MARQUETTE – The United States Olympic Education Center’s weightlifting team competed in the National Junior Championships in Rochester, Minn., Feb. 26-28.
Northern Michigan University sophomore Sara Cowles (Daytona Beach, Fla.) took home gold and won the title of National Junior when she successfully completed her lifts in the 53 kilogram division. Cowles was named to the Junior World Team. Teammate Robin Feuerman (Altamonte Springs, Fla.), also an NMU sophomore, took the bronze medal in the 63 kg division.
For the men, NMU freshman Thomas Braddy (Macclenny, Fla.) took silver in the 105 kg division and was also named a member of the Junior World Team. Freshmen Chris Lenahen (Ponte Verda Beach, Fla.) placed fifth in the 94 kg division; and Andrew Vrabel (Highland, Ind.) and Max Cretcher (Rochester Hills, Mich.) placed fifth and tenth, respectively, in the 69 kg division.
Head weightlifting coach Andy Tysz was very pleased with the results. “The athletes worked very hard leading up the competition, and it shows,” said Tysz “Some were happy with their performances and some were not. But that’s why we compete. We learn from it and do better next time.”
This competition was also a good test for the weightlifter’s next event, the National Collegiate Weightlifting Championships April 16-18 in Marquette. Tysz says the Junior Championships helped the younger weightlifters prepare for this upcoming event.
“Anytime you get on a national stage, its preparation for any other competition,” said Tysz. “It’s just another opportunity for improvement.”