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Johannes Roskosh of Weber State University attempts a 225 pound Snatch at the National University Weightlifting Championship, held at Weber State University last fall. (The Signpost Archives)

Weber State University Weightlifting looks to the spring after earning first place in the 2016 Utah State Championships. At the 2016 USA weightlifting University Championships, the women’s team won third place overall.

WSU lifters compete in local, national and international competitions year-round in order to prepare for their main goal. The University Championships are held in the spring.

“We want to compete in the national university meets,” said club Vice President Sam Burnett. “I want to see how I compete with college lifters.”

University level Olympic weightlifting is an individual sport that focuses on two competitive lifts, the snatch and the clean-and-jerk, which rely on technique and power.

“It is very much an individual sport, but we all just push each other,” Burnett said. “It’s the first individual sport I’ve ever done, and it puts your mental fortitude to the test.”

Lifters perform individually in competitions, while the top women and men lifters from each university are scored as a team. Men and women have their own teams, but they compete in the same tournaments on the same stage.

Anyone in the club is able to enter into competitive tournaments as long as they participate in weekly practices.

The club is open to all Weber State students and community members who are interested in Olympic-style weightlifting. Burnett joined the club without ever having used a structured weightlifting regiment.

“I tried the weightlifting and just kind of fell in love,” Burnett said. “Once I started progressing and realized competitions were attainable, that’s when it started to light a fire.”

Club president Audrey Kohlts mentioned that, like Burnett, many members join knowing little-to-nothing about Olympic weightlifting.

“I had no idea what Olympic weightlifting was,” Kohlts said. “I’ve done sports my whole life and really fell in love with it and met great people.”

WSU weightlifting was founded by coach Matthew Barker in spring 2014. The purpose of the club was to add an Olympic-style weightlifting team in the Weber State community.

“We are a club team that is trying to spread the sport,” said Burnett. “Looking to get people that want to compete or learn the sport.”

All of the members have access to the same coaching and training as the competitive lifters looking to enter the University National Championships.

“We have people learning with PVC pipe while we have other people that are stacking the weight,” Burnett said.

The team practices every Tuesday and Thursday at 6-8:30 a.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-noon at the High Performance Center in the Swenson/Stromberg Complex.

The club gives a two week trial period, which allows people the opportunity to try the club before paying the membership fee.

To join Weber State Weightlifting, go to weber.edu/recclubs and fill out the membership and informed consent waivers. The $80 membership fee can be paid at the Campus Recreation Office.

Students may also email club president Audrey Kohlts at audreykohlts@mail.weber.edu for more information.

Follow the club on Facebook, “Weber State Weightlifting Club,” for more information.

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