MARQUETTE— The second day of the Superior Health Partners National Collegiate Weightlifting Championships hosted by the United States Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University’s Berry Events Center came to an exciting close as athletes fought for every kilogram to take home the gold.
The last two weight classes, 85 and 94 kgs, came down to the last lifters to determine gold and silver medalists. In the 85-kg weight class, lifters Travis Cooper (Georgia Tech University) and Michael Tirrito (Farleigh Dickeson) were head to head going into the last lift. Cooper clenched the gold by lifting one kg more than Tirrito in the clean and jerk, bringing the totals to 301 and 300 kgs, respectively. The bronze medalist, Kyle Ziegler (United States Air Force Academy) ended with a 250 kg total.
At 94 kg, USOEC resident athlete Chris Lenahen (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.), a Northern Michigan University freshman, captured the gold beating out Robert Smith (State College of Florida) who earned silver by lifting 270 kg and bronze medalist David Motoyoshi (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) who lifted 257 kg total. However, just the gold was not enough as Lenahen bested his medal earning lift by 5 kg bringing his clean and jerk to 158 kg and making his total 283 kg.
Winning the gold at Nationals is just the beginning for Lenahen. “My goal was to do well at Nationals after I was injured last year,” said Lehahen, “but I’m not stopping here.”
In the men’s 77 kg weight class, Walter Soha (Louisiana State University-Shreveport) earned the gold with a total of 272 kg; Robert Hall (Life University) received the silver with a total of 261 kg; Jason Bourgeois (Georgia Tech University) earned the bronze with a total of 260 kg.
''On the women's side at 63 kg, Megan Kranz (LSUS) took home gold, Gwendolyn Sisto (MIT) earned the silver and Jessie Humeston (Pikes Peak Community College) received the bronze. At 69 kg, Kelly Lynch (University of Colorado-Colorado Springs) took gold, USOEC resident and NMU sophomore Allie Henry (River Falls, Wis.) brought home the silver and Stephanie Haacke (University of Northern Iowa) earned bronze.
According to Henry, the women were also battling for each kilogram on the platform. "The end [of the session] really made me push it. We were all going hard and ultimately I set two personal records so the competition was fierce."