Wildcats weightlifting team get set to defend national title

MARQUETTE — The Northern Michigan University Olympic Training Site weightlifting team is heading to New Orleans for the National University Championships.

The Wildcats are the defending champions, after taking home the top honors in the men’s, women’s and coed categories last year, including five total overall medals. The team comes in with 36 athletes, the largest roster in the program’s 13–year history, which is comprised of returning and new lifters, who all have one goal which is to bring the championship back home.

“Getting to see the team win last year, I was offered the option to go and I chose not to, to prepare for a different meet. And now I’ve been regretting it so that’s why I’m going to this one because I want to be on a winning team. The competition looks a lot stiffer this year so I’m excited,” said Tom Piscopo.

“It will be an awesome feeling. Just coming up from school and being able to say, from high school going to college, that we’re the best. It will mean a lot. I’ll get to go back home and tell the story. I had part in a national championship,” Taylor Turner said.

“I feel great about our chances. The main thing is to get each individual to just do what their supposed to do, what they know they can do, because it is an individual sport, and not worry too much about the team standing. It’s more about getting each athlete to do their job and to perform well for themselves. And at the end you see how the team made out,” said head coach Vance Newgard.

The event will take place starting Thursday in New Orleans and will continue throughout the weekend.