After competing as a wrestler for two years in high school, weightlifting on the side, Harry Lucas ’21 switched to full-time weightlifting four years ago.
His training paid off when he competed at the 2019 USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships in Chicago over Block Break. Lucas is 20 this year, making this the last time he can compete at the junior level.
“It is still pretty fun,” said Lucas. “The environment is very high energy. That is the exciting part for me: going there and competing with other people who are at my level.”
Lucas competed against 25 other lifters in the 81 kilogram weight category, ultimately placing No.19th.
“It’s such a niche sport,” Lucas said. “It’s not like your average high school track meet,where everyone is a high schooler and runs like a high schooler and does things like a high schooler. This is the national level for this age group, and they’re all training as hard as you are. And it’s a fun experience because you don’t usually get that in your normal training routine.”
There are two different lifts in the competition; each competitor has three attempts per lift, with the goal of successfully completing all six. The first lift is the “snatch,” which is completed in one motion. Lucas was only able to fully complete his second attempt, at 95 kilograms. The next lift is the “clean and jerk.” This one requires two motions, and results in the lifter holding the weights above their head, allowing for a heavier total weight. Lucas made two of his three “clean and jerk” attempts, at 125 and 130 kilograms.
His successful lifts of 95 kilograms and 130 kilograms gave Lucas a combined total of 225 kilograms for the competition. The winner was able to go six-for-six and had a combined lift total of 285 kilograms.
“There’s this thing called going six-for-six, which is when you make all of your attempts, which is ideal, but kind of rare, because ideally you’re lifting heavy as well, and that means you might not make some of your attempts.”
In addition to competing for the first time in several months, Lucas was excited to be able to see his home coach again at nationals.
At home, Lucas trains at the New York Weightlifting Academy in New York City, but during the school year, he trains at Vardanian Weightlifting, a five-minute drive from campus. There, he trains alongside Olympians Norik Vardanian and Jenny Arthur, who finished in sixth place at the 2016 Olympics.
Lucas qualified for nationals during a meet at home in August, and spent last semester training for the competition. He would go to Vardanian Weightlifting about three times per week, and would also do cardio or other exercises twice per week at the Adam F. Press Fitness Center on campus.
Lucas plans to take a brief break to rest after the meet, but ultimately hopes to compete as a weightlifter for many .0years to come.
“It is definitely something I’m gonna do until I can’t do it anymore, which is a scary thought because that could be a while; it could be a long time.”