Men’s Varsity Win for CUPLC in 2022
Cambridge 662.68 - Oxford 640.96 Results
This was a historical year, being the first time the Varsity Match was split into a separate Men’s and Women’s event. The men were lifting after the women, so after a night of plentiful sleep they marched to their home territory to defend their title. And straight into the battle we arrived, as the Light Blue women fought a nail-biting deadlift battle with the Dark Blues to eventual victory. With Women’s Captain Beatrice Fishwick having decisively led the Light Blues to their inaugural win, it was now time for the Men to complete the job.
Our Men’s team was a professional, elite unit unlike any seen in previous years. Under the guidance of the Men’s Captain, Raghul Parthipan, the team had diligently trained to maximise their performances at Varsity, sacrificing prospects of individual glory in other meets for that of the team. The goal of each member was purely to maximise their strength on the day. All the thinking (handling, attempt selection) was to be done by a hand-picked team of high-level coaches: Suzanne Goulder, Remi Rufus-Toye and Greg Loosen.
Following a weigh-in with minor tensions between the hungry and thirsty Light and Dark Blues, everyone took in some calories, got warmed up and entered Squats. After an unlucky call on depth on his second attempt, Seb Cornwell sunk his third of 207.5kg and fought through to clinch useful kilos. Fresher Brandon Teh put up a massive 215kg with ease, and the multi-talented Stelios Sarentellis-Komninellis (judo Full Blue) squatted 222.5kg in his favourite lift. Raghul secured the heaviest squat of the Cambridge men with 230kg, having made a good comeback from a challenging ankle injury. The biggest squat of the day was taken by the Dark Blue Charlie Kidd, who dealt with a sizable 277.5kg. Despite this, the Cambridge men had put themselves into a comfortable lead of 7 points as we went into Bench.
During the Bench, the lifters from both sides continued to build their totals. In the first flight, Santosh Guru pressed a mighty 100kg at only 59kg bodyweight. Harry Cookson did not let his missed third attempt squat faze him, and secured a notable 140kg in his last bench. And Miguel Ohnesorge tied Charlie (but at a lower bodyweight) for the biggest bench of the day with an impressive 147.5kg. Cambridge’s strategy was working well and after the bench they had further increased their lead, which now stood at 14 points.
The meet only starts when the bar hits the ground. Due to COVID, It had been hard to research how strong Oxford would be in Varsity as many of the lifters were new and we had little information on their abilities. Therefore, although we were in the lead as we entered the Deadlift, we could not afford to lapse as Oxford possessed a number of notable pullers. There were many successful pulls on either side. Morgan Phillips wobbled at the top of his opener due to it being too light, missing on a technicality. He managed to sort this out and ended with a solid 232.5kg to give a 8/9 day. Cambridge’s heaviest puller was Shubang Nagalotimath who ripped 260kg off the floor with ease in his first ever competition.
Following deadlifts, everyone looked to the scoresheets. We had done it. The Light Blues had further increased their lead by another 8 points to earn a decisive victory, finishing 21.72 points ahead of Oxford. A mighty roar went through the crowd as it was confirmed that Cambridge had secured their 9th consecutive Varsity win. Raghul and Brandon were also the top lifters of the day, with 91.04 and 89.32 points respectively, and Charlie finished third with 88.16.
Raghul extends his thanks to Beatrice Fishwick for her support as Women’s Captain, Samin Moghimiasl (President) for managing the event whilst also lifting, all the helpers and spectators who made the event a success, and of course to the Men’s Team for doing the damn thing.