NMU wins bid to host championship

carson.lemahieu

Earlier this month, it was announced that the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC), along with the City of Marquette will host the 2009 USA Weightlifting National Collegiate Championships at the Berry Events Center.
The competition will be held April 17-19, 2009, and will feature 130 to 150 of the top collegiate weightlifters competing in both men’s and women’s competition. The event allows all athletes attending an American college to compete regardless of nationality.
National champions will be crowned in seven women’s weight classes and eight men’s weight divisions. Team champions will be named for the best team overall and the best men’s team in the competition.
“This is going to be a big event,” head weightlifting coach Andy Tysz said. “Any time you have a national championship, it is big.”
The event is a part of the College Sports Television Collegiate Championships series, which crowns champions in nine non-NCAA sports including boxing, snowboarding, wake boarding and beach volleyball.
“This is a great chance for us to showcase how great our weightlifters are to the rest of the community,” Tysz said.
Tysz put in an application with the governing body of the sport, USA Weightlifting, earlier this year and made a presentation to the Board of Governors of USA Weightlifting at the March 2 National Championships and won the bid to host the event. Tysz said the presentation focused on the facilities the USOEC and the city of Marquette can offer athletes.
Members of USA Weightlifting appear pleased with the selection of Marquette to host the meet.
“We are really excited to be having the 2009 Collegiate Championships hosted in Marquette,” said Kara Yessie, a communications director with USA Weightlifting. “We feel it will be a great location for the event.”
Marquette is small in comparison to past cities that have hosted the event. Previous hosts cities include Shreveport, La., Merrillville, Ind. and Orlando.
The other city to launch a bid for this year’s competition was Cincinnati.
Tysz said the reason the Board of Governors chose Marquette to host the event was because of the unique relationship between the USOEC and campus and the facilities that can be offered to athletes.
The event will offer the USOEC, still hurting from the loss of its boxing program in December, an opportunity to showcase itself to the local community.
“That’s the reason I decided we needed to pursue this so hard. We have this awesome program here at Northern and we need to show it off and get the recognition,” Tysz said.
He said he is hopeful that there will be much community support for the event.
“We think we will get a lot of strong support from the campus and people coming in from Marquette, Ishpeming, Negaunee, Harvey and all the other cities around the area,” Tysz said. “We’re going to try to get a lot of people there to watch these athletes go for the gold.”