MARQUETTE – United States Olympic Education Center athletes will compete in two weekend events before the winter break begins. USOEC weightlifters will participate in the American Open Weightlifting Championship in Mobile, Ala., while USOEC speedskaters will be in Green Bay, Wis. for the U.S. Junior Short Track Championships.
For the weightlifters, this is the second most competitive domestic event, next to the Senior National Championships.
Head weightlifting coach Andy Tysz said his team is prepared for this event.
“We’ve been focusing more on competitive lifts in training,” he explained. “We’ve been working on speed, power and the technique of competition movements.”
The athletes will have completed their final exams at Northern Michigan University, but Tysz said this should not affect their performance.
“Because finals will be done before the competition and we just finished our last bit of heavy lifting, they have had time to focus on their exams,” he says. “Then, they can get in the right mindset for the competition.”
NMU freshman and Elite Development Program athlete Thomas Braddy (Macclenny, Fla.) will compete in the American Open, along with these resident athletes: sophomores Robin Feuerman (Alamonte Springs, Fla.), Sara Cowles (Daytona Beach, Fla.) and Allie Henry (River Falls, Wis.); junior Steve Jarvis (Niagra, Wis.); and graduate students Collin Ito (Vista, Calif.) and Breanne Carlson (Peshtigo, Wis.).Facility users Dan Gorelick and Mike Evans will also compete.
Speedskaters heading to the U.S. Junior Short Track Championships include Marquette Senior High School seniors Sarah Burg (Alpena, Mich.) and Brett Perry (Midland, Mich.) and NMU sophomore Dan Fiorenza (Wausau, Wis.).
In addition to minimum time standards, a skater must not have reached the age of 19 before the July 1 preceding the event in order to participate at the U.S. Junior Short Track Championships. Additionally, top finishers in this competition qualify to make the Junior World Team competing in Chinese Taipei in January.
Fiorenza is looking forward to the competition near his hometown, “This is my last year competing as a junior, so it’s my last chance to make the Junior World Team,” said Fiorenza. “It will be nice to have support from the area there, friends and family. I’ve been training really hard so I’m just trying to stay focused now.”