Iona’s powerlifting team achieves ’30-year dream’ for coach Jim Micik

Junior Adrian Lasso (left), junior Melissa Mulholland (middle) and freshman Felix Paredes (right) received medals at the USPA Powerlifting Meet on Dec. 4

Ryan McFadden, Sports Editor

It was Dec. 4 when the Iona College powerlifting team, an intramural sport, took a major step forward in its development when the team traveled to Yorktown Heights, New York to compete in the USPA Powerlifting Meet.

Head coach Jim Micik, who is also a science professor at Iona, stood proudly as he watched students participate in their first ever powerlifting meet. For Micik, it was like watching a dream turn into reality.

“This is a 30 year dream,” Micik said. “To actually see students in the contest with the Iona College powerlifting shirt was awesome.”

Iona, who was going against other local gyms, had three students finish within the top three in their respective divisions. Junior Melissa Mulholland finished first out of 14 lifters in the Women’s Junior Division 165 pound class. Junior Adrian Lasso placed first in the Men’s Junior Division 165 pounds class, while freshman Felix Paredes came in second in the 220 pound class.

Micik was so animated about seeing his students place high in the leaderboards that he started thinking about his time as a powerlifter and competing in various meets.

“It was like I was going back to when I was competing,” Micik said. “It brought back a lot of memories.”

Micik, with the help of EJ Ferraro, assistant athletic director/campus recreation, and other members of the Iona Athletic Department was able to start recruiting members for the powerlifting team by holding general meetings back in September.

“[I want to] credit EJ Ferraro, who supports us in the Athletic Department,” Micik said. “The team wouldn’t have existed if it wasn’t for EJ.”

Five months later, Iona’s powerlifting team currently has over 40 members from multiple grade levels. 90 percent of the students are on the non-competitive team, while the rest wanted to compete in competitions.

Some of the biggest concepts Micik stresses to both teams are being consistent and showing progression in every workout.

“Progression and consistency as the most important thing,” Micik said. “Not missing workouts and showing progression in your workouts [is important].”

Micik feels that the most of the students are consistent in their workouts since its their first time powerlifting and they are eager to see how much progress they can make.

“The students are starting to show more consistency its brand new to them,”  Micik said.

Micik’s goal is to continue to grow the powerlifting team with the hope of turning it into a club at Iona. Micik envisions Iona’s powerlifting team to gain popularity just like other colleges such as University of Florida, University of Oregon, West Virginia University and University of Vermont.

“I see within one year, we are going to have 100 members because powerlifting is popular within the younger people,” Micik said.  “Eventually it could be a club if the numbers go up. That’s the next level.”

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