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Local lifters fare well at championship meet
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Seven weightlifters from the Team Georgia program qualified and competed at the American Open Weightlifting Championship over the weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio. The American Open is the second biggest championship in the country and is used as a qualifier for several International Championships. A total of 238 athletes competed for medals. The five women who competed from Team Georgia are all Junior or School Age division competitors.

Ellen Kercher, a junior at Flowery Branch High, won three bronze medals in the 48-kilogram weight class Friday morning.
She snatched 53 kg., along with a clean and jerk of 67 kg. for a total of 120 kg. Her clean and jerk and total are new personal records.

Hope Stockel, a sophomore at Flowery Branch High School, competed in the 58 kg. weight class. Stockel was the youngest competitor in her weight class by five years. She snatched 55 kg., and clean-and-jerked 69 kg. for a total of 124 kg. Stockel set personal records in the clean and jerk and combined total finishing 11th overall.

Megan Poole, a senior at Chestatee, placed fifth overall in the 63 kg. weight class. Poole snatched 71 kg., clean-and-jerked 90 kg. for a combined total of 161 kg.

Riley Farrow, a junior at Chestatee, competed in the 69 kg. weight class. Farrow snatched 63 kg., clean-and-jerked 75 kg. and totaled 138 kg. for a 16th-place finish.

Jenny Arthur, a junior at Chestatee, placed fourth overall in the 75 kg. division. Arthur snatched 73 kg., clean-and-jerked 102 kg., for a combined total of 175 kg. She set personal records and increased her total 25 kg. since winning the National School Age Championship last June in California.

Kercher, Stockel, Poole and Arthur were the best junior division lifters in their weight classes.

In the men's divisions, Spencer Arnold, a graduate of Johnson High and the University of Georgia, placed in the 69 kg. weight class. Arnold snatched 102 kg., clean-and-jerked 135 kg. for a combined total of 237 kg. and placed eighth overall. Arnold set personal records in the clean and jerk and his combined total.

Travis Cooper, a student at Georgia Tech, won three silver medals. He snatched 140 kg., clean-and-jerked 182 kg. for a combined total of 322 kg.

Arthur and Cooper each earned the Rich Shutz Award for completing all six of their lifts.

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