Larry Happel, Sports Information Director
PELLA — A pair of Central College students were standout performers at the USA Weightlifting National University and Under 25 Championships at Las Vegas last Thursday through Sunday.
Senior Ed Ginnan (Homer Glen, Ill.) captured a national championship in the 81 kilogram (178 pound) division. He recorded lifts of 126 kilograms (278 pounds) in the snatch and 164 kilograms (362 pounds) in the clean and jerk.
Junior John Ghibellini (Mount Morris, Ill.) finished ninth in the 96 kilogram (242 pound) class, lifting 110 kilograms (242 pounds) in the snatch and 145 kilograms (320 pounds) in the clean and jerk. He’s also a strength and conditioning intern at Central.
Both athletes are former Central wrestlers now focusing on weightlifting training, entering their first competitive meet less than a year ago. Central strength and conditioning coach Kyle Johnson noted that Ginnan has improved his combined total in the lifts by 27 kilograms in that span, while Ghibellini has upped his total 18 kilograms.
They train with 2014 Central graduate Matt Barker, a former strength and conditioning intern for Johnson. He’s now operates Embark Performance Training in Des Moines and is assisting with Iowa State University’s program.
The USA meet was staged in conjunction with several other major weightlifting championships and the Central duo competed alongside athletes from around the world.