Milton High School junior is weightlifting champ - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Milton High School junior is weightlifting champ

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ATLANTA -

Weightlifting is a demanding sport that usually involves big, strong men and women competing to see who can lift the most. A local athlete who doesn't fit that description is shocking the competition because he's not your average weightlifter.

At CrossFit North Fulton, Milton High School junior Blake Kaplan teaches others how to lift their weights. At 16, he's a certified Olympic weightlifting coach, and is considered the best in the state. He is also a national champion.

Kaplan credits his success to speed and technique, and not size.

"It's great because everyone is so supportive and there's such a great camaraderie. The coaches are all here to help you and the people are here to support you. It's like a family," said Kaplan.

Kaplan's clean and jerk weight is 195 pounds, almost twice his own weight.

"Our members know that he's a coach and they know that he's very knowledgeable, so they will seek him out during a workout and ask him questions," said Blake's coach, Brad Trego. "We've been in competitions together and everybody stops what they're doing and watches him perform because he's that amazing of an athlete."

Trego says hard work and dedication are the secrets to Kaplan's success at such a young age. He says it's very possible Kaplan can make it to the Olympics someday.

Kaplan isn't one to rest on his laurels. He's already training for next year's nationals. He wants to enter 137 pound weight class, 10 pounds heavier than he is now. He says he'll get there by training hard and eating plenty of food.

He says weightlifting is fun, but school comes first. Kaplan is a straight A student at Milton High School.

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