Beaufort’s Cummings cruises to 1st senior national championship in Motor City

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C.J. Cummings of Beaufort works out Wednesday morning, March 25 as he trains for the 2020 Olympics. The Games have been postponed until Summer of 2021, but the laid back Cummings doesn’t seem to mind. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

By Mike McCombs
Photo by Bob Sofaly

As far as national championships go, it was about as ho hum as it gets for Beaufort’s C.J. Cummings on Friday afternoon.

Cummings went 6-for-6 in his lifts and wasn’t challenged, winning gold medals in the Snatch, Clean & Jerk and Overall in the 73-kilogram weight class at the USA Weightlifting National Championships in Detroit.

It is the first senior National Championship for the 21-year-old Cummings.

“I didn’t really think about that (being the first senior championship),” Cummings said. “But I guess it is. Yeah, it felt pretty good.”

Team Beaufort Coach Ray Jones said the goal was really for Cummings to have a great “workout.”

“It was a good thing for him to make body weight,” Jones said. “Plus, (USA Weightlifting) wanted him to be there anyway. They wanted to have a good send-off for the Olympians.”

Cummings competed lifts of 130, 135 and 140 kg in the Snatch and 165, 170 and 175 kg in the Clean & Jerk for an overall total of 315. His total was good enough to win by 31 kg over second-place Omar Mohamed.

For comparison’s sake, when he won gold at the Pan Am Games in April in the Dominican Republic, Cummings didn’t even attempt a lift as light as Friday’s top Snatch or Clean & Jerk. At that meet, Cummings set an American record in the Snatch with a lift of 155kg – only good enough for silver – and his overall total was 343 kg.

“It keeps me on track,” Cummings said of the conservative approach. “Every week I have to hit a certain percentage (of my lifts). It’s just good training to be sure I keep hitting my marks.”

Next up for Cummings are the Summer Olympic Games held July 23 through Aug. 8 in Tokyo. Cummings, set to lift on July 28, said the keys between now and then are to “stay consistent and be sure to get rest for my body to recover.”

He did admit, he’s starting to feel at least a little anxious.

“In the past, it’s been more like there’s excitement and I’m savoring the moment,” he said. “Now, as it gets close, I’m like, ‘Oh boy, this is it.’”

Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at

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