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Monroe athlete holds five state powerlifting records

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Edward Medaris, 18, of Monroe, plays football and is a wrestler at The Canterbury School, a college prep academy in New Milford. He only started entering in weightlifting competitions last year, but already has five official powerlifting records in the state of Connecticut for his age and weight class at 17.

Medaris, who weighs 275 pounds, qualified to compete in a regional competition in Portland, Maine, and will travel to Baton Rouge, La., in April to compete in the High School USA Powerlifting Competition Nationals.

“I really started to weight lift because of football and noticed it made me feel better about myself,” he said in a recent phone interview. “I got stronger, better on the field and in every aspect.”

Medaris’ records include:

  • 125 kilogram bench press state record one rep (275.5 pounds)
  • 235 kilogram squat (518 pounds)
  • 232.5 kilogram deadlift (512 pounds)
  • 357.5 kilogram total push pull (788 pounds)
  • 592.5 kilogram total lifted (1,306 pounds, squat, bench and dead lift)

“It makes me hungrier to build upon it,” he said of his early success.

Medaris was a Masuk student when he started weightlifting in earnest during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most organized sports were on hold. Former Masuk football coach, Joe Lato, encouraged the team to join virtual workouts almost every day.

While weightlifting for football, Medaris said coaches would see how much players could lift, though it was not certified.

“I started competitive powerlifting as a junior at Masuk and continued in my senior year at Canterbury,” he said.

When first considering entering powerlifting competitions, Medaris said he thought, “hey I’m getting really strong really quick, let’s try this for real.”

Last March, he won a title at the Pomperaug (SWC) weightlifting competition, while still a junior at Masuk. This inspired him to see what he could do at the local level.

Medaris got serious about the sport and went on to train with the pros at Gleason Performance in Derby.

Coaches and mentors, Dan Lacasky and Tim Donoghue, pushed Medaris to go above and beyond what he believed he could do. He said the coaches helped him feel better about himself in every aspect, while turning him into a great athlete.

Lacasky is a private football coach and Donoghue is his private weightlifting coach. “They ensure that I’m always pushing to find that next gear,” Medaris said.

He is an honors student at The Canterbury School, was the starting right guard and played defensive tackle and nose guard on the football team, playing every down while helping his team win a New England championship bowl against Wooster Academy 17-13.

Medaris was also a varsity wrestling captain.

He had several offers to play football and wrestle in college and chose to play football for Salve Regina University next fall, where he will pursue his goal of becoming a sports psychologist, helping athletes to overcome obstacles to succeed.

Medaris said he will try to continue powerlifting in competitions, while in college.

“You focus on yourself and you get to see the changes,” he said of weightlifting. “You’re definitely competing with myself and that’s a big struggle for everybody.”

Medaris said he knew about weightlifting competitions growing up, but didn’t give it a lot of thought until the past two years.

Of earning the powerlifting records, he said, “if you were to say that to me when I was younger, I’d say you were insane,” adding of his success in the sport, “now that I think of it, I always pushed myself to be the best man in the room. No matter where I am, I go all out.”

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