C.J. Cummings' supporters thought his accomplishments were going largely unnoticed.
But that is changing.
The 14-year-old Beaufort resident delivered during his biggest performance on Saturday in Salt Lake City at the USA Weightlifting National Championships. He set an American weightlifting record for his weight class with a clean and jerk of 153 kilograms, or 337.3 pounds.
Cummings broke a the record of 152.5 kg -- 335 pounds -- set in 2002 by then-25-year-old LeGrand Sakamaki. He got the record-breaking weight on his third attempt.
Attempts to reach Cummings and his coach, Ray Jones, on Saturday were unsuccessful.
"C.J. Cummings has shown once more that he is the most exciting thing to happen to USA Weightlifting in decades," said Bob LeFavi, a coach with Team Savannah weightlifting and professor of sports medicine at Armstrong Atlantic University who has worked with Cummings. "The Lowcountry should be proud that such an athlete came from this area. He has no peers -- not nationally or internationally."
Cummings had been slowly inching upward, lifting 145 kg at the Youth Pan American Championships in May and coming up just short of 153 kg in June at the National Youth Championships near Daytona Beach, Fla.
Jones anticipated an attempt at the American record in Utah. The attention increased.
The Washington Post published a story this week reported from Beaufort on Cummings' attempt at the record. Other outlets picked up and circulated the news.
Cummings, who owns records in five different weight and age groups, was the youngest competitor Saturday in Session 10B. The nine others in the session ranged from 22 to 33 years old.
He became the youngest to break a senior American record, according to LeFavi.
LeFavi brought Cummings to the school's Biodynamics and Human Performance Center earlier this year for a series of tests to try and explain Cummings' ability. He came away with few answers.
"They can't wrap their head around why can this kid do the things that he's doing," Jones said last month. "Because it's never been done before."
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