By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Grant Wamack

Sailors, both small and large, aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) competed in a bench press competition Feb. 8.

Sailors cheered on their shipmates as they competed against one another in the ship’s hangar bay. Competitors were divided into two groups: male and female. Within these groups, Sailors were further divided up by weight class.

Sailors had two chances, and no time limit, to complete one repetition of as much weight as possible.

“Compared to everyone else I did alright,” said Operations Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Kola Ayeni, from Chesapeake, Va., who won 1st place in his weight division with a press of 300 pounds. “There’s nothing more fun than competing against other guys and testing your strength.”

Besides representing a test of strength, other Sailors simply wished to beat their personal goals and many were successful.

“I was hoping to lift at least 80 pounds, so I’m happy with my results,” said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class (SW) Lindsay Frizzell, from Westchester, N.Y., who won 1st place in her weight division with a press of 105 pounds. “Plus, I’m really glad to see a lot of females lifting out here.”

In addition to working toward personal goals, the competition served as a break from the monotony of life underway.

“Sailors need to look forward to something,” said Yeoman 1st Class (SW/AW) Winston Banton, from Brooklyn, NY, a participant in the competition. “Having events like these are morale boosters for the crew. It gives you something to work toward, and it builds camaraderie among Sailors.”

Stennis bench press competition t-shirts were awarded to the first, second, and third place winners in each weight division.

The John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG), consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are forward deployed to the U.S. 5TH Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.

For more information on the JCSCSG, visit www.stennis.navy.mil or www.facebook.com/stennis74.

(Photo)

Operations Specialist 2nd Class Robert McFadzen, from Beaverton, Ore., attempts his maximum weight while participating in a bench press competition in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Marco Villasana / Released)

Aviation Machinist’s Mate Senior Chief Rozy Castellanos, from Worland, Wyo., attempts her maximum weight while participating in a bench press competition in the hangar bay of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Marco Villasana / Released)

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