Lo­cal weightlifter sets U.S. record

Northern Berks Patriot Item - - FRONT PAGE - By Brady Tucker For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

The road to in­ter­na­tional youth weightlift­ing cham­pi­onships has been a long and chal­leng­ing jour­ney for Kutz­town Area High School se­nior Kate Wehr, but the hard work and com­mit­ment has been well worth the time and ef­fort.

The 17-year-old took home 3rd place in the Youth Pan-Amer­i­can Weightlift­ing Cham­pi­onships in Colom­bia this past Novem­ber, and set a new youth Amer­i­can record by snatch­ing 79 kilo­grams in the 16-17-year-old 58-kilo­gram weight class.

Wehr, who is en­rolled in Kutz­town’s Vir­tual Academy, has al­ready trav­eled to places around the coun­try such as Texas, Ne­vada, and Min­nesota, and will be trav­el­ing to Spokane, Wash­ing­ton, in four weeks to com­pete in ju­nior na­tion­als. Kate was a mem­ber of Kutz­town’s wrestling team in grades 7 through 9, which led to her ca­reer in weightlift­ing.

“I started to dab­ble in weightlift­ing in 2014 when I went to Garage Strength with the school wrestling team. Dane Miller, the owner and weightlift­ing coach, would nag me ev­ery day to keep a mem­ber­ship at the gym after our team train­ing ex­pired. He al­ways thought I would ex­cel at the sport be­cause I had the per­fect build for a weightlifter,” Wehr said. “I would train one or two days a week for about a year, but started tak­ing weightlift­ing more se­ri­ously in 2015 after I placed 3rd at youth na­tion­als.”

In just four short years of lift­ing com­pet­i­tively, Wehr has a lot of hard­ware to show for all of her hard work. In 2015, she set a youth Amer­i­can record in the snatch, where she snatched 68 kilo­grams and set the record in the 14-to-15year-old 58-kilo­gram weight class.

In 2017, she was the youth na­tional cham­pion in the 16-to-17year-old 58-kilo­gram weight class.

She has been in­vited to the Olympic Train­ing Cen­ter in Colorado Springs to train, and re­cently trained at a de­vel­op­ment camp at Rogue Head­quar­ters in Ohio, where she trained un­der the watch­ful eye of Pyrros Di­mas, a four-time Olympic medal­ist. In Kate’s first in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion in Palmira, Colom­bia, she earned a bronze medal in snatch, clean and jerk, and over­all.

Al­though she makes it seem easy, Kate fol­lows a strict work­out sched­ule and trains for hours each week.

“I put in a lit­tle over two hours a day, five days a week, all year long as well as all of my team­mates, some train­ing six days a week. I start my train­ing with about a half an hour of stretch­ing and then about 15 min­utes of bar work and other warm up move­ments to ac­ti­vate my ham­strings, glutes, and loosen my shoul­ders and hips,” she said. “After warm­ing up, I fi­nally get to the ac­tual train­ing por­tion.”

On top of train­ing, she said there is re­cov­ery. She goes to Mo­bil­ity Doc to see Dr. John Gi­acalone two days a week for around an hour and a half to fo­cus on mo­bil­ity and re­cov­ery.

For Kate, weightlift­ing has be­come sim­ply part of her life, and she prides her­self on her work ethic and ded­i­ca­tion to the sport.

“Weightlift­ing chal­lenges me ev­ery day. With many high school sports, there is an off­sea­son. You get at­ten­tion in school if you

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO Kutz­town se­nior Kate Wehr bites her medal after plac­ing first at the 2017 USA Weightlighting Youth Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in At­lanta.

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