts at the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Each competitor’s best attempt from each event were added tighter for an individual’s total score.

Montgomery lifted 326 pounds in the squat, benched 247 pounds, and pulled 325 pounds in the deadlift.

In earning the silver medal, Watts squatted 281 pounds, benched 250 pounds, and deadlifted 325 pounds.

“I was surprised and I feel proud of myself for what I did at powerlifting meet,” said Watts, 21, a sophomore from Pensacola, Fla. who majors in graphic design. “I gave it my best and it’s an honor for me to represent Beacon College.”

Florida Powerlifting is the only recognized and official representative for powerlifting. It promotes statewide competitions for amateur athletes 10 years old and up.
Close sees the duo’s performance as setting the table for growing a budding program.

“This was definitely the great start we needed to be able to build this program,” Close said. “I am proud of the lifters for working hard and I cannot wait to see them lift more weight in the future. Looking forward to seeing more lifters come out.”