Donovan Ford Delivers at the USA Weightlifting Junior National Championships

With some big lifts coming into the USA Weightlifting Junior National Championships and the prospect of a making a Junior World Championships team on the line, there was a lot of pressure on Donovan Ford this weekend.

This is how his coach, Hassle Free Barbell Club's Paul Doherty, called the action:

"The environment was electric as Donovan crushed each lift in workmanlike fashion. A bus full of Sac[cramento] High students showed up for the party and carried him through the whole contest.

"Donovan smoked 135 kg on his opener as you would expect from him doubling the weight 5 weeks ago. Following himself, he absolutely crushed 140 on his second attempt, setting the table for the first of many PRs for the day. Donovan's only miscue for the day? His coach's fault. Sending him out to the platform a tad bit late trying to take advantage of every second on the two-minute clock, the buzzer sounded right as he ripped it from the floor and it was a no lift as he flung it behind his head.

"Not to worry, clean and jerks were set to bring down the house, and boy they did. He lit up the platform with his 172-kg opener and improved his ranking to 95% on his second as he cranked out 177. With all of the gold medals locked up and the 95% of the Junior World total done, Donovan did not disappoint as he came out for his third at 180 and exploded onto the scene finishing with an impressive 320-kg total.

"Five for six, 320, and a number-one ranking in the US as a 105-kg lifter made for quite the chatter as people start to realize the talent we're dealing with. Senior World's after Junior World's? It should be fun to watch."

As a postscript, Paul Doherty added: "Sacramento's half of Hassle Free also put two 17-year-olds on the this year's youth world team traveling to Thailand: Sae Vang in the 56s and Brandell Sampson in the 105s, will team up with Ian Wilson from Berkeley in the 85s and make up nearly 40% of the roster."

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