Brothers Mitchell and Jeremy Marks got gold at the weightlifting state championships last month. Olympic weightlifting focuses on two different lifts: the “clean and jerk” and the “snatch,” both of which have competitors lift the weights completely over their heads.
Mitchell, a freshman at Kennesaw State University and former student at The Epstein School, won in his weight class with a 97-kilogram (214 pound) snatch and 125-kilogram (275 pound) clean and jerk, the 222-kilogram (489 pound) total has qualified him for nationals.
Jeremy, a high school student at Saint Francis School, won in his weight class of 96 kilograms (212 pounds) with a clean and jerk of 75 kilograms (165 pounds) and a snatch of 52 kilograms (115 pounds).
Mitchell told the AJT that he enjoys the competition. “It’s a different way of working out than I was used to.” After Mitchell began competitive weightlifting, Jeremy followed suit. “I wanted a way to get strong, and Mitchell started before me, and told me, ‘Oh, you’ve got to try this out,’ and I real-ly loved it.” The two are coached by James Dantoni, with Mitchell working out three days a week with him and two days on his own.
Dantoni told the AJT, “School always comes first, and we schedule around their testing.” But he also described the rigorous training they go through. “It is a very hard competition, like any Olymp-ic sport; the training and attention to detail is grueling.”