By Adam Carrington
The women’s weightlifting team at Coffee’s Gym has returned to the habit of winning national titles.
After narrowly missing out on winning last year’s competition, the team was far more successful the last week of July when it traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to participate in the USA Weightlifting Senior Nationals. Instead of having to sweat out a tight competition, Coffee’s Gym got separation early and was declared the winner after the second day of competition.
Now the women at Coffee’s Gym have 19 national titles since beginning competition in 1983.
“We’ve done a lot of miles on women’s and men’s weightlifting,” said John Coffee, owner and coach of Coffee’s Gym, located on Lower Roswell Road in East Cobb. “We were lucky enough to win it again. Last year, we lost it by one point. We were kind of ready this year.”
Each athlete got three attempts to perform the two Olympic weightlifting moves — the snatch, and the clean and jerk. The snatch is to lift the barbell from the floor to above the head in one singular motion. The clean and jerk has the lifter bringing the barbell from the floor and stopping at the shoulder before finishing the lift.
Points are awarded by based on the combined total of the highest two successful lifts to determine an overall result.
Lifters are allowed to choose to lift either 15 pounds above or below their qualifying weight, according to Edward Baker, a weightlifter and coach at Coffee’s Gym. However, the more weight they can lift, the more points they get.
Having depth on the roster helped Coffee’s Gym pull away so quickly.
Kelly Rexroad Williams took second overall in the 105-pound competition with 152 points, lifting 149 pounds by snatch and 185 on clean and jerk.
Jodie Vaughn placed second in the 114-pound class with 165 – lifting 156 pounds by snatch and 198 on clean-and-jerk – and teammate Breanne Havard was third with 155.
Sydney Goad, 16-year-old the daughter of weightlifter Robin Byrd-Goad who competed in the 2000 Olympics, accumulated 126 points to finished sixth in the 105 class. Goad clean-and-jerked 160 pounds, which is a youth national record for the 16-17 age group in the 105-pound category.
Rachel York was fourth at 152 pounds. Rachel Bommicino was fifth at 145. Whitney Welsh was eighth at 138 and Leanna Lin was 15th at 152.
Coffee’s Gym also trained McEachern High School alumnus and 1996 Olympian Tommy Ingalsbe, two-time Olympian Bryan Jacob and 1888 Olympian Mike Jacques.