Midland University - Fremont, Ne

Midland University Powerlifting Raising the Bar as Varsity-Level Program

Midland University Powerlifting Raising the Bar as Varsity-Level Program

Apr 30th , 2019

With just three seasons under its belt, Midland University Powerlifting has established itself as a national powerhouse — earning Men’s and Women’s National Championships at the 2019 USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals. These are back-to-back National Championships for the Men’s team and is the first national title for the Women’s.

Individually, 20 Warriors medaled, with eight lifters winning national titles and two others recognized as runner-ups. This year’s national title winners included; Callie Spohn, Jodel Patino, Kloie Doublin, and Ayla Thurstan for the Lady Warriors, as well as, Austin Perkins, Kole Metts, Matt Weisberg, and Joseph Pena for Men’s.

Midland also had a pair of lifters earn the National Collegiate Top Lifter award for their division. Thurstan was named the top female raw lifter and Perkins was named the top male equipped lifter.

The newly-established program, spurred by student interest, reflects the university’s twenty-ninth of thirty-two varsity sports and manifests as the first opportunity in Nebraska for powerlifters to earn college athletic scholarships.

Since inception, student interest and participation in the program has skyrocketed, largely due to the outstanding leadership of 7-time world champion coach, Tim Anderson. With nearly thirty years of competitive experience, Anderson is a highly respected member of the powerlifting community, serving ten years on the USA World Bench Press Team and leading them to 12 team awards at international events the past four years. Anderson holds a senior international coach certification through the USA Powerlifting organization and has won the International Powerlifting Federation Masters World Championship for the past three years. He has additionally earned the 2008 IPF Open World Bench Champion and was the USA Powerlifting National Champion nine times from 2006 to 2015. Anderson currently holds the IPF Masters and the Open World Bench records, along with multiple American records.

“Tim’s proven leadership and unrivaled success have laid a strong foundation of programmatic excellence at Midland,” said Midland University Director of Athletics, Dave Gillespie. "Our student-athletes have an unprecedented opportunity of learning from a world-class athlete who has coached and competed at the highest level."

With its quick ascent into national prominence, Midland Powerlifting is experiencing growth in its roster. Understanding the need for expansion, the University recently identified an existing location in Fremont, investing over $100,000 in renovations and equipment for a new practice facility for the team. The Warriors are on track to transition into their brand-new, fully equipped training space in August 2019 to begin preparing for the next season, with the goal of continued growth and success.

“Our program is regarded as one of best powerlifting programs in the country,” said Midland University Powerlifting Head Coach, Tim Anderson. “We have numerous athletes that have won national and world championship titles, which has given Midland national and international attention. Powerlifting competes with all other universities — regardless of division or size. We compete against Division I schools and have won national championships against [Division I] schools."

As a result of winning the 2019 Collegiate National Titles, Midland has received an international invitation to participate in the World University Cup in Estonia, which will put Midland University Powerlifting on the world stage.