From diving off the 10-metre tower to lifting 61 kilograms in the clean and jerk, Shaye Tudor is proving to be a quick study.
Tudor, a Grade 8 student at Royal Oak middle school, finished second at the B.C. high school provincial championships in Olympic style weightlifting. The event was held in Surrey on May 4.
Only Grade 12 student Simrin Sandhu of Lord Tweedsmuir secondary in Surrey was better in the 63-kilogram weight class.
Not a bad start for Tudor, who turned 14 last week, and only got serious about weightlifting in February.
“Tudor is not afraid. She is great at going after it and is not worried about only being (in Grade 8), but then she (also) jumps off a 10 metre tower, so I guess that speaks for itself,” said Jeane Lassen, Tudor’s weightlifting coach.
Lassen, a Whitehorse native, competed for Canada at the 2008 Olympics and was in London in 2012 but was injured. Instead she assisted the coaching staff and helped teammate Christine Girard win bronze.
Lassen has been at PISE for a year, coaching various teens in the Canadian Sports School program.
Tudor is one of those teens. She came into weightlifting as a cross training regimen for diving, her specialty. The Boardworks Diving club team member is a daily resident at Saanich Commonwealth Place and has competed in the junior national diving championships.
Tudor is still heavily committed to diving, but is one of three local athletes who’ve found an added niche with weightlifting. Fellow Royal Oak Grade 8 student Isaiah Brasset is also a Boardworks diver and competed at the provincial weightlifting championships, finishing first in the 56-kg boys category ahead of training partner Nolan Mitchell, a Grade 10 student at Claremont secondary.
Mitchell is already the two-time reigning B.C. wrestling champion for his weight class and came to the Canadian Sports School at PISE for cross training.
“All three are doing this so they can become better all-around athletes and it happens to be a sport as well. They get faster, stronger and jump higher, and they don’t feel like they’re doing work because it’s a sport in itself. There’s a huge transfer to diving and wrestling,” Lassen said.
It’s a lot to take on for a kid, but Tudor is cut from a special cloth. On top of 15 hours per week of training with Boardworks she’s also in the gym from 6 to 7:30 a.m. each morning and is with Lassen at PISE for sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Oh, and she maintains straight ‘A’s in school.
“Tudor really has the right attitude and work ethic,” Lassen said.
Tudor also competed at the B.C. Junior Weightlifting provincials in Courtenay earlier this year, where she also finished second behind Sandhu.
This comes after Tudor missed a big chunk of last year recovering from a burst appendix.
“Through strength and conditioning these kids have found a sport they like but they shouldn’t quit the other sport,” Lassen said.
“Tudor has a shot at winning the weightlifting provincials next year but you never know who’s going to show up in your weight class. You can only focus on what you can control.”