History of the Idaho LWC

In 1983 Bob Chambers and Michael Conroy sought a competition sanction from The United States Weightlifting Federation in order to hold the Idaho State Weightlifting Championships.  The meet was held August 5th at the Boise City Recreation Center and 23 athletes from Idaho, Washington, Montana, Oregon and Utah competed. Barry Stone, of Utah, just edged out junior lifter Sam Maxwell, of Washington, for the Best Lifter award.

A second competition was held in January of 1984. Bob Chambers, who was originally from Arizona, returned to his home state and Conroy was left along to set up competitions.  Conroy asked for a third sanction in July of 1984 and at that time he was contacted by USWF Director Harvey Newton. Newton asked Conroy if he would be willing to act as LWC (Local Weightlifting Committee) Chairman and help reactivate the old Snake River LWC. This LWC would oversee the sport for All of Idaho, Eastern Oregon and Northern Nevada. The Snake River LWC had gone 'dormant' in 1967 and no one could remember, for sure, when the last time a sanctioned weightlifting meet had been held.

Records, members, and LWC officials could not be found . The only information discovered was that the Snake River LWC was assigned to Region XII of the old AAU and that an Idaho Lifter named Gerald Englebert had competed at the Senior National Championships in 1967 going 290lbs, 270lbs, 345lbs, 905lbs,for an 8th place finish in the 198 pound class. (In the 1970's Englebert, a member of the Ketchum, ID Police Force, would win a 'handful' of World Powerlifting Titles.)

The reactivated Snake River LWC was short lived. In December of 1984 the USWF decided that Idaho should become its own LWC, since Oregon and Washington where their own LWC's and Northern Nevada had been assigned to the Pacific LWC.
January of 1985 was determined to be the new 'start up' date and Idaho received the number 59 as its LWC ID number. (The Idaho LWC was the 43rd recognized LWC).  A small 'glitch' was made in giving Idaho its name. Instead of receiving the LWC or Association designation it was named "Idaho Weightlifting Federation".

 In February of 1985 Mike Vierra, of McCall Idaho, sought the first club membership. "Team Idaho" was the states only club from 1985 until 1990. In 1987 Vierra returned to his native California and in 1991 Conroy registered the club as "Idaho Weightlifting" which was the only sanctioned club in Idaho until 2013 when several other organizations registered clubs.  Conroy has served as the chairman of the Idaho LWC since its 'founding' in 1985.  Morrison-Knudsen graphic artist, Cory Watson, created the logo design, which is Viktor Sots, URS, snatching 190kg in the 100kg class at the 1982 World Championships, imposed in front of a line drawing of the State of Idaho.

In 1985 Brian Neilsen became Idaho's first National Champion when he captured the 60kg Gold Medal at the AAU Junior Olympics. Brian was also the first Idaho Weightlifter to be named to the National Junior Squad. Conroy was the first to win a National Masters Championship when he captured the 90kg class in 1990.  Conroy and John Fransen where the first lifters to qualify for a Senior National Level Championships when they competed at the inaugural American Open in 1991.  (Conroy would place 9th 4 straight years. As well as being the oldest competitor 4 times) Conroy was also the first to receive a National and International Coaching Assignment when he was named to the Junior National Squad Camp in 1991 (an assignment he would keep until 2004 when he was named to the Coaches Committee) and served as an assistant coach to the 1991 and 1992 Junior International Cup.  In 1993 the United States Weightlifting Federation changed its name to USA Weightlifting in accordance with the USOC's new designations of National Governing Bodies for the sports under their jurisidiction. Kristy Adamson was Idaho's first Women's National Champion when she won the 70kg title at the 1994 Junior National Championships.  Jan Marlett was Idaho's first women's University National Championship winning gold in both 1996 and 1997 as well as being name to the National Junior Squad in 1998.   In 1994 Conroy became a certified National Referee.

Sarah Cardinal

Sarah Cardinal

David Figgat was Idaho's first Collegiate Champion when he won the +108 class in 1995.  Conroy was named to the West Team for the Olympic Festival in 1995, the same year he began instructing the USAW Coaching Certification Courses, SEC for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, The NACACI Team in 1997,1998 and 2000 as well as the World Cup Coach in 2007.  BemoniaAlidjani became Idaho's first International Gold Medalist when she won the 64kg class at the 1996 Louis Cyr Cup (Which was the Montreal Cup) an annual event between the National School Age Teams of Canada and the U.S.).  Alidjani placed 8th at the 1993 American Open as a 13 year old. Kiyo Fujimoto and Sarah Cardinal made the Jr. Pan- Am Team in 2003 with Kiyo getting a Silver and Sarah a Gold medal. Kiyo was the first Collegiate National Champion Woman 2003, and was named to the Jr. World Team in 2004 as well as the World University Team in 2006. She was also the first Idaho Lifter to capture a Senior National Medal when she took a Bronze at the 2004 Championships. Sarah Cardinal took Idaho's first American Open Medal with a Bronze in 2004. Joe Leatherman became the first Idaho men's lifter to compete at Senior Nationals held in Cleveland in 2005. Conroy also served as the "National Nanny" in 2007 and 2008 when he supervised the training of the USOTC National Resident Team during the Junior World Championships, Pan-Am Games and The Beijing Olympic Games. (Conroy would stay the Nanny for the London Games of 2012.)

Paul Morganroth

Paul Morganroth

In 2010 and 2011, Kollin Cockrell secured not only National Championships and spots on both the Junior World and World University Teams, but a scholarship to LSU/Shreveport. In 2012, Paul Morganroth captured his first National Championship and position on both the Youth National and Youth World Team.  In June, 2012, Conroy accepted the position of Director of Coaching Education for USA Weightlifting, a post he keep until February of 2017 when he stepped into a support staff role for USA Weightlifting.

From 2013 to 2016, the Idaho LWC has made steady progress in both number of clubs and athletes making a continuous presence at all levels of national competitions.

In April 2017, Shay Carlock will compete at the Youth World Championships in Bangkok Thailand.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
— Steve Jobs