Seattle University Junior Criminal Justice major Briana Martinez competed in her first CrossFit Weightlifting National Universities Competition this past weekend in Utah. She placed 11th overall, completed five out of her six lifts and earned a new personal record for her snatch.
Since transferring to Seattle U a year and a half ago, Martinez has been competing in Olympic weightlifting at Foundation CrossFit located on 12th Ave. and East Union Street. She has been training with coach Adrian Tunaya, who has competed in multiple CrossFit competitions.
“[Briana is] one of my favorite athletes to work with. Just having the opportunity to work with another young athlete, see the development process, how she reacts to successes and how she’s able to take all the little things and grow with it is great,” Tunaya said.
Martinez first began doing CrossFit weightlifting her junior year of high school. She was first introduced to the sport through a friend of her aunt and uncle’s.
“I had been doing team sports all my life. I played soccer since I was four and in high school I played softball, tennis, basketball and soccer. Once I started not enjoying soccer anymore, I found CrossFit,” she said. “Little by little I started going more often so I committed to it and signed up.”
An integral part of Martinez’s CrossFit journey has been her family. Not only did they connect her to someone in the sport, but they also inspire her training every day.
“My inspiration is my family. When it gets hard, I think [about them] watching and that helps a lot,” she said. “I have a lot of younger cousins back home, so [I want to] be strong physically and mentally for them.”
Training alongside other female CrossFit athletes has also encouraged her to continue the sport. Their physical and mental strength has inspired her and contributed her growth, both as an athlete and person.
“I have met a lot of people along the way who have helped me [become] physically and mentally strong. There are female weightlifters that I look to, but it’s a sport where you can’t emulate someone else,” she said. “People from different backgrounds have really helped me to grow as a person.”
Martinez still plans to keep her focus on weightlifting. She wants to continue to have fun at the gym while setting goals for herself to improve so she can participate in another national competition.
“I’m really happy with how I did this past weekend. I definitely want to get stronger on both lifts and possibly do another national competition,” she said. “[I want to] get stronger and enjoy it because once it stops getting fun that’s when you go downhill.”
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