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The North Wind

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Lily Gouin
Lily Gouin
Assistant Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Lily Gouin I am in my third year here at NMU. I am from Appleton, WI majoring in communications and double minoring in multimedia journalism and public relations. In my free time, I like...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
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Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Lifters power into competitive season

The first competition of the season for the USOEC weightlifting team was the Upper Peninsula Weightlifting Championships on Friday, Sept. 28 at the Superior Dome.

Head coach Vance Newgard said he was pleased with the meet overall, not just the athletes’ performances.

“I am extremely happy with the athletes’ results,” Newgard said. “There was also an amazing turnout from the community, and a turnout like that means the world to us.”

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Newgard said one of the athletes that hit some personal records was 63 kg lifter Vanessa McCoy who lifted 105 kg in the clean and jerk.

He said McCoy had been working off an injury and this was her first competition back.

“We had to work around her injury to keep her not only physically but emotionally strong,” Newgard said. “With her first competition back she got a personal record in the clean and jerk and is right on track with her snatch.”

McCoy said she was nervous for her first meet back and it got the best of her during her first set of lifts.

“I have a tendency to rush when I’m nervous and ended up missing the first two snatches,” McCoy said. “I reminded myself that I was out there to have fun and made my third snatch super easy.”

Newgard said McCoy is on her way to making some national records even though she is just getting back from her injury.

“I am very happy with her clean and jerk,” Newgard said. “She is setting herself up to threaten the American record of 116 kg.”

Another lifter at the competition was senior Kyle LaJoye at 85 kg. This was his first competition coming off the NMU men’s club track and field team.

“I got injured in track and ended up crossing over into weightlifting,” LaJoye said. “It was my first competition and I wanted to focus on making all my lifts instead of making any personal records.”

LaJoye said after getting warm ups and the first sets of nerves out of the way, he was able to perform.

“I opened with 75 kg then made the jump to make 80 and 81 kg in the snatch,” LaJoye said. “After that I was so relieved clean and jerks were easy and I made all three.”

Newgard said LaJoye did exactly what he needed to do to have a successful first meet.

“He had a perfect day and went six for six,” Newgard said. “The first meet is not about how much weight you lift but making the lifts, it is very important for an athlete’s confidence.”

Newgard is expecting to see LaJoye place high in the rankings over the next couple of years.

“He will get good results at University Nationals and has all the tools necessary to be a topped ranked weightlifter,” Newgard said.

Another crossover lifter, sophomore Bryan Budd at 94 kg, competed for the first time with different goals than his teammates.

Budd said coming in as a football player, he was use to needing to gain weight, now he had to cut.

“I came up here at 100 kg and had to cut seven kg in three weeks, that is a lot for a weightlifter,” Budd said. “It was my goal though to get down, and I did it, it felt great to meet that goal.”

Newgard said there is more precision to Olympic weightlifting than football trains its athletes for.

He said even the strongest athletes have to focus on technique before they lift very heavy.

“Budd is one of our strongest athletes in the gym, but he needs to work on perfecting movement,” Newgard said. “If he stays disciplined and focuses on training he will be on the medal stand within a year.”

The next competition for the USOEC weightlifting team is the American Open on Friday, Nov. 30 in San Diego, Calif.

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