This year Team Rumbler was poised to have its biggest ever showing at the New England Championships with nearly 15 athletes competing. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, injuries, and other obstacles that number was shortened to six. On our first day we had Kelly and Ashling competing in the 63kg and 69kg categories respectively. This was Kelly’s first meet and she was extremely nervous. Doing a meet at this stage in her training is somewhat premature, but we’ve always ecnouraged our athletes to compete as much as possible. Both for the experience, but also to help increase their drive. Competition is exciting, and it fuels athlete’s to push harder in training, set goals, and reach them. Considering that Kelly just started snatching from the floor this week, I’v very proud of how she performed!
Ashling, who trains at White Mountain CrossFit, follows a program I write for her specifically for her Weightlifting training. It was a big day for her as she set two PRs in the snatch (44kg and 46kg) as well as broke the 100lb mark in the snatch which was a long time goal of hers. She also set a 1kg PR in the C&J, and a 4kg PR in the total. Most importantly her technique is looking better than ever.
On Sunday we had two athletes in the 75kg category, as well as two athletes in the +75kg category, which were competing in the same session. Our newest lifter Katerina and Laura went into this comeptition both with personal bests of 55kg in the snatch, and Kat’s best C&J was 71kg and Laura’s 70kg, so they were neck and neck. Our super heavy weights, are also close in ability as Whitey’s been on a path of constant progress, and Mackenzie’s training has been held back by some nagging tendonitis in her knee. This was the first time these two ladies would be competing with one another with similar openers in the snatch.
It had been nearly a year since Laura last competed and it was good to have her back on the competition platform. She was looking very strong in warm-ups and managed to get herself a competition PR snatch, match a competition PR C&J, and get herself a new all time PR total. This was enough to earn her 2nd place in the New England Championships!
This was Kat’s first meet, and she is still in the process of learning her technique and timing. In the gym she’s done 55kg/71kg but as it was her first comeptition I wanted to open somewhat conservative so we started with 50kg, which she made. next we went to 53kg which she made again, next was 56kg, which was turned down for a pressout, but it’s very obvious she has the strength for a lot more weight. She also did great in the C&J managing to match her training PR for her first ever Weightlifting competition, she took home a nice total of 124kg
Whitey had just traveled to Philly the weekend prior to compete at the Hookgrip Spartakiad, where she hit all time PRs in the C&J and in the total, as well as winning gold in her weight class. To come out the next weekend and compete again was a big challenge. During her warm-ups you could see that she was visibly tired, and mentally not on her game. We opened with 75kg in the snatch which is about 94% of her best, which she made easily. We went up to 77kg and took to tries at it but it just wasn’t there. In the C&J she looked much stronger, and although we opened with a conservative 85kg, she managed to work her way up to 93kg for her final attempt which she made easily. This lift was a big deal to me because she only just set a PR of 94kg last week at the Spartakiad. Prior to that she had only hit this weight once in training, and had tried it and missed many times in training.
The last year+ for Mackenzie has been tumultous. After a mandatory month off from training after Nationals 2014, she broke her thumb, putting her out for 8 weeks. After that she aggravated an old hockey injury in her back, which set her training back immensely. After that it was severe tendonitis in her knee. She’s had some great moments in the last year, still managing to make huge break throughs in her lifting (90kg snatch, 108kg C&J), but it hasn’t been easy. We really had no idea what she was capable of lifting this weekend, as her training has been so up and down. Her warm-ups looked good so we decided to open with 80kg in the snatch a weight she’s struggled to hit consistently in training lately. She made it, but it looked a little loose. So we went to 83kg, which she made more convincingly, and we ended with 85kg, which was the best snatch of the day for her. The C&J went mostly the same, and she finished with 104kg for a 189 total, going 6/6. Which is more than she lifted at Nationals this year. Progress!
On top of our own lifters, we were also asked to help out some of our friends, including Whitey’s boyfriend Seth who lifted in the 94kg division, our friend Dan Marrone, who competes as a 105, and his athlete Nate, who were both in the same session as our final lifter of the day Phil, competing as a +105 Master lifter. Seth had also competed in the Spartakiad the week before, where he unfortunately wasn’t able to post a total. He didn’t hit any PRs for himself but he managed 100kg in the snatch and 120kg in the C&J, and had some EPIC attempts. Although Phil has competed once before, it was over a year ago, and prior to him training with us, so the new lifter anxiousness was definitely there. He looked fantastic in warm-ups, and after shaking off the jitters in a first attempt miss, he came back to hit two lifts which were both competition PRs finishing with 90kg in the snatch. His C&J went a bit smoother finishing with 118kg, for all around competition PRs.
Although earlier in the day I had four lifters in a single session, this last session was tricky because the lifters were spread out, but not enough where you could focus on one at a time. Not to mention two of them were NOT my athletes. I had no idea how they like to warm-up, what they are capable of, how they handle drop down sets if necessary. Dan’s lifter Nate finished with 107 and 145 for his first meet. Our good friend Dan hit 130 to match a competition PR, and 153 for all time C&J PR. His warm-up for the snatch went beautifully, but C&J was a mess, with a lot of people bottlenecked through the 140s and a lot of misses. We initially planned to open Dan up at 150, but we pulled him down to 147, which he made easily. He wanted 152 for his 2nd, but he let me make the call and I put him at 150 which would be a PR. The jerk was shaky, but good, we went to 153, and it was his best lift of the day.
All in all it was a fantastic weekend. Although there have been many awesome moments over the last few years, I think this may have been my proudest moment as a coach, because there was an overwhelming sense of team work and community. Jamie who has been sidelined by injury spent her entire weekend helping me out to load bars, warm-up lifters, etc…Mackenzie also came down on Saturday to work, despite needing to rest for her competition on Sunday. Carly also gave up her Sunday to help out the team. Unprovoked our team members offered to load the bar for the competition, referee, and clean up/organize the warm-up area between sessions. Everyone had a positive attitude, and supported one another. Weightlifting may be an individual sport, but it is defintiely a team effort, and I couldn’t do what I do without all the help from my team. Even though it was a long weekend with over 8 hours of commuting alone, as well as getting out of bed at 5 in the morning only to return at 11 at night, seeing how well my athletes are prepared, and how much effort they put in no matter what, makes me really happy, and keeps me looking forward to the next one. Thank you very much to Doctor Robinson and her awesome staff for putting on yet another fantastic meet.