The Junior National Weightlifting Championships was a huge success for the Performance One Weightlifting Team. Kaija Bramwell, Jake Mapes, and Cody King all came home with Medals. The event was in Aurora, Colorado over Superbowl weekend. It was very cold and the hotel is close to the airport but nothing else. On Friday all of the B Session Lifters Competed. There was a two platform system that was placed on a poorly constructed stage. The staging was not suitable for Olympic Weightlifting. During the competition the staging was breaking apart underneath from the vibration of the weights being dropped. This was the B Session Lifters what could only image when the heavier lifters would compete what would happen. After many coaches, athletes, and even parents complained that this situation was unsafe to the athletes. The organizers stripped the staging away and placed the platform on the floor.
On Saturday, 53 kilo lifter Kaija Bramwell competed in the 53 Kilo Women’s A Session. We new the top two girls would be very difficult to beat and that in reality it would be a race for third between ourselves and two other girls. Kaija made her Opening Attempt at 56 kilos very solid. The next attempt was at 59 kilos wear she left it out front. On her Third Attempt she had the lift over head, she lost her balance and had to step forward to recover the weight. In the process unlocked one of her arms and the lift was turned down. This placed her in a hole leading into the Clean & Jerks, but like we say in sports anything can happen. She went out and made her opener of 74 kilos very strong. The next couple of girls missed their attempts. Kaija made her Second Attempt with 78 kilos. With a little luck from her competitors missing their attempts it gave us a small window of opportunity. If Kaija made her Third Clean & Jerk at 80 kilos she would solidify Third Place Overall. We put the weight on the bar and with a valiant effort in the Attempt she failed to Clean the weight. Kaija did finish with a Third Place Medal in the Clean & Jerk with her 78 kilos and 4th Place Overall. She is one of the youngest lifters in this division and will come back next year with a vengeance. She is currently seated on the Youth Pan American Team that will compete in the end of May in South America.
On Sunday, Jacob Mapes competed in the 94 kilo Class. Jake is new to weightlifting having played High School Football for Desert Ridge last year. Jake is very talented and has a bright future in the sport. Like Kaija I knew that Jake would have a shot at top three based off the entry totals of the other competitors. Jake had a great warm up and made his Opening Attempt at 105 kilos. Jake followed that up with an even better 110 kilo Second Attempt. With Jake I followed the numbers and new that consistent lifts were the most important thing. I called for 115 kilos for his Third Attempt. This is Jakes Gym PR. He went out and nailed it. Now it is an Official Competition PR. Jake would finish Third in the Snatch. In the Clean & Jerk, Jake is very strong. We opened with 140 kilos and quickly showed the competition that we were a player for a Medal. He then made even faster work with 145 kilos on his Second Attempt. For the Final Attempt I called for 150 kilos, again a gym PR now it was time to make it an Official Competition PR. Jake went out and did what Jake does make big weights when he needs to. That 150 kilo Clean & Jerk was good for Second Place. Jake would then finish 3rd Overall. The top two competitors that beat Jake will be moving on out of this Age Division next year where Jake has another year to improve and take home the Gold Overall.
Late Sunday night during the Superbowl was big Cody King’s turn. Cody is one of the Strongest Athletes that I have ever started in the sport of Weightlifting. His up side is so high it is hard to predict. However because of his Strength he also has a down side and that is feel of the movements and true technical mastery. I knew Cody would be in the top three. The other competitors had a tremendous more amount of experience then Cody and that experience not strength could be a deciding factor. Cody opened his Snatch with 130 kilos. Cody missed his opener because of some mental indecisiveness. He regrouped and came back to make it on his Second Attempt. In fact, he made it so easy he Power Snatched it. On his Third Attempt I called for 135 kilos. Cody again showed a little mental uncertainty and missed that one as well. The other two top competitors only made 136 and 135 kilo respectfully in the Snatch. We were only a Maximum of 6 kilos out of first place. This was not an insurmountable lead and could be overtaken. In the Clean & Jerk, we opened with 150 kilos. This lift would lock Cody into 3rd Place. He went out there and Power Cleaned it and Jerked it like it was nothing. His competitors did not look as sharp on their openers and they left an opportunity for us to pass them. I called for 157 kilos for Cody’s Second Attempt because I knew that it would force his competitors to go first on short rest and we would be in the drivers seat. Cody again Power Cleaned it and Jerked it with ease. After one of his competitors missed, Cody now had locked up 2nd Place Overall with one lift to go and a chance to go after the number one guy. We were prepared to go as heavy as 165 on his Third Attempt. The top guy David Jorge missed his last Clean & Jerk. His Total was 291. We needed 292 to beat him because Jorge had bodyweight on us and we knew a tie would not cut it. That weight was 162. I called for 162 kilos and like the other lifts Cody Power Cleaned it. He Jerked it just as easy as the other ones, but as he had it over his head he tucked his hips a little and the bar drifted behind him a little too much and he dropped it. No Lift. It was very disappointing knowing he had the lift over head and then to loose it like that. Cody’s inexperience caught up to him on that one. Cody finished with a 3rd Place Medal in the Snatch, 1st Place Medal in the Clean & Jerk, and a 2nd Place Medal Overall. He showed the Weightlifting Community that he is for real and with more training and experience he will become the most dominant Heavyweight in America.
All in all, I am very please with my athletes performance. They showed fight and competitiveness that can’t always be taught. We will review what worked and didn’t work with the previous cycle and set our marks for the next event. Thank for all the support.
Coach Joe Micela