Pace Magazine

Delaney Wallace '17 Wins Gold

July 12, 2023
pace alumnus delaney wallace lifting weights

Do you have what it takes? Hours in the gym, personal trainers, a meticulously planned diet. All of it leading to a single moment. Your simple task is to lift hundreds of kilos of iron and steel. To push your body harder than you ever have before. Up for the challenge? This scenario is a reality for Pace alumni Delaney Wallace ’17, who took home Gold at the International Powerlifting Federation’s World Championships in South Africa on June 8.

Raised in Maryland, Delaney played a litany of sports in his youth, including baseball, soccer, and football. From a young age, he become accustomed to training his body and mind for the rigorous lifestyle of an elite athlete. This led to Delaney coming to Pace by way of a football scholarship where Coach Andrew Rondeau was transforming the football team into a program that was crucial to the development of its students. Being a Setter meant Delaney had access to mentorship, opportunities for personal growth, and an excellent education. Delaney, who works as a Financial Services Representative at Barnum Financial Group, attributes much of his success to his experience on the gridiron. The first thing professional recruiters always talk to him about is his time as a football player. According to Delaney, it signals to them his capacity for hard work and consistency under pressure. While playing ball, Delaney earned a BBA in Business Management from the Lubin School of Business. Lubin was a bigger selling point for him than the football program. On top of the connections he made, and the internships he participated in, Delaney learned from professors who were still active in finance.

A year after graduating, Delaney needed a change. He was getting settled into his career, wasn’t playing football, and didn’t want to become complacent. He missed that feeling of invincibility he had while playing college ball. Through a friend, he got in touch with a trainer to try and gain back some muscle. At first, the trainer was skeptical of Delaney’s abilities; his body didn’t seem suited to powerlifting. During the first consultation, he squatted 200 lbs. with ease, surprising his trainer. After multiple sessions, Delaney’s trainer recommended he start powerlifting competitively.

Delaney’s powerlifting career started modestly. His first competition was SMG’s Westchester Rebellion in 2018. Delaney took home first place, in a very encouraging first outing. Delaney attributes his early success to his time as an athlete at Pace. Football is a short season compared to other sports. You train all year for a season that only lasts ten games. Powerlifting is a sport that you train all year for an event that only lasts a couple of minutes. Delaney learned this need for delayed gratification from his time in football that carried over nicely to powerlifting, a skill that many of his peers lack. From Westchester, Delaney competed around the country. Nevada, Florida, Texas, Ohio. Medaling against some of the strongest people in the US. The World Classic Powerlifting Championships was his first international competition, followed by Sheffield Powerlifting Championships in the United Kingdom.

When asked how he felt getting gold in South Africa, Delaney had a mix of emotions. Despite finishing first, he knew that he was capable of so much more. Even though he was the best in the competition, he knew he was not at his personal best. But during the ceremony, when they presented him with his medal while the national anthem played in the background, he couldn’t hold back tears. He was proud to represent his country on the world stage.

Delaney says there’s no secret to what he does. He eats a banana and a protein shake for breakfast, elk for dinner, and spends 3 hours a day in the gym. Sometimes he treats himself to a salsa lesson in the Bronx on the weekend. His personal mantra is “recommit to your commitments, every day.” Every day, he wakes up and makes the conscious choice to be the best person that he can be, and to be as flexible as water in a stream. Delaney believes anything is possible given the right mindset, and he hopes to bring this message to his fellow alumni at Pace.

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