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Penn State Football: Nittany Lions Beat The Heat And The Weights At Annual Lift For Life

by on July 12, 2015 7:55 AM

Penn State football players didn't let the hot turf and the warm weather get in the way of a good cause on Saturday, as they competed in the program's annual Lift For Life event.

Pitting the offense and the defense against one another, Penn State players took part in feats of strength and agility -- being awarded points all along the way. By the time it came down to the final tug-of-war it was win or go home. And with freshman players facing their fellow freshman squad members, it was the defense that took home this year's crown.

While seeing players flip massive tires is an impressive sight, perhaps even more incredible was the 33 bench press reps at 225 pounds by offensive lineman Brian Gaia. Defensive tackle Anthony Zettel wasn't far behind with 31 of his own. The high water mark though was defensive tackle Tarow Barney with 34 reps at 225 pounds.

To put all of that into perspective, three players broke the 30 rep mark on Saturday. At last year's NFL Combine, only 15 players at the entire event across all positions did the same.

And while the event was just for current players, that didn't stop former tight end Jesse James from jumping in on the action.

"I think he'll be decent," James said laughing sarcastically of now tight end rising star Mike Gisicki. "But he doesn't play much, so we'll see."

It was that kind of positive energy that helped make up for the high heat and sweat from fans to players. All in all, the event raised just over $115,000 for Kidney Cancer research at the athlete-run event.

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"We did this for three reasons," strength and conditioning coach Dwight Galt said. "To raise the money, to complete, and to have fun."

"I think we did all three."

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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