Penn Stater Eliraz Katz Wins National Powerlifting Championship

Step aside, bros. Eliraz Katz lifts, and she’s now the 2015 national powerlifting champion.

The USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals were held this past weekend in Atlanta, Ga., where Katz took first place in her weight division by successfully squatting 180 kgs., bench pressing 82.5 kgs., and finally deadlifting 175 kgs. for a total of 437.5 kgs. Penn State senior Christina Pollick was able to take home a fifth place finish in the same weight class for lifting a total of 412.5 kgs.

Katz, a senior studying Biological Sciences and Health Professions from Timrat, Israel, lifts three to four times per week. Her hard work paid off as she upset the favorite contender, Giovanna Ortega from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Ortega failed to successfully complete her final lift, giving Katz the edge as she went into her final lift.

“One minute you’re nervous and trying to calm yourself down by saying to yourself that winning second and third place is also amazing, but the next moment you feel pumped and ready to ‘play,'” she said, reminiscing on the moment she walked up to her final deadlift.

“I owe a huge thank you to my coach Dustin Starer and my handler Brandon Graham,” she said. “These two were the reason I won. I just went out there and lifted what was on the bar, but they are the ones that calculated and carefully chose my attempts. They believed in me and gave me some big numbers that led me to pass the girl before me.”

Katz said that winning the national championship felt “like a roller coaster, but it hasn’t sunk in completely.”

Call her your best friend on moving day, your best lifting buddy at the gym, or another Natty Champ at Penn State, but there is no doubt that Eli Katz is a damn strong woman.

Image: Recon Photography

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Yuka Narisako

Yuka legally immigrated to the United States via airplane in 1996 from the small island nation of Japan. Since then she has migrated throughout the country and now identifies herself as a senior majoring in Architectural Engineering. The Shandygaff is her Happy Place, though she was once kicked out of the establishment after breaking her shoe and screaming “I LOVE DAY DRINKING. I’M HAVING FUN.” Yuka is overly enthusiastic about life in general, but especially Ja Rule, Halloween, and the puffy black vest she purchased from the Gap. You can reach her at [email protected], or through Twitter @yukahontass.

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