Gage Senty 08.07.21

Red Wing's Gage Senty lifts his final of three attempts in the clean and jerk at the 2021 National Junior Championships in Detroit. Senty won the event in his weight class. Submitted Photo

For many the Summer Olympics in Tokyo has been worth the wait and, at times, must-watch television. With the time difference, most live events happen overnight.

Gage Senty won’t be staying up all night into the morning hours, with some of the live events occurring at 4 a.m. CDT, but he’ll still watch. When he has the time, he has watched highlights of a few of the Olympic weightlifting during the day.

In doing so, Senty has an appreciation for the athletes competing and the sport itself being viewed throughout the world.

“Actually having the Olympics, it’s the chance for people to learn about Olympic lifting,” said the 2020 Red Wing graduate. “Otherwise, there’s really nothing out there. It does feel good to know that people are watching it.”

Similar to the Olympics, Senty has been competing with few in attendance. Mostly other competitors, coaches, and judges have been allowed. His parents have watched via livestream. So too has former coach John Drewes.

Drewes has received videos of Senty lifting and watched a couple livestreams. He sees a big potential in Senty.

“Everybody that I’ve known that has succeeded, everyone has something in common. One of them is internal motivation,” Drewes said. “Somebody that’s destined to be a good weightlifter, you can’t stop them because they are internally motivated. … Is this guy even motivated? My goodness, when he’s on mat he is something. It all comes out then.”

Attending Northern Michigan University to study automotive technology and compete in weightlifting, Senty has seen early success. He finished third in his weight class at the University Nationals in Salt Lake City in March. In snatch he lifted 122 kg, then in clean and jerk 167kg.

Coming into the National Junior Championships, Senty wanted more.

“I have had coaches say that there is a lot I'm missing. When putting it all together it is holding me back,” Senty said. “Break the weight, pull the bar, get under the bar. Putting all three together is what I struggle with. Taking each individual part of the lift and being able to do all three is still something I’m working on.”

At the junior championship event in Detroit, Senty achieved several goals. He lifted all three times in snatch without a fault. Same in the clean and jerk. In snatch he lifted 132 kg. In clean and jerk, 171 kg. He totaled 303 kg combined to win the event in his weight class.

“I knew I had it in me. I knew I could do it,” Senty said. “I’ve done many 125-plus snatches and 165-plus clean and jerks. I’m proud that I could do both.”

His next goal is to lift at least 140 kg in the snatch and 190 kg in the clean and jerk. As excited as he was to achieve one of his goals, Senty noted how he has a lot of work left to do. In weightlifting, he’s the only one to blame when things aren’t going well. However, he said, he’s learned plenty through trial and error.

“Failure is the only way of succeeding,” Senty said. “I don’t think it’s possible to do everything you want to do without failing first. It’s going to happen, you can’t be afraid of it. That's the only way I’ve learned to get better. I’ve learned more through failing than I have succeeding.”

With more events coming up in 2022, Senty also hopes to compete on the international team. He’s determined to keep working to make it. Senty has piled up many short-term goals to ultimately keep lifting more weight and earn his long-term goals. He’s sought out advice from his coaches, from Drewes and from the Olympics.

“Looking at their technique, I’m never looking at what they are doing wrong. I always think I get better by watching,” he said.

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