Team Hinesville Weightlifting captured five gold medals, three silvers and a bronze at the Matt Davis Memorial held at the Anderson/Cohen Weightlifting Center April 28 in Savannah.
It was the third meet for Team Hinesville under new coach Chris Wood, who only had two competitors at the 2011 Georgia-Alabama LWC Weightlifting Championships held Dec. 17 in Savannah.
Since then, word has gotten out that Team Hinesville still means business when it comes to lifting the heavy iron, and Coach Wood said the team has experienced new growth.
“Right now, I’m writing workouts for at least 12-15 guys,” he said.
Wood said April 28’s meet was a local qualifier for upcoming national, AAU and school-age events. The school-age events are open to weightlifters 15 and younger, which is a growing population among Wood’s lifters.
The longest-tenured lifter on Team Hinesville is Ludowici resident James Fox. Fox joined Team Hinesville about a year ago under former coach Jenna Bussard. He did well in his initial meets but has polished his technique under the guidance of coach Wood.
“His technique looks great,” Wood said. “I have people coming up to me and asking me if he is the same guy that was competing six months ago. His numbers are higher, and he looks like he has been lifting for years. People have taken notice.”
Fox was one of Team Hinesville’s gold medalists. The honor student said his personal bests are 103 kilos in the snatch and 115 kilos for the clean and jerk. He is looking to qualify for the junior national meet next February. “At practice, I have hit above the qualifying total. I just have to hit above in a competition in order to qualify,” Fox said. “There is more pressure in competition, but I do well under pressure. I didn’t hit my best numbers in this competition. A couple of things didn’t go right. I did a couple of things wrong that, as a longtime lifter, I should have done better.”
Fox said he plans to do better at the next meet, which is scheduled for May 26 in Savannah.
Wood said he has learned a lot as a first-year coach and knows he is headed in the right direction.
“I think it’s the same for any other coach,” he said. “First, you get your feet wet as far as coaching, and the next step is to trickle into the national events. And once you’ve done that, a couple of times you can really start thinking about major things. And I’m pretty sure we are doing pretty good.”
Matt Davis Memorial Team Hinesville results:
School Age Division
Dustin Miller, 10 years old, 50 kilo-class, silver medal, snatched 19 kilos and clean and jerked 24.
Dominick Callum, 9 years old, 56 kilo-class, 49-kilo total, bronze medal, snatched 21 and clean and jerked 28 kilos.
Bryce Cream, 9 years old, 56 kilo-class, 42-kilo total, silver medal, snatched 19 kilos and clean and jerked 23.
Hallie Poole, 8 years old, 42 kilo-class, 35-kilo total, gold medal, 15 kilo snatch and a 20 kilo clean and jerk.
Nori China, 18 years old, 62 kilo-class, 124-kilo total, gold medal, 55 kilos and clean and jerked 69 kilos.
Vaughn Head, 17 years old, 69 kilo-class, 147-kilo total, gold medal, snatched 63 and clean and jerked 83 kilos.
James Fox, 17 years old, 85 kilo-class, 205-kilo total, gold medal, snatched 95 kilos and clean and jerked 110 kilos
Logan Avant, 15 years old, 94 kilo-class, 161-kilo total, gold medal, snatched 73 kilos and clean and jerked 88
Allen Oldham, 23 years old, 105 kilo-class, 168-kilo total, silver medal, snatched 73 clean and jerked 95.