The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office has a champion competitive powerlifter on its staff, and he just keeps on adding to his contest wins.
Mike Ferrantelli, captain of the administrative division for the agency’s detention bureau, has been powerlifting for years. Over the course of his lifting career, he has won 10 national drug free championships and five drug free world championships, according to the sheriff’s office, and broken more than 40 records.
Now he has added a new triumph to his name, one he hopes will help him get a spot on the team competing against lifters from around the world.
During the USA Powerlifing Bench Press National Championship held in Palm Springs, Calif., Aug. 25-26, Ferrantelli won the Masters Division, which is for lifters 40 years and older. He also took second place in the Open Division, for competitors 20 years and older. Ferrantelli lifted 573 pounds, which netted him the win and second-place rankings.
The championship is the gateway to qualifying for a spot on the team of lifters that will compete in the 2013 International Powerlifting Federation Masters World Bench Press Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.
It wouldn’t be the first time he’s been in the championship. He won the 2007 IPF championship in Germany, lifting 551 pounds.
Ferrantelli, 46, is hoping that if he gets into the international championship again he will be able to lift more than what he did in 2007.
“It’s not about wanting to accomplish any particular feat,” Ferrantelli said. “I want to do for myself better than I’ve ever done."
He also hopes to not be the only member of his family competing in the IPF championship.
Ferrantelli’s father, Joe, is 69 and also competed in the national championship.
Ferantelli is hoping he will be competing in the IPF championship on the same team as his father, who is a former captain of the Tarpon Springs Police Department.
Ferrantelli, currently a Holiday resident, went to Gulf High School.
At Gulf, Ferrantelli played on the football team. At only 125 pounds, however, he was soon cut. That's when he started really working out to up his weight. He returned to the Gulf High Buccaneers in his senior year, bigger and stronger.
In 1985, he joined the Pasco Sheriff’s Office at the age of 19. He now weighs 234 pounds.
Staying physically fit has been a boon to Ferrantelli as a deputy. It gives a sense of accomplishment and also encourages respect and helps with confidence.
“I know that if get into an altercation, I can hold my own,” he said.