Varsity 2008


In an excellent unequipped match, Cambridge just beat an impressive Oxford team by 1103 to 1060 Wilks points.

Three years after the last Varsity match, Oxford rose like a phoenix from the ashes, but in the end were left clutching at Cambridge's tail feathers. The top lifter was Luke Pike from Oxford, with a massive final deadlift of 282.5kg, edging just one point ahead of Dave Chapman from Cambridge. Dave put in good lifts in all three events, fighting back from an early squat wobble and making a bench of 155kg look like a warm-up. Third ranked Cambridge man Ethan Eade wowed the Oxford onlookers with his exceptional bench press - he took 165kg (at bdw 78kg) and just missed 170kg. The Committee is looking into ways to persuade him to squat and deadlift more often. Fourth was Daniele Selmi of Oxford, with an especially impressive deadlift of 250kg at bdw 78.5kg. Fifth was the Cambridge captain Andrew Lee, with a devastating squat of 205kg and a serious pull of 235kg. Matt Llewellyn Jones of Oxford was sixth, and looked solid in all the lifts, only failing his opening squat due to some over-enthusiastic spotting from a generally excellent crew of spotters and loaders. Cambridge's Tom James also put in a sound all-round performance, including a notable deadlift of 210kg. Oxford's Evren Cubukgil put in some gutsy lifts to complete the Oxford team.

There were also three non-scoring lifters from Oxford. Chris Adler would have ranked 6th overall, with a particularly respectable bench of 125kg at 72kg bdw. Alex Forte was notable in the squat, and coming in just behind Chris Adler. Dan Adler had suffered a groin injury and therefore his squat and deadlift were nominal, but his bench of 135kg at 72kg bdw was an impressive outcome.

The organisation of the event was exceptionally smooth thanks largely to the efforts of the Cambridge captain Andrew Lee, the hard work of spotters Rob Cork, Gavin Jones and Steve Martin on the day, and the indispensable professionalism of referees Jackie, Jenny and Dave Tucker.

The match was conducted in a relaxed and friendly spirit, with less openly stone-age behaviour from the Oxford team than on some previous occasions. Yet both teams rivalled their counterparts in the last Varsity match, with Cambridge bettering its previous performance - extremely impressive given that many lifters in that match were equipped. The overall standard therefore was very high, and we look forward to a gripping rematch next year.