May 5, 2016

Community & Competition at the Bean Pot Bench Press Challenge

Bean Pot Benchpress (2 of 1)

On Saturday, April 9th, MIT joined local schools such as Harvard and Northeastern at the BU Fitness and Recreation Center for an epic competition – The Bean Pot Bench Press Challenge. The contenders were ready. The pride of their schools – as well as quite a nice trophy – was on the line…

Men and Women vied for top place in their divisions, as well as for an overall school ranking. MIT was proudly represented by three strong athletes, Lee Bernick, Curtis Northcutt, and Kenneth B Cooper.

Bean Pot Benchpress (1 of 8)

This wasn’t your typical completion. The lifting was serious, but the competition was less so. “The more informal atmosphere of the powerlifting meet fostered camaraderie and cheering new friends on,” said Ken. That didn’t deter him for competing at his best, and in fact encouraged him to push himself harder. “I always enjoy breaking stereotypes about MIT students only excelling in the classroom,” he said. Ken went on to take First Place Men’s Overall for his weight class, so, we think that stereotype took a good hit.

Bean Pot Benchpress (3 of 8)   Bean Pot Benchpress (4 of 8)

Our other two competitors worked hard for MIT too – Congrats to Lee Bernick, representing MIT in the women’s division, for placing second in her weight class. Congrats also to Curtis Northcutt, who although his lift was disqualified on a technicality, represented MIT proudly. He too noted the amazing atmosphere at the competition. “Everyone there was very supportive of one another,” said Curtis. “After I made the lift, but received no points due to a technicality, a bunch of people I’d never met from Boston University came over to me and patted me on the back, telling me ‘You did great, don’t worry about it!’”

Thanks to these athletes, MIT took the 3rd place overall ranking, behind BU and Harvard and ahead of BC and Northeastern. Way to go MIT!! But moreover, way to go to all the schools who participated. At the end of the day, a competition is a few great moments in time – but support from a community of lifters can do more for an athlete than any trophy could.

Bean Pot Benchpress (5 of 8)