Last weekend, the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) weightlifting team got some experience as they competed in the National Junior Championships and the Pan-American Championships.
The competitions held last weekend were significant events for the team, said head coach Andy Tysz.
“Both competitions provided an opportunity to compete in the National Championship, along with a spot on the International Team,” he said.
Weightlifters who competed at the Junior Championships include Northern Michigan University freshmen Jessica Gallagher at 58 kilograms, and Robin Feuerman at 63 kg. Weightlifters competing in the Pan-American Secondary Qualifier are: NMU senior Collin Ito at 105-plus kg; Justin Brimhall at 77 kg; and sophomore Sarah Robles at 75-plus kg.
The lifters come to NMU from all over the country to lift through the USOEC. The ultimate goal for every lifter in the organization is to steadily progress toward the Olympics, Tysz said.
“This program, right now, is a developmental center. I hope to create the program and develop it further down the line,” Tysz said. “We develop the athletes to a certain point and send them to the next level.”
If a weightlifter does well and impresses the upper-level judges at the National Championships, that may grant them a spot in a higher level competition. These competitions are a series of try-outs for higher-level contests, Tysz said.
The weightlifting team will be competing next in the National Collegiate Championships, April 17, in Shreveport, La. After that, the team will travel to Chicago on June 4, to take part in the National Championships.