David was seemingly Goliath during last Saturday’s Northern Marianas Cup Weightlifting Tournament held at the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center in Susupe.
David Barnhouse treated the tournament as just an ordinary training day, but the U.S. Army Reserve still dominated the snatch and clean and jerk competitions with his feats of strength in the 190-kg weight division.
In the snatch, the 27-year-old had lifts of 100 kg and 110 kg before failing on his attempt at 115 kg. In the first two lifts, Barnhouse always had a serious expression on his face with eyes almost darting toward the back of the Multi-Purpose Center. That concentration didn’t change even with the failed lift at 115 kg.
In the clean and jerk, Barnhouse started with 120 kg before progressing to 125 kg. He then wowed the crowd with a lift of 135 in his third and final round.
In all, Barnhouse totaled 245 kg in the snatch and clean and jerk competitions, thoroughly beating Tristan V. Muńa and Limuel Bernal, who had total lifts of 160 kg and 153 kg, respectively.
“I wasn’t surprised [of the outcome]. It was just another day for training for me,” said Barnhouse, who has been weightlifting the past nine years.
The score he totaled in the snatch and clean and jerk were not even his personal bests, as the heaviest he lifted in the snatch was 137 kg and 162 kg in the clean and jerk.
“I just took it relatively easy today, not my personal best,” he said.
Muńa topped out at 68 kg in the snatch after lifts of 60 kg and 65 kg. In the clean and jerk, he progressed from 80 kg to 85 kg before bowing out with 92 kg.
Bernal, for his part, successfully lifted 60 kg in the snatch after starting out with a 52 kg. He wasn’t able to clear 65 kg in his third and final try. In the clean and jerk, Bernal reached his magic number of 93 kg after lifts of 80 kg and 85 kg.
In the 89-kg weight division, Rodrigo G. Ada was the cream of the crop with a total lift of 193 kg. It was the twice the charm for him in the snatch after it took him a second attempt to clear 85 kg after initially lifting an 80. In the clean and jerk, he impressed with 99 kg in the first round before jumping to 104 kg in the second. Ada capped it all off with a personal best 108 kg in the third round.
Prior to attempting the personal best, the 28-year-old Ada used an eye-black football players usually wear but instead of eye-black grease he used white lifting chalk to the amusement of the crowd.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all but I’m very happy with the win and the results. I trained less than six months and I’m happy to record my personal bests,” he said.
Rodrigo beat a crowded race of four weightlifters with Aaron Pamintuan eventually finishing runner-up with his 176-kg total. Pamintuan topped at 78 kg in the snatch after a 75-kg lift in the opening round. He wasn’t able to cleanly lift 81 kg in the third round. In the clean and jerk, the Marianas High School alumnus topped at 95 kg. An attempt at 102 kg ended up with Pamintuan uttering “it’s too heavy” before dropping the weight.
Other participants in the 89-kg weight division were Jocaz M. Diaz (145) and Deion T. Sabino (143 kg).
Angel San Nicolas, a bronze medalist in the 2018 Pacific Mini Games in Yap, competed alone in the 96-kg weight class. He had a total of 165 kg after lifting 65 kg in the snatch and 100 kg in the clean and jerk.
“I didn’t really want to go all out. I competed but didn’t really went all out because I’m going to train later on today. I really wanted to focus more on the new lifters so they can perform to the best that they could. And I’m happy they did as there were personal bests across the board,” he said.
The 27-year-old, who else serves as coach for the weightlifters, said weightlifting competitions like the one last Saturday really brings out the best in athletes.
“You could hit your personal bests in training but it doesn’t really matter. It’s in competition were it matters. If you hit your best score in competition it’s where it matters,” he said.
Saipan Tribune will publish the results of the 67-, 73-, and 81-kg weight class for men and 81-kg weight class for women in the following days.
The CNMI Weightlifting Federation organized the competition. For more information on the weightlifting organization, call its president John Davis at 789-9211.