After day one of lifting at the 2019 Youth and Under 15 Australian Nationals there were some standout performances and competitions.
The day began with Phoenix Goodwin (Vic, 49kg) taking to the platform. Coincidentally, it was Phoenix’s 15th birthday. She managed to overcome a back injury to win both the Under 15 and Youth (under 17) divisions by 11kg, and bring home the first couple of golds for Victoria. On top of that, Phoenix broke her own Australian clean & jerk record at 64kg. Must have been all those birthday wishes helping her along.
Next up, Jack Gibson. Remember this name. Jack, a 49kg male Queenslander, must have had ice in his veins to be able to pull off an incredible upset win over Victoria’s Joel Wood. Leading into Saturday morning, Joel looked like he may clinch the comp just with his openers! But the Queensland team had other ideas.
Joel came out on fire, making a 6kg snatch PR at 56kg, while Jack missed 56kg on his final attempt. With the lead going into the clean & jerk, Joel crushed his opener but missed his second attempt, leaving the door open for Jack to make a Hail Mary final attempt at 71kg, an 11kg competition PR. The Queensland team went for it, and Joel did not disappoint, winning Queensland’s first gold for the weekend.
It was Tasmania’s time to shine in the third session of the day with Hannah Pickrell, technically one of the best lifters of the day, coming out to play hard against Victoria’s Amber Fielder. This was a real showing of how much making your lifts count. Unfortunately, Amber did not have the day she wanted, finishing 2/6. Hannah, on the other hand, went 6/6, adding to her amazing 96% success rate in competitions since 2017. Hannah ended with a 115kg total over Amber’s 109kg.
Jett Gaffeny is someone whose experience outweighs his age. This Youth Olympian came out for his final Nationals as a Youth athlete and made a real statement with his 124kg clean & jerk, which broke his own National record by 4kg. This type of performance doesn’t leave much room for the other 67kg competitors to get a look in. There are a couple of very talented Victorian lifters coming through in Dexter Todd — who won the under 15 and second in the Youth 67kg category — and Seth Schadendorff, who just missed out on a podium spot in the Youth category.
The final session of the night started at about 9pm, which was tough for a lot of these lifters. With the super experienced Maddison Power moving up to the 64kg category, which put her in competition with Tori Gallegos, a CrossFit games athlete, this was a big one.
Power put on a strong performance with an amazing 6/6 day. She claimed both snatch and clean & jerk (71/87) and total PRs. In Maddi’s usual weight category of 59kg this would normally be enough for the win, but Tori also had a very solid 6/6 day, finishing in first place by 5kg. Will Maddi stay up in the 64s or will she drop back down to the 59s to break more records?
Watch this space for all the highlights from day two.