Waco Barbell Youth Team competes in USAW competition, brings home some hardware

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 7:04 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas youth weightlifting team just returned from a national competition in Las Vegas, billed as the place “where Olympic journeys begin,” with some impressive hardware, including a bronze medal.

The Waco Barbell Youth Team is a team at Waco’s first and only traditional weightlifting gym sanctioned by USA Weightlifting.

This past week, the team competed in the 2022 USA Weightlifting National Championship Week in Las Vegas.

Six youth lifters, three boys and three girls between the ages of 10 and 14-years-old; and one man, 21, qualified for the event and competed.

The team came home with four medals, including a third place in snatch, which is lifting the barbell from the ground to overhead in one continuous motion, by 11-year-old Tatum Fox, an incoming 6th grader at McGregor Junior High School.

Fox said she couldn’t have done it without the support of her teammates and her coach, Jason Miotke, owner and head coach at Waco Barbell.

11-year-old Tatum Fox, an incoming 6th grader at McGregor Junior High School, placed third.
11-year-old Tatum Fox, an incoming 6th grader at McGregor Junior High School, placed third.(Courtesy Photos)

“I never thought I would have come this far lifting against some of the best girls in the nation,” Fox said.

“Qualifying for nationals was a big honor, but getting the medal I received was an even bigger honor. I couldn’t do it without my weightlifting coach Jason to push me to where I am today. Some days I thought I couldn’t do it, but he told me what I needed to do better.”

Fox practices three days a week at the gym year-round with Miotke and said the outcome of this week literally took “blood, sweat and tears.”

Fox hopes to one day qualify for Team USA in the youth division.

Waco Barbell Youth Team
Waco Barbell Youth Team(Courtesy Photo)

Miotke says he “100 percent” believes Fox will one day qualify to wear the red, white and blue. He adds he couldn’t be prouder of his entire team’s performance which included setting 15 personal records.

“Everyone just overperformed. They got out there on the stage, nothing bothered them, and I think one thing that helped is they had a lot of fun and as a coach I could not be prouder because that’s the type of competition that you really hope for,” Miotke said.

In addition to Fox’s award, the team brought home three technique medals for hitting all lifts. Those were awarded to lifter Ryland Dutton, 10, Taylor Page, 11, and Macie Boast, 11.

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