| Savannah Morning News
Coastal Empire Weightlifting Team members Tayon Vereen and Nia Walker of Savannah set personal records and brought home medals on Dec. 5 at the 2021 USA Weightlifting American Open Finals in Denver, Colorado.
Vereen (109+ kg; about 240 pounds) had a perfect meet in going 6 for 6 on his lifts. Vereen lifted 155, 160 and 165 kg, the last a personal best (about 364 pounds) and earning the gold medal in the snatch. It was the same result in the clean and jerk, as he lifted 195, 200 and 205 kg, the last a personal record (about 452 pounds) and another gold. His 370-kg total was another personal best and a third gold in winning his first senior meet as he aged into the 21 division in 2021.
Vereen was selected the best lifter at his weight, regardless of age category.
Vereen has been lifting since his junior year in high school. He is currently a junior studying accounting at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon.
Walker (87+ kg; about 192 pounds) snatched a personal record of 95 kg (fifth place) and clean and jerked 117 kg (bronze medal) to total 212 kg, a personal record and good for fourth place in the senior division.
Walker, 19, is a freshman studying psychology at Brewton-Parker.
Vereen and Walker, who each attended Johnson High School, will be preparing for the University Nationals on March 2-5 in Columbus, Ohio.
“I am exceptionally proud of Nia and Tayon for the exemplary character on and off the platform this competition,” said Kerri Goodrich, coach of the weightlifting team that operates out of Performance Initiatives Inc. in Savannah. “They completed finals the day prior to departing for the national meet and maintained their focus going into the competition. I also would like to recognize their outstanding sportsmanship as they competed head to head, cheering on friends and competitors as they competed for Team USA positions.”
Player of the week honor for SSU’s Gibbs
Savannah State’s Bria Gibbs is the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.
The junior center from Greensboro, N.C., led the Tigers in their sixth consecutive win this week with her first double-double of the season. Gibbs led the entire field in rebounds with 13 and in points with 18 as SSU beat Kentucky State 70-62 to improve to 6-0 and 1-0 in SIAC.
SSU (now 7-0, 2-0 SIAC) is off to one of the best starts in program history following the 1993-1994 Tigers’ 8-0 start.
SSU is nationally ranked in several NCAA and SIAC statistical categories. The Tigers are tied with 12 other teams at No. 1 for win-loss percentage. They are ranked No. 2 in all of NCAA Division II in 3-point field goal …….