Team Hinesville Weightlifting was able to send only one competitor to the 2010 National School Age Weightlifting Championships in Foster City, Calif., but Dominic Brunson shone as he represented the local community, placing second overall at the meet.
Brunson also took second in the clean and jerk and the snatch categories, allowing him to take the overall 62 kilogram weight class at the June 25-27 meet.
Brunson, who moved up from the 56 kilogram weight class, said his was a comfortable experience.
"I felt a lot better because I had a lot more energy from when I competed at 56K," he said. "I’m a lot taller so competing at 62 helped me out. I didn’t really struggle. I was a little nervous but it didn’t bother me. I tried to channel it. I would like to thank the city of Hinesville and Mayor Jim Thomas as well as Liberty County Health Department because if it wasn’t for them, I would not have been able to go to these meets."
Team Hinesville coach Jenna Bussard said Brunson did well, but feels she could have done more to help him in the clean-and-jerk lift.
"I don’t think he was as prepared as he should have been in the clean and jerk," she said. "We found out that is one of his weaknesses. He was a little rushed toward the end and he needs a little bit more time in the clean and jerk. Next time, we’ll be ready for that."
Brunson said he wants to hit the goals he fell short of at the School Age meet.
"I fell short on my snatch and clean and jerk actually," he said. "I wanted to do a 90K snatch and a 110K clean and jerk and I only did an 85K and 100K."
Jumping up a weight class allowed Brunson to pack on more definition and power. The young man said he doesn’t notice the difference but competitors have brought it to his attention.
"Right now, he is definitely where he needs to be," the coach said. "He might be able to bump up another weight class in about two years. Right now there is no point. He doesn’t struggle to make weight and it was definitely a benefit to his body to go up to 62K."
Bussard said Brunson and her team are now focused on the 2010 AAU Junior Olympics on July 29-Aug. 1 in Virginia.
The coach said she has several potential athletes which are qualified for the Junior Olympics.
"This is probably one of the strongest teams Team Hinesville will bring to this meet," Bussard said. "Everybody is prepared and they are anxious. Some of these guys have never been to a big meet like this ever so they are nervous but that nervous energy could help them. For some of the guys this will be their first meet in a year so they and we are definitely ready to get back on the platform as far as national meets go."
So far, the coach said, Brunson, Michael and David Purcer, Jaleel Menifee, James Fox, Noel Sawyer and possibly Mack Brunson are looking to make the Junior Olympic meet.