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VIDEO: Defense Tops Offense at the 11th Annual Lift For Life

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PHOTO GALLERY: 2013 Lift For Life

VIDEO: Uplifting Athletes Officers Talk Lift For Life Fundraising Efforts

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Friday evening's 11th annual Lift For Life was a resounding success with the defense topping the offense in a five-event strength and conditioning competition, which capped off a record fundraising effort spearheaded by Uplifting Athletes to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association.

LFL_1a.jpgFor the third-straight year, the funds raised at Lift For Life reached record-setting heights.  In 2013, the fundraising total neared $116,000 heading into Friday night, bringing the 11-year total to well over $800,000 for kidney cancer treatment and research.  Fans can still make a Lift For Life donation by visiting the Penn State Uplifting Athletes donation page HERE.

On the turf at the Penn State Lacrosse Field, the Nittany Lions engaged in a fierce competition pitting the offense against the defense during a team-oriented format created by strength coach Craig Fitzgerald.  The offense and defense were each broken into three groups - "jets" (RB, WR vs. DB), "bombers" (QB, TE, FB, K/P vs. LB) and "tanks" (OL vs. DL).  Those three groups battled head-to-head in four grueling stations before culminating with a tug of war.

The four stations included four reps on an obstacle course, three reps of a sled pull and push, two reps of the sand bag stack (2 100-pound bags of sand) and two reps of the 150-pound sand keg carry.

Boosted by big performances from the defensive line, the defense took a 73-30 lead after the obstacle course.  The defense maintained its edge following the sled pull and push.  With two stages down, the defense held a 111-69 advantage.

LFL_2.jpgLFL_3.jpgThe sand bag stack races were the third stop during the workout.  The offense gained a slight bit of ground during the third station, trimming the defense's lead down to 134-95.  Following the sand keg carry, the Nittany Lion defense maintained a 160-122 edge over the offensive unit.

LFL_4.jpgLFL_5.jpgNonetheless, the stage was set for three tug of war battles to decide the competition.  The offensive "jets" topped the defensive "jets" to score a 30-point win in round one of the tug of war.  The offense's win cut the defense's lead down to 160-152.  However, the defense answered with back-to-back wins from the bombers and the tanks to claim a 220-152 victory in the 2013 Lift For Life.

With the victory, the Penn State defense will take some friendly bragging rights into the rest of the summer as the Lions near the start of training camp, which begins on Aug. 5.

Following the workout, the Nittany Lions met with the fans and signed autographs before participating in a team barbecue.

Fitzgerald said afterwards that he was really proud of the way the entire team competed at the Lift For Life.  The leader of Penn State Strength and Conditioning addressed the crowd numerous times on Friday night, urging the fans in attendance to cheer on their favorite Nittany Lions.

The 11th Lift For Life was again a tremendous success and fundraiser for kidney cancer, largely thanks to countless hours of preparation from the Uplifting Athletes group led by senior Eric Shrive.

Much more to follow, including video highlights from the 11th Annual Lift For Life

Follow's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

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