Junior sets National Record
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As he prepares to lift the weight, he takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. He imagines himself setting the world record. He can hear the cheers and how victory would sound. He exhales, opens his eyes, picks up the weight, and sets a national record.
Junior Marcos Bribiesca set a national record for powerlifting by completing a 173 kilo lift at the Youth Olympic World Championship this past June. Bribiesca is also a four time state champion, three time national champion, has set multiple state records, been invited to be on Team USA four times and has been ranked 11th in the world. Bribiesca has also been ranked 10th in clean and jerk in the world, and 12th in snatch. In order to break a national record, Bribiesca said you have to complete a lift in front of a jury.
“A jury consists of five judges from around the world who have been certified by the International Weightlifting Federation,” Bribiesca said. “In order for me to break it officially, I had to make a world team and I did that with my performance at nationals in June this year.”
Bribiesca started powerlifting when he broke his leg playing football. By doing Olympic weightlifting as a way to regain his strength, Bribiesca said he fell in love with the sport. He trains at Panhandle Power in Amarillo.
“We have had 17 state champions, five national champions, and five Team USA invitees at Panhandle Power,” Bribiesca said. “You don’t have to be the most naturally athletic or genetically inclined to achieve greatness in my sport, my club has proved that over and over again. It’s also not too late to start, for anyone who is interested in weightlifting should come check it out.”
Bribiesca said he plans his training schedule around meets, and that resting for meets is important.
“I train four times a week for about two hours,” Bribiesca said. “The nature of the lifts is extremely demanding, so resting is essential. In the snatch you move the weight from the ground to above your head in one fluid movement. Clean and jerk you do it in two.”
Bribiesca said his favorite accomplishment was realizing that he could do better than the record he set at the Youth Olympic World Championship.
“I have hit a 182 kilos clean off of the blocks, which is a lot harder to do than off of the floor,” Bribiesca said. “Which means I can lift more than the 173 kilos record I set.”
Along with powerlifting, Bribiesca is involved in chess club, National Honor Society and track and field. Bribiesca said his biggest inspiration is his father.
“He pushes me but also stops me from going too far, and he watches over me,” Bribiesca said. “I really look up to him.”