When students in Ashley Burnet Smith’s strength and conditioning classes at Wayne County High School want to give up, she has quite an example to fall back on to encourage students to continue training.
That’s because Smith herself has overcome some challenges to remain in her fitness regimen, with the results paying off recently during the American Open Series 3 in Las Vegas, Nev. With more than 1,650 athletes at the event — including Olympic lifters — Smith ranked 51st out of 156 competitors in the Senior 71kg weight division. Weight lifting is one of the original Olympic sports. It is designed to test the human limits of explosive strength and power by using a weighted barbell as resistance while traveling through a greater range of motion than any other strength movements during execution. These limits are displayed using two skills-based competition lifts — the “Snatch and Clean” and the “Jerk.” During competition, each athlete has three attempts at the “Snatch,” followed by three attempts at the “Jerk.” The combined total of the highest successful attempt of each lift determines the overall winner in a body weight category. Smith, a 146-pounder, was successful in five of her six lifts as she declared her highest total of 146 kg or 321.2 pounds.