The Central Valley has one of its very own competing at the highest levels of weightlifting.
Jordan Cantrell, a Clovis native and current student at Fresno City College, has been pegged to compete with the USA World Weightlifting team yet again.
This achievement has become somewhat an old hat for Cantrell, who is ranked number one in the country in his 89 kilogram weight class. He had made the team twice before and took home three silver medals in April at the Pan American games in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
“Medaling in an international competition is a pretty big deal,” Cantrell said.
But perhaps what makes Cantrell’s achievement even more astounding is the short amount of time it took for him to reach that level of competition.
Five years ago, Cantrell wasn’t involved in weightlifting. But he knew that he liked physical competition, as evidenced by him playing football at Clovis East High School.
“My freshman year, Tim Murphy was still the coach,” Cantrell said. “He was really big into the weight room stuff. So we trained a lot for P.E. and stuff and that is how I was introduced.”
Cantrell said that watching the crossfit games on ESPN piqued his curiosity. He said that his training for football is what led to him getting involved in the crossfit games.
“I did a couple of cross competitions for maybe a year and then I got into weightlifting. I was naturally stronger than most people and that’s just the way it drifted toward,” Cantrell said.
Cantrell ended up qualifying for junior nationals just from competing at a local weightlifting meet.
He placed third at the junior nationals and knew that he had a chance to be really good at this weightlifting thing.
“Now it’s like my second competition ever really. And then through that, I was actually close to making a junior team my very first junior nationals…” Cantrell said.
In just his second competition ever, Cantrell was close to making the junior team at his first junior nationals. Cantrell said at that time he was unaware that there were international teams for weightlifting.
From there, Cantrell was invited to train at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, where there are numerous junior training camps.
“It’s amazing because I went into that and that was like a two-week camp. Even though I was on a team.
Cantrell said that his competitive nature is what drives him to be the best weightlifter he can be.
“I’ve always been competitive in high school. So everyone plays high school sports like I did. And then when you’re done in high school either you go to college or you’re done,” Cantrell said. “So that competitive drive never stopped. It’s just something I’ve always done my whole life.”