BRUTE STRENGTH: Luke Bidgood (back, from left), Sophie Bourne and Selina Richards with Amity Salisbury (front, from left), coach Sonia Stenhouse and Kylie Salisbury all made the trip to Brisbane over the weekend for the 2019 Australian Under 15 andYouth Championships.
BRUTE STRENGTH: Luke Bidgood (back, from left), Sophie Bourne and Selina Richards with Amity Salisbury (front, from left), coach Sonia Stenhouse and Kylie Salisbury all made the trip to Brisbane over the weekend for the 2019 Australian Under 15 andYouth Championships. Contributed

Saints weightlifters lift big at the National Championships

Preparations may have been long and hard, beginning 12 weeks ago, however for young weightlifters it was all worth it when they notched up strong results over the weekend.

Five Miles Saint weightlifters joined approximately 70 other weightlifters from Queensland and competed in the 2019 Australian Under 15 and Youth Championships in Brisbane.

Amongst the team was Queensland's youngest weightlifter, 11-year-old Selina Richards who took her first nationals in her stride, full of confidence.

She smashed a 12kg competition total personal best with a 23kg snatch and a 31kg clean and jerk.

"She was so excited,” lifting coach Sonia Stenhouse said.

"Just her confidence at such a young age blows me away because there were a lot of people watching her over the weekend and it can be quite daunting.

"I couldn't do what she did at her age.”

Luke Bidgood was also part of the team, and was one of the two Saints who walked away with a medal.

He won a bronze medal in under15 male 61kg category.

"He was really happy and it was even more special because he knew the other two podium finishers,” Stenhouse said.

"Over the competitions they have got to know each other really well and they cheer each other on.”

Bidgood did have tougher conditions, lifting later on the day.

"There's a lot of checking on body weight that happens which isn't easy as kids,” Stenhouse said.

"Two hours before they are due to compete they get weighted and if they are border line in the morning which sometimes Luke was, it can mean a hungry day because they must be at weight in the afternoon otherwise they don't get to compete.”

Amity Salisbury from the Saints reached a significant milestone in the nationals.

She lifted a 47kg snatch and a 54kg clean and jerk, reaching a total of 101kg and triple figures in a competition for the first time.

This was a great achievement for her because she was the lightest person in her category.

Her sister Kylie Salisbury achieved the highest result out of the five lifters, easily winning a silver medal in the youth 76kg section.

Sophie Baloom, like Selina also competed in her first nationals, being thankful that she lifted the qualifying weight and able to just be there.

"She lifted really late as well and did have a couple of calls were the referee didn't give her lifts,” Stenhouse said.

"I think three out of her six lifts actually counted.

"It was a daunting experience but they all do so well and I'm really proud of her and glad I got to coach them.

"Sometimes I get as nervous as they do but it's always a relief when all their hard work pays off and they pull off their first lift.”

Stenhouse was also the coach for the whole Queensland team who had a very successful championship, winning all four team trophies.

"Queensland won the under 15 female and male trophies and also the female and male youth team trophies,” she said.

"We did have the biggest team with over 70 people.

"Queensland has the biggest weightlifters association in Australia so we are really lucky to be a part of Queensland.”

There is no rest for these athletes with the Saints weightlifters preparing for their next competition in Toowoomba this weekend.