Leadville Student “Lifted” to National Podium
Submitted by Leadville Lifts Coach Ben Wells
On Friday, June 26, Lake County High School student Kaytlin Sprague of the Leadville Lifters stepped on to the USA Weightlifting National Youth Championship’s National Platform in Bloomington, MN. She was one of 14 youth national competitors in the 35kg weight class and 13 and under age group.
Sprague has been training with the Leadville Lifters for over a year and qualified for the Youth Nationals competition twice, once in the 35kg weight class and once in the 39kg weight class. Although this was her first national competition, she did well.
If you ask her, it was “really scary and nerving” to be on the platform with hundreds of spectators watching. Of the two movements, the snatch and the clean and jerk, Sprague completed the snatch movement with a 20kg lift. For her clean and jerk movement, unfortunately she did not complete any of attempts. All three of the clean and jerk attempts were very close. Sprague also learned that the referees at the national level judge every hard.
The Leadville Lifters wants to thank you for everyone who donated to Kaytlin’s trip, she was able to raise $1,500 to cover all of her expenses. Overall that experience of going to the Youth Nationals was a great one and Sprague cannot wait for next year’s Youth Nationals, which will take place in Austin, Texas.
This year there were over 600 youth competing and every one competing under the age of 17. Olympic Weightlifting has grown incredibly over the last couple of years. Some of the growth is due to Crossfit, a weightlifting/cardio/active movement type of workout program. It is also that colleges are including functional strength in their programs for their athletes and high schools have begun to include it as part of their curriculum and workout programs for the athletes.