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Champion Teen Weightlifter Credits Coach and Oakland Non-Profit Gym Program

OAKLAND (KPIX) -- Seth Evans earned four gold medals at the USA Weightlifting Youth Nationals in Detroit and he added them to his silver medals from the year before.

"I've been working so hard for this and I'm, like, 'Wow, I'm national champion!'" Evans exclaimed.

The 8th grader from Madison Park Academy in Oakland won the top prizes among 13- and 14-year-olds in the overall contest, technical merit, and the categories of "snatch" and "clean and jerk."

He lifted 66 kilos (145 pounds) -- a little more than his body weight -- in snatch. where you lift in a single movement.

He tackled 80 kilos or 176 pounds in clean and jerk, which takes two movements in one lift.

His Dad, Dion Evans, is still soaking it all in.

"I'm like, 'Wow, there's a national champion living in my house,'" the elder Evans said.

Seth and his dad, who is Madison Park's athletic director, came to Speed Power Strength Gym in Oakland two years ago to visit its owner and coach, Mike Jenkins.

Jenkins offers Oakland students free lessons at the gym through his nonprofit.

"That's why we built this facility: to nurture kids who needed to be more active all the way to kids who have potential to be the best," Jenkins explained.

Seth started training at age 11.

He practices alongside 15-year-old Annelisse Cabrera, who took the national youth title in 2018 at age 11.

Seth, a straight-A student, learned the value of hard work.

"I can do whatever I put my mind to. I've been working really hard to get here and I finally made it," he said.

His father added, "I'm more excited that he's my son and humble. Other things are just amazing accomplishments but the number one thing is he's humble."

And ambitious.

Seth now has Olympic-size goals.

"As soon as 2028 happens, I want to make sure I get on that podium," he said.

He's framing his own dreams, ready to tackle the heavy lifting that it will take for the Summer Games in Los Angeles in seven years.

Seth also does track and field with the Police Activities League in Oakland.

He recently won a gold medal in javelin at the U.S. Track and Field Youth Nationals in Reno.

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