May 02, 2024

Mathematical Economics major and Mathematics and Spanish minor

from Chesterfield, Virginia

On April 14, William Morris ’25 represented Hampden-Sydney at the 2024 USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, placing eighth in his weight class.

William Morris '25 standing in front of a Collegiate Nationals bannerWhen he isn’t exercising his mind as a mathematical economics major, you can find William Morris ’25 lifting heavy in TigeRec. His dedication and long hours in the gym paid off when William placed eighth at 2024 USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 11, 2024.

“Since seventh grade, when I joined junior varsity football, I’ve dedicated myself to training and weightlifting,” William said. “My passion for weightlifting grew during my high school football years, leading me to hit the gym even after team workouts. It became a non-negotiable part of my life, and I haven’t taken more than a week off from the gym in seven to eight years.”

Will has sustained his love for weightlifting since coming to the Hill. In spring 2023, he established the Weightlifting Club along with David Hausler ’25, Kent Bero ’25, and Ryan Scott ’23. Engaging in the club's activities and Friday night lifting sessions, William, who serves as the club’s vice president, discovered that these endeavors foster camaraderie among members and forge lasting friendships.

“I’ve consistently seen weightlifting as both a social outlet and a contributor to mental well-being,” William said. “Many of my closest friendships have come from gym sessions and powerlifting.”

William participated in several meets before entering the national competition. In 2022, alongside David and other friends, he took part in a Virginia State Powerlifting Competition. Then, in November 2023, he competed in the Commonwealth Cup Competition, a local collegiate event. Having found enjoyment in these experiences, William harbored a desire to continue competing.

In order to be eligible for the Men’s Raw Collegiate 125kg (275lbs) weight division, William needed to achieve a cumulative weight of 725kg (1598lbs) from his squat, bench press, and deadlift. William secured his qualification with 765kg (1686lbs) across all three lifts.

“I wanted to take that next step from the previous competitions,” William said. “I had always enjoyed being a part of the competitions, and being able to represent the College at a national level is monumental.”

William Morris '25 standing infront of a Collegiate Nationals bannerEncouraged by the backing of friends, family, and fellow club members, William journeyed to the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where he proudly represented Hampden-Sydney at the Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals. Alongside him for support was fellow weightlifting club member, Kent, and William’s fiancé, Baily.

“Upon entering, the scene was bustling with crowds, loud music, bright lights, and referees shouting,” William said. “It could have been overwhelming, but having Baily there to assist with warm-ups and offer encouragement made all the difference.”

Facing off against 39 other contenders, William completed three squat, bench, and deadlift attempts each, showcasing remarkable strength and determination throughout. He posted impressive squat numbers with 270kg (595lbs) on the first attempt, 280kg (617lbs) on the second, and 285kg (628lbs) on the third. On the bench, he pressed 172.5kg (380lbs) for the first attempt and 180kg (396lbs) for the second and third attempts. For the deadlift, William lifted 305kg (672lbs) on the first, 317.5kg (699lbs) on the second, and 322.5kg (710lbs) on the third attempt.

By totaling his best lifts from each category, William achieved an outstanding total of 787.5kg (1736lbs). This remarkable performance earned him eighth place overall, surpassing competitors from major institutions such as Ohio State University, West Virginia University, and Louisiana State University.

 William’s achievement not only demonstrates his strength and dedication but also reflects his commitment to finely representing the College. His journey exemplifies how Hampden-Sydney has served as a platform for personal growth and the pursuit of passion.

“This experience helped me realize my potential,” William reflected. “It’s been a catalyst for personal growth and has reaffirmed my passion for training and weightlifting. It is true that handling weights humbles you, and witnessing my progress along this journey has consistently inspired me to strive for improvement and maintain dedication.”

William's performance in the national competition underscores his strength and resilience. With his eyes fixed on breaking into the top five next year, William will press on. As Hampden-Sydney's tradition of fostering men who strive for greatness remains steadfast, William stands at the forefront. There is no doubt he will persist in excelling in his passions and embodying the values of a good man and good citizen, thereby proving that the potential for achievement knows no bounds.

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