Eight Sport Clubs Compete at National Championship Events
The Department of Recreational Services oversees 23 active Sport Clubs, which are student run organizations that have a sport based component. These 23 Sport Clubs represent Georgia State University throughout the year, competing against different universities across the Southeast. The eight Sport Clubs that participated at a national championship level competition this past year were Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Powerlifting, Men’s Volleyball, Women’s Volleyball, Rock Climbing, Cycling, Rowing and Fencing. For many clubs, this was not their first appearance at an elite level competition.
In March, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club competed in the Pan Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF Championship in Irvine, California. This was the club’s fourth straight appearance at a national championship event. Nine club members, Muhammad Ali, Christopher Meehan, Vuong Nguyen, Wren Shimoji, Daniel O’Connell, Juwan Smith, Brenden Lu, Richard Kim and Joseph Bradley, represented Georgia State University. With such a large group of members competing, Ali said the best part of the competition was “the whole team pushing each other to do their best.”
The Powerlifting Club competed in the USA Powerlifting Collegiate Nationals in Columbus, Georgia. The four club members who represented Georgia State University at this competition were TraShon Hightower, Elnaz Bahramyan, Simon Santoso and Frederick Neltrope. Both Santoso and Neltrope placed in the Top 100 in the 83kg class. Hightower placed the highest at 3rd place in the 74kg Equipped Class. Santoso said his favorite memory from the competition was “when we were at the venue and cheering each other on, as well as seeing all the other phenomenal athletes.”
In April, both the Men’s and Women’s Volleyball competed at the Club Volleyball National Tournament in Denver, Colorado. Men’s Volleyball went 1-6 for the weekend, whereas Women’s Volleyball went 3-4, getting big wins over other D1 schools. Women’s Volleyball Club President, Dijone Sykes, said, “this competition brought us closer on and off the court.” Men’s Volleyball Club President, Jordan Benjamin, added, “nationals is nothing like our normal tournaments; it’s something we must prepare for more next season.”
The Rock Climbing Club also competed in April at the Collegiate Nationals in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This was the club’s fifth consecutive National Championship appearance and the club had two members, Tiffany Racz and Rami Najjar, compete.
In May, the Rowing Club participated in the American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championships held on Lake Lanier. This was the club’s third straight National Championship appearance for the five participating members. Anna Reuter, Rowing Club President, and her partner took first place in their heat. Reuter said, “it felt so rewarding to cross the finish line and know our hard work paid off. We just sat in the water for a second and gave each other high fives; we could see our coach jumping from the shore. It was so fun.”
The Cycling Club competed in their Nationals Tournament in Augusta, Georgia in mid-May. Andrew Hodges and Kathleen Laporte were the two players who represented Georgia State. Laporte placed 11th the road race and 20th in the criterium; Hodges placed 45 in the criterium. Overall, the duo placed 26th in the omnium which was the highest placed team for the SECCC. Hodges said, “Nationals gave us a focus and purpose for the season.”
In July, the Fencing Club competed in the United States Fencing Association’s National Championship in Columbus, Georgia. Ian Lenthart, Saqlain Awan, Wilbet Liu, Daniel “Ho” Jung, Annabel Hsu, and Hang Minh To all represented GSU and was the highest finishing non-NCAA collegiate team. Club president, Ian Lenthart, was the highest finishing Georgia collegiate fencer in both of his events. Lenthart said, “nationals is always a great, eye-opening experience about how high-level the competition is from around the nation.”
Congratulations to all the athletes that represented Georgia State University at the national championship level this past year!