Setting the bar high

StrengthFix Student weightlifters make noise at nationals; Sophomore Riley Williams to compete internationally

Riley Williams is getting attention across the nation in youth weightlifting competitions. She will complete internationally next week.


At the competition referenced below, Riley Williams took home a silver and bronze medal in the Pan American Cup and the Columbia World Open. The awards were given for Riley’s total (snatch and clean & jerk combined). Congratulations, Riley!

StrengthFix set its bar high at youth nationals competition.

Nine GRC students competing with StrengthFix won five medals at youth nationals.

Sophomore Riley Williams won silver overall in the nation for her age and weight class, along with silver in snatch and bronze in clean and jerk.

Cole Horn, freshman, won bronze in clean and jerk; and Jeremy Clem, junior, won silver in clean and jerk.

Meanwhile, Riley Williams is preparing to compete in the Columbia World and Pan Am opening Feb. 23- 28.  She will represent the USA in her age and weight class for her first international competition.

Williams has been training for a little over two years and has found that weightlifting not only takes physical strength but mental strength.

You can have all the strength in the world, but at the end of the day, when you walk into the gym, you’re not gonna get anything done if you’re not in a good mind set,” she says.

This sport not only requires intrinsic motivation, but the competitors work together as a team.

With this competition being virtual they really had to help each other out.

Sam Williams said his teammates helped him switch out his weights and were there to cheer him on.

With this year being the first virtual weightlifting meet in the world, Riley Williams exclaims her gratitude for being a part of this historic moment.

“My teammates and I were very lucky to have our gym, because we couldn’t have competed without it,” she said.

Strength Fix, located in downtown Winchester, all started with the Williams family, specifically Perry Williams.

Coach Williams explains that he has been on the sports medicine team for USA weightlifting since 2014.

After that he witnessed Sara Robles win the bronze medal for the United States, something that hadn’t been achieved in 16 years. 

Two years later his oldest son Gabe Williams, GRC alumni, asked him to train him.

Gabe said to his dad, You train all these people and talk about Olympic weightlifting; why don’t you train me?”

Coach Williams didn’t expect this to work out because he thought his son would be better off sticking with football.

“My plan was that we would train hard but get destroyed at the state meet, then he would go back to football and all would be well,” Perry Williams said.

The opposite happened.

Gabe excelled at state and fell in love with weightlifting.

After this, more people became interested in Olympic weightlifting.

“I needed more space, bought an old building downtown and became an Olympic weightlifting coach,” explains Perry. “We now have about 60 kids from Clark County on our team.”

All of the lifters have said that this is only the beginning and they plan to continue striving.

I for sure will continue to lift partially because I am playing college football and will have to stay in peak condition,” said Tommy Wright, “but also because I truly enjoy it and cherish what it can do for you physically and mentally. I will continue to do it until I can’t.”

As you can see StrenthFix started small and continues to grow.

These nine lifters started at the bottom and rose to the top.

They sure let this show during the youth nationals competition.



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