Varsity Win for CUPLC for the 7th year running

Cambridge 3315.8 - Oxford 3170.3 Results


Cambridge hosted the 2019 Varsity match on a grand stage set up in the Uni Sports hall, as is tradition. The Oxford lifters arrived after a 2 hour + long coach journey on time by 9am, while most of the Cambridge lifters rolled up 15-30 minutes late after just rolling out of bed. After weigh in and the customary post weigh in “stuff face with donuts” period while the lifting platform was being set up, the first lifters were ready to start warming up.

This years Varsity was being scored on the top 8 lifters by Wilks, rather than the top 6 as has been customary in previous years. The first flight was predominantly Oxford lifters. Cambridge’s Amrita “pocket rocket” Panesar hit an impressive 95kg squat on her 2nd attempt while only weighing 48.2kg (!!). She sadly missed her 3rd attempt squat at that big milestone of 100kg. Oxford replied in turn with their strongest (for body weight) female lifter this year, Rebecca Ramjiawan, squatting 105kg at a comparable 52.1kg bodyweight.

Oxford’s Diego Granziol squatted 182.5kg (71.4kg BW), but was then shown who’s boss with huge squats from Cambridge’s Remi Rufus Toye, squatting a huge 185kg, but at only 66.7kg bodyweight and “Oh Captain-my-Captain” Raghul Parthipan (71.8kg BW), squatting a huge 197.5kg on his 2nd attempt. This matched his previous record, although he sadly missed 210kg on his 3rd attempt.

Then the heavy (although not really that heavy compared to previous years) Bois were up to squat. Cambridge was feeling good after the first flight of squats, but the second flight was where Oxford really brought their impressive lifting. Oxford’s Will Pickering (86.4kg BW) hit a massive 230kg squat. David Jia (88.3kg BW) hit a huge 240kg squat (matching Sal’s record at a comparable bodyweight). Finally, Aron Hegedus (102.7kg), with much screaming and clouds of chalk, squatted an absolutely staggering 280kg - the biggest squat ever seen at a Varsity match.

Cambridge replied with Salman Khan (84.3kg BW), matching his record of a 240kg squat, but at about RPE6 (in standard Sal fashion). Dennis “arms-bigger-than-his-face” Mubaiwa (79.4kg BW) squatted 200kg - about 15kg below his previous PB - despite having a serious knee injury… there was a mixture of a smile and a grimace on his face as he limped off the platform after that lift. Vikram “who?” Thakur squatted an impressive 230kg after weighing in a nice chubby 96kg bodyweight. The Cambridge team was starting to get worried after the second flight of squats…

Bring on the Bench press! Oxford had some huge benches from Aron Hegedus of 177.5kg and Will Pickering of 157.5kg. However, luckily for Cambridge, one of their biggest benchers, their President Hector Van Smirren (111.9kg BW), had a pec injury and so was only able to bench 137.5kg, after having benched 155kg in training.

Cambridge on the other hand, had not just one or two strong benchers, but many! Salman matched his PB again with a 162.5kg bench. Dennis close grip benched 155kg flat-backed… I assume just to show off his massive triceps. Remi benched 125kg and Raghul benched 137.5kg speedy as you like - both huge benches at their bodyweights. Finally, Henry “has-the-most-gorgeous-pecs-in-the-world” Trunley (86.2kg BW) hit a huge 157.5kg.

Cambridge were feeling better after the bench press and were ready to smash it in the deadlift - arguably their best lift as a team. Cambridge’s Lucy Hart had the biggest deadlift of all the women, with 145kg - sadly just narrowly missing 157.5kg on her 2nd and 3rd attempts. Remi got a 222.5kg deadlift with ease (again, remember how light this guy is!), and Sujan Sriharan (62.4kg BW) got a comparable 212.5kg deadlift. Angus COIN-GRELL (73.2kg BW) got a huge 242.5kg - looking pretty happy with himself at the top (see pictures below).

Salman did what he does best and squeezed up 300kg with ease, to great applause. Dennis hit a massive 270kg, despite weighing less than 80kg. Kevin Tan (80.3kg BW) hit 260kg. Vikram made 255kg on his 2nd attempt easily after recently having to switch from his normal stance of sumo to conventional (due to a glute injury). He sadly just missed a whopping 270kg - it was going up but he lost his grip and dropped it.

The Oxford lifters put up an impressive performance in return. Will Pickering got a 255kg deadlift on his second, although in a pivotal moment, despite incredible hype and pacing back and forth for about a full minute, missed his 3rd attempt at 262.5kg. David Jia got a 252.5kg deadlift. And their President Hector hit a massive 267.5kg deadlift, although at a heavy bodyweight. Then came the most intense moment of the whole competition. Oxford’s men’s Captain Aron Hegedus charged up to the platform like a rutting Rhino and tore 330kg off the ground - the biggest weight EVER lifted in the History of Powerlifting Varsity.

In the end, Oxford put up an incredibly strong team, and Aron won best lifter, dethroning the King Salman himself with an absolutely staggering 474.4 Wilks points - also the highest Wilks in the history of Varsity. However, although it was close, with only 145 Wilks points separating the two teams, Oxford’s best lifters weren’t quite enough to beat the depth of talent shown by Cambridge, who fielded 7 lifters with a 400+ Wilks score. For perspective, last year there were only 5 lifters across both teams (3 of them from Cambridge) with a 400+ Wilks score, and 5 years ago, the highest score across both teams at Varsity was a 390 Wilks.

The competition ended with the customary topless group photo next to the largest weight in Varsity history. Then, it was on to the Grain and Hop Store and the Hawks club for post varsity drinks and meal. Much jovial entertainment was had, and far too many pitchers of Tomahawk were drunk.

A huge thanks goes out to all those who organised and helped out with running the competition, including the judges, loaders, spotters, and workers on the table. Without you, this event wouldn’t have been possible.


Half Blues (new):

  • Angus Coyne-Grell - 597.1 IPF points
  • Sujan Sriharan - 559.8 IPF points
  • Steven Smithies - 550.5 IPF points
  • Amrita Panesar - 549.1 IPF points

These include scores achieved at other IPF sanctioned competitions in the 2019/2020 academic year