By Erika Christiansen, news correspondent

The Northeastern University powerlifting teams held “Beat Northeastern’s Strongest,” a tug-of-war competition, on Saturday in Centennial Common to raise money to send the men’s and women’s teams to the 2017 USA Powerlifting Collegiate National Championship in San Antonio, Texas.

Eight teams of Northeastern students faced off tournament-style starting at approximately 1:45 p.m. Students either signed up ahead of time as a team or registered individually and were grouped once they arrived at the event. The losing team of each round was eliminated and the winner advanced to another match until the final remaining team got to verse the powerlifting teams.

A team of Northeastern fraternity Delta Tau Delta members advanced through three rounds and then finally took on Northeastern’s powerlifting teams. Delta Tau Delta members came equipped with boots for traction and chalk for their hands, and were ultimately able to best the university powerlifting teams. They took home the title of “Northeastern’s Strongest,” along with gift cards totalling $100 for Chicken Lou’s and Conor Larkin’s Grill & Tap.

John Goodyear, third-year physical therapy major and vice president of the men’s powerlifting team, was excited by the results of the competition.

“This was the first time we’ve held a competition like this, and I’d say it was definitely a success,” he said. “I think it was clear that everyone had a blast, and we would certainly like to host and participate in other events like this in the future.”

It cost $5 per person to participate in the tug-of-war event, which raised $200 total. The money will support airfare and competition fees for the Northeastern powerlifting teams to participate in the 2017 collegiate nationals tournament at Texas Strength Systems in April.

Powerlifting teams compete each year at collegiate nationals in squats, benches and deadlifts. While college basketball teams aspire to compete in the NCAA tournament, the powerlifting teams train three days a week in Cabot Center, working toward collegiate nationals as their ultimate goal, said Shannon Croato, a member of the women’s powerlifting team.

“This is it for us,” said Croatta, a junior chemical engineering major. “Like when the basketball team made it to March Madness, this is our March Madness.”

Goodyear said the team competes in two local competitions each year building up to nationals. Last year, the national competition was held at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, which team members said was significantly cheaper to travel to.

The powerlifting team found various ways to raise money for nationals in the past, including working locally at powerlifting competitions they did not compete in.

“Usually what we do for fundraising is we help out at local competitions, but right now we’re trying something new,” Goodyear said. “We want to get more involved on campus.”

Team members said the competition in San Antonio could pose a new challenge for the Northeastern team.

“Powerlifting is much bigger in the south, in places like Texas and Florida. As far as the few teams in the Northeast goes, we’re definitely the biggest and the strongest, so we’re really proud of that,” Goodyear said. “We always come down and make a really good showing for ourselves at nationals.”

In April 2016, the Northeastern women’s team won nationals and moved on to University Worlds in Belarus, where each team member who competed won a medal.

Kate Driscoll, a fifth-year physical therapy major and treasurer of the women’s team, accompanied the team in Belarus as an alternate player.

“It would mean a lot [to go back],” Driscoll said. “Nationals in general is a great experience, especially for our rookies. It’s one of our favorite events every year and it’s probably one of the best parts of the sport.”

Photo by Alex Bruskin