Maurus sets new American youth records in weightlifting

Harrison Maurus' classmates at Auburn Riverside High School had nary a clue about the power lurking in the 171-pound sophomore's average-looking frame.

Harrison Maurus’ classmates at Auburn Riverside High School had nary a clue about the power lurking in the 171-pound sophomore’s average-looking frame.

That is, until the world-caliber, 15-year-old weightlifter decided he wanted to own a few of the school’s records in the weight room.

“I don’t think they understand what I do,” Maurus said. “You can tell them about the weight, but until they feel it or see it, they don’t understand. So I did go to the weight room once and broke a few school records. I broke the power-snatch record at 265 (pounds) and power jerked 300 (pounds) and squatted 475 (pounds). They were pretty amazed then; I shattered the old records.”

And that was just a bit of fun for Maurus, who trains at Alpha Strength and Conditioning in Auburn.

When he’s serious about his weightlifting, it’s all about competing at the highest national and international levels, like the National Youth Championships June 25-28 in Bloomington, Minn.

There, Maurus took home first place in the 14-15-year-old 85-kilogram (kg) division, snatching 120 kg (264 pounds) and clean and jerking 155 kg (341.7 pounds), both American records. His total weight of 275 kg (606 pounds) – also an American record – was more than 67 kg (147.7 pounds) heavier than the second-place competitor.

Not bad for someone competing in a heavier weight class than his usual 77 kg (171-pound) division.

“I knew my numbers were much higher than anybody else in that session (77 kg),” Maurus said. “So I bumped up a weight class to be more competitive. I was competing at 85 kg, instead of 77 kg.”

Maurus, who also owns American records in the 77-kg 14-15 division, credits his work ethic and time spent at the gym.

“It’s a lot of time and dedication, a lot of time in the gym,” he said. “I’m usually in (the gym) six days a week. One of those is a core day where I do all the accessory work I don’t get to do on the other days. Normally, I’m here for about two hours a day. I’m putting in decent time.”

Now, with the nationals behind him, it’s time to prep for the 2015 Youth Pan Am Championships in San Luis Potosí, Mexico on Sept. 15-20.

“I’m going to compete at 77 kg,” Maurus said. “I bumped up to 85 just to set some records.”

Maurus said he’s heading back to the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, the epicenter of Team USA weightlifting, to train with resident coach Zygmunt Smalcerz, a retired Polish weightlifter who won gold at the 1972 Olympic Games.

“It’s fun and definitely helps and gives me a reason to keep going,” he said. “It’s a good boost.”

Maurus, who maintained a 3.95 GPA as a freshman and is aiming for a career in sports medicine, said his goal is the Olympics.

“I’ll probably make a bid in 2024, that’s the best shot I’ll likely have,” he said. “It’s quite a few years out, nine years. I got awhile. Mid-20s is normally the best time for weightlifters. It’s a long run, but I don’t plan on quitting anytime soon. I just like competing and love the sport; you have to keep coming back.”