May 9, 2012

Three engineers helped bring another national championship to the LSU Powerlifting Club at the USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nations held at the Crown Plaza Executive Center in Baton Rouge April 13-15.

Jacob Beckham, Malcolm Richard and Jonathan Pepper, all biological engineering students, aided the team in their own ways at nationals. Beckham did not get to compete, just missing the qualifying total. He, along with many other members of the teams, worked as a handler. The handlers help the lifters warm up, put on equipment and wrap their knees, which ensures the lifters don’t have to waste any more energy than they need to.

“We always work as a team,” Beckham said. “If you’re not lifting that day, you’re handling someone.”

Richard did not only compete in the 100 kg weight class, but also placed first. Richard had a squat best of 330 kg, a bench press best of 180 kg and a deadlift best of 348 kg for a total of 855.5 points, just half a point ahead of the second place finisher. Pepper competed in the 90 kg weight class but did not place.

“It was an amazing journey and the championship would not have been possible without the family-like dynamic the team has developed over the past year,” Beckham said. “I could go on forever about how proud I am of every member, women’s team included, for persevering through rigorous training and hardship and not allowing anything to stand in the way of themselves or their teammates. It was an honor and a privilege to share a victory with such a well deserving group of people.”


Article written by Eric Camaradale, communications student worker. For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, or (225) 578-0092.

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