Lindenwood weightlifting building for current and future success

Lindenwood+Lions+kicking+off+the+season+at+the+American+Open+Series.+%3Cbr%3E+Photo+by+Jianping+Ma

Lindenwood Lions kicking off the season at the American Open Series.
Photo by Jianping Ma

WALKER VAN WEY | Reporter

Darrel Barnes was the only Lindenwood lifter who came home with a first-place ranking at the American Open Series 3 meet, but he may have more competition from his teammates next year.

Olympic Weightlifting coach Jianping Ma said he used the meet not only to check on the team’s conditioning after the summer but to recruit as well.

“We take flyers, team hats and things to let people know we’re LU,” Ma said. “We’re looking forward to having more students.”

Assistant coach Austin Rodriguez said Lindenwood stresses the importance not only of the number of recruits the Lions are interested in but the quality of lifters as well.

“We like to have 40 or more lifters interested, and 10-15 to actually come to Lindenwood,” Rodriguez said. “That way we know who is here to take this seriously.”

Rodriguez said Lindenwood also gives packets to coaches for players who weren’t at the meet to help get the school’s name out there.

Another recruiting method is requiring lifters to wear Lindenwood gear, Ma said.

“We do it on purpose so that people will see our athletes doing well at meets and become interested,” he said.

Although only Barnes finished first at the American Open, which was held at the Devos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sept. 8-10, seven other Lindenwood athletes finished in the top 10.

The defending national champion Lindenwood Lions are hoping to do even better at the Uncharted Crossfit meet at home on Oct. 28.

“Right now we’re looking at 34 people who are looking to raise their [personal record],” Rodriguez said.