A 34-year old Westport woman not only competed for the gold medal at a powerlifting meet on Sunday, she also smashed not one but four new state records.

On June 13, Jenny Ozug competed in her very first weightlifting meet with the United States Powerlifting Association in Scituate, Massachusetts. Little did she know as she arrived for sign-ins that she would be leaving with some impressive achievements. After nine months of training, Ozug's hard work paid off.

In one day, Ozug set new Massachusetts records for her weight class with a 140-pound bench press, a 215-pound squat, a 310.2-pound deadlift, and a highest combined weight of the three at 663 pounds.

Prior to competing, Ozug was out with a groin injury that prevented her from lifting anything heavy or strictly working out at all.

"After I tore my groin and got back into working out, I decided I wanted strength as my primary focus, so I took a step back from CrossFit in Dartmouth to focus on powerlifting and continuing to rehab from my injury," Ozug said. "I want to continue getting stronger and stay injury free. I do daily rehab to help make sure I am strong. I have a previously torn wrist, knee and groin. This 'comeback' has been long and slow but I’m in it for the long run now."

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As impressive as Ozug's accomplishments were on Sunday, unfortunately she missed qualifying to compete nationally by 20 pounds. She plans on competing again in August for another attempt to qualify.

Ozug did reach a new personal record at the meet with a 310-pound deadlift that she claims is not only her strongest lift, but also her favorite one to do. Moving forward, there's no red light for Ozug as she is already scheduling out her training for that August meet.

"I'm going to take three days off then get back to lifting," Ozug said. "My coach and I are going to tweak a few things and get right back to it. I want to qualify in August to compete nationally, so my focus is to increase my lifts in order to achieve that. When I do that, I don’t think I can compete this year, because I think the national comp has already filled, so I’ll begin preparation to compete in 2022."

Photo courtesy of Jenny Ozug
Courtesy of Jenny Ozug

"I couldn’t have done this without my coach Eduardo Cruz who’s helped me every step of the way these last nine months," Ozug said.

As a little post-meet celebration of her victory, Ozug treated herself to a strawberry and cream donut from PVDonut in Providence.

Photo courtesy of Jenny Ozug
Courtesy of Jenny Ozug

"I'm hungry," Ozug laughed. "My metabolism is going crazy."

Best of luck to Ozug on her fitness journey and on her next meet. Her motivation and hard work is inspiring and for anyone with an athletic injury wondering what their future holds, Ozug's accomplishments are more than enough proof that everything's possible if you put your mind to it.

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