By Tom Momberg
Native Baysider, Holy Cross High School alumnus and state record-holding powerlifter Andrew Spyridon-Tow took a trip home from college in November to compete again as an adult at a Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate meet in Strong Island, L.I., where he continued to shatter state and world records.
“This was way cool, because each level I go up, the competition gets more challenging,” Spyridon-Tow said.
Spyridon-Tow, 18, broke the state records for bench press, deadlift and for his total score at the Nov. 21 meet, competing in the RPS 198-pound weight class Raw Classic Division for 18- and 19-year-old men.
RPS is a league for competitive powerlifting in the United States. Competitors are given three attempts to lift the heaviest weight for squat, bench press and deadlift, and on each their best attempt is recorded.
The SUNY-Buffalo State freshman pressed 340 pounds on the bench, breaking the previously held state record for his division—320 pounds. He lifted 575 pounds on his deadlift, and 440 pounds on his squat. His cumulative score of 1,355 pounds made him the record holder for his division, as well—breaking the previous 1,290-pound world record for the accumulative three challenges.
These standings were confirmed with world records published by RPS.
Spyridon-Tow did not outdo his personal best for his squat, with which he broke records in March with 455 pounds, but his 440-pound squat at his most recent meet cracked the world record for his current age group.
He even managed to pull it off even with two pulled-tendons in his legs. Spyridon-Tow said he took a break for five weeks before competing to heal and went into his meet cold.
Spyridon-Tow’s record-breaking lifts earlier this year got him letters of recognition from state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“When I first saw that, I couldn’t believe it,” the young athlete said. “But I kept reading, and I was excited that it caught their attention.”
The former Holy Cross Football fullback had originally planned to go on to play college football, but his recent interest in personal fitness and strength training led to his enrollment at Buffalo State this fall to study health and wellness.
He is currently interning with the university’s athletic department to help athletes in strength training. Spyridon-Tow said he will continue to compete in powerlifting meets and that he hopes his continued education will ultimately help him find his way to a college- or professional-level coaching position.
Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomb