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NHS lifters set personal bests at regional

Northview’s Ohijie Elliott participates in the clean/jerk category today. | Andrew Garner/Atmore Advance

Northview’s Ohijie Elliott, Chase Olsen and M.J. Jones finished in the top four of the Class 1A, District 1 Regional Weightlifting tournament today at Baker High School.

NHS coach Derek Marshman said all three hit personal bests in the bench and clean and jerk categories.

Elliott finished third in the 154-pound weight category, Jones finished fourth in the 139-pound category and Olsen finished fourth in the 169-pound category.

Jones lifted 210 pounds in the bench, and 190 in the clean/jerk; Elliott lifted 275 pounds in the bench, and 235 pounds in the clean/jerk; and Olsen lifted 250 pounds in both categories.

While all three didn’t get an automatic bid to the state meet, they will be placed in a pool and have a good chance of advancing to the big competition, Marshman said.

For Elliott, finishing his last turn on the clean/jerk was a big moment.

Before taking the weight, Elliott said a prayer and asked for focus. Once he completed the task, which required him to dead lift the weight up to his shoulders, then pop (jerk) it up with both arms locked, the senior celebrated.

“He answered my prayers,” Elliott said with a smile. “You have to explode through your body, and once you do that, you can explode through the rooftops.”

Elliott said bench is his better category, and he’s been working hard since last year to get back to this point. Last season, the senior made it all the way to the regional tournament.

“I’ve been working hard since last year,” he said. “I made sure that I wasn’t going to doubt myself this year.”

The state meet is Sat., April 8, at Deland High School.