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Brockport student competes in powerlifting competition

by Kiara Alfonseca-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Tue, Apr 4th 2017 10:00 pm
Photos taken via Emily Gillespie's Instagram
Photos taken via Emily Gillespie's Instagram
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 Imagine walking onto the platform, preparing to lift almost three times your bodyweight in a room full of world record holders and world class performers and being the youngest female competitor in the meet. That's what 21-year-old Emily Gillespie, a student at The College at Brockport, faced when she made her way to Ohio to compete at The Arnold Classic Sports Festival powerlifting competition. At the same time she was in awe of the other prominent competitors at the Classic.

"It was overwhelming and it was crazy" Gillespie said. "There were all-time world record holders there and those are the people I look up to."

At a weight of 122 pounds, Gillespie lifted an overall personal record total of 790 pounds through her squat, deadlift and bench completions.

Setting personal records in her squat and deadlift, 325 pounds each and a 140 bench, Gillespie left the competition feeling confident with a new set of maturity as she heads into offseason awaiting the next meet to arise. She ranked ninth in her squat and 18th overall for her 790 pounds total.  

When accomplishing a feat as big as this there are always struggles. One was assuring that she maintained her weight to be eligible to lift in her weight class.

"I was eating everything because I had to make sure I was at the certain weight I was training at" Gillespie said.

Coached by an elite FTS trainer Joe Schillero, with coaching throughout the years from Brockport's own Head Strength and Conditioning coach Ed Jaskulski and the new skills she's learning at her internship at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Gillespie is no stranger to the world of hard work, injuries, and even bombing out.

She's come a long way from her first meet two years ago, but knows there's more to look forward to in the future.

Dedicating hours in the gym to strengthening key proponents to her main lift, she is altering the ways she works out. She hopes to ensure that when she gets back into her training season for the next meet she is a competitor against herself first and foremost. Gillespie is in a lightweight weight class and doesn't have much competition in her class because of how little women are in the sport competitively. When she trains, she's now fighting against herself and women of higher weight classes.  

Being a woman in powerlifting is not an easy task. The field is growing slowly for women, but Gillespie takes any negative feedback and turns it into success.

"I've been called everything under the sun," Gillespie said in an earlier interview. "It makes me want to prove someone else wrong."

Gillespie is taking it step by step as she moves into her offseason, but is excited to return to The Arnold in the coming years as a fierce competitor once again.



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