Team Hinesville’s Olympic weightlifting coach Jenna Bussard placed within the top 10 last weekend at the 2009 Pan-American and USA National Weightlifting Championships in Chicago.
"I got second place in my weight class in the U.S.A. National competition and in the Pan-Am competition I took eighth place," said Bussard, who turns 23 on June 18, said.
With a successful meet behind her, Bussard said she is focusing on two specific areas of Team Hinesville. One is her opportunity to qualify for the World Championship meet in Thailand and the other is Team Hinesville’s upcoming meets for the school-age competitors and the AAU Junior National Olympics.
"I have 10 weeks to get
my stuff together as far as training and getting to where I need to be at to try and qualify for the World Championships," Bussard said.
She said she is on her school break and plans to devote the time to focus specifically on her training.
"We’ve talked about different training schedules and what I need to fix and work on as far as my weaknesses and my strengths so I plan to be in the gym every day," she said.
Team Hinesville is one week away from competing at the 2009 National School Age Championships scheduled for June 19-21 in Gainesville. The squad will have five members competing in different weight classes. Of the four boys and one girl competing, Bussard said two have the ability to medal.
On July 13, the team will compete in a meet in Savannah as they prepare for the AAU Junior Olympics in Iowa from July 27-Aug. 8.
"I believe everyone has already qualified for that so the goal is to raise enough funds to allow us to take everyone," Bussard said.
"It’s roughly a $7,000 trip and right now we’ve managed to get $3,000 and some of that will go toward expenses for the school-age meet," she said.
While the city of Hinesville is considering options to help fund the trip, the team is searching for sponsors. Bussard said she is grateful for recent donations.
"I want to thank the health department and this one person who asked to remain anonymous for their donations," she said. "If it wasn’t for them these kids would not be able to make these trips to compete."
If you would like to become a sponsor or make a donation to help Team Hinesville, call Bussard at 429-0931.