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Locals find gold at Canadian Weightlifting Jr. Nationals

Norsemen teammates Logan Baker (middle) and Mark Wang (left) take 1st and 2nd in the 85 kilo clean and jerk. Photo submitted.

Norsemen teammates Logan Baker (middle) and Mark Wang (left) take 1st and 2nd in the 85 kilo clean and jerk. Photo submitted.

On Saturday, the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus was the site of the Canadian Weightlifting Federation’s Junior National Championship.

Ontario entered a strong contingent which included four lifters from the local Norsemen and Valkyries Club.

The locals returned with two golds, a silver, and a fourth place finish.

One of the most exciting battles of the day took part in male 85 kilo class. Indeed, from start to finish, North Bay Norsemen Mark Wang and Logan Baker, and the pre-competition favorite, Gilles Caza of Quebec, traded the lead back and forth. When the last attempts were taken the medalists were separated by one kilo.

Wang and Baker were successful with all three snatch lifts, both finishing with 115 kilos. Caza meanwhile did 116. Going into the clean and jerks Caza was first, Wang second - by way of lighter bodyweight - and Baker third.

All three lifters missed their opening attempts in the clean and jerk. Caza missed 133 and tried again for a success. Baker and Wang then missed 135.

Wang repeated and made a good lift. Baker chose to take 136 on his second, and made the lift to jump into the lead. Caza called for 140, and so did the others. All made valiant attempts, but were unable to secure the weight above their heads.

So, the final totals were Baker 251, Wang 250, and Caza 249.

In the same lifting session, Ontario’s entrant in the heaviest male division, +105 kilo class, was North Bay native, Ryan Hunter.

The 17-year-old NCAA football recruit, who attends Canisus High School in Buffalo, improved on his gold medal performance of last year by posting new personal bests. Hunter, like his lighter teammates, also made 115 in the snatch.

In the clean and jerk, though he made 140, 147 and then 157 kilos. His final lift was the heaviest weight hoisted on the day and wrapped up the gold for Hunter.

Earlier in the contest 15 year old Bronwynn Sheppard made all six of her attempts and broke all her personal records to take fourth in the women’s 53 kilo class.

Sheppard, last year’s silver medalist in the 48 kilo class, made lifts of 48, 50 and 52 kilos in the snatch. In the clean and jerk she posted 60, 63 and 65 to finish with a 117 kilo total.

Ontario’s men’s team placed a close second to Quebec in the team standings – 161 points to 159. In the female team standings, Quebec was first with 109 points, followed by B.C. with 105, and Ontario with 99.

The best female lifter by formula was the 75 kilo class champion Johanie Filiatrault of Quebec.

Aaron Rose, the gold medal winner in the 77 kilo division, was the best male lifter.

Submitted to