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January 2, 2014

Should a 14-year-old try to deadlift 300 pounds?

(Continued)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. —

Jake pushes the bar up with a final blast as three green lights flash on. "Good lift!" the announcer exclaims.

Jake retreats to the gym and begins to warm up for the deadlift. He will go for 300 pounds, another personal record.

He watches as a woman in pink shoes takes the stage for her deadlift. "Go Patty," people scream.

Jake waits for his turn until he finally hears the announcer call, "Jake, you are the lifter." The eighth-grader lifts the bar like a tooth pick. The weight climbs to 255, then 270. Each powerlifter climbs onstage and goes through his or her ritual. The roll of the shoulders. The back bends. The grunts.

The audience cheers them through each personal record attempt. The weight climbs to 300. "Jake you are on deck," the announcer warns.

Jake's mother goes to the front of the stage to record his performance with her cellphone. "Come on, Jake," spectators yell.

Jake bends and lifts 300 pounds. The crowd explodes. The Wonder Kid flashes a grin.

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