By Kaity Gage, Special Media Projects Editor
Seventh grader, Anthony Hernandez, will be heading to Atlanta, Georgia from June 22 to June 25 to compete at the 2017 Youth National Championships. Hernandez will be competing in weightlifting in the snatch and the clean and jerk. He trains for the sport in Meadville at the Relentless Barbell Club, the only Olympic style weightlifting club in Crawford County.
The snatch is when the lifter takes his barbell and lifts it directly from the floor to above their head. When Hernandez is executing this motion in practice, he uses 46 pound weights. During the clean and jerk, Hernandez takes the barbell off the floor, brings it to his shoulders, and rests the weights on his deltoids, without letting it fully rest on his clavicles.
He spends an average of two hours lifting, three times a week at his gym. He enjoys the physical activity along with seeing his progression over time.
Hernandez’s inspiration to lift and to continue growing stronger comes from his father. “He’s done everything for me and helped me get where I am,” Hernandez said.
Blair Erdeljac, one of Hernandez’s coaches, said, “Anthony is one of the smallest kids in school, but through weightlifting, he has built confidence and become a more outgoing kid. He has also demonstrated a high level of maturity: taking his training seriously and becoming a dedicated athlete with great work ethic.”