• Graham native Joel Jones performs during the USA Weightlifting Junior National Championships in Chicago on Feb. 17. Jones was a member of the 2017 state semifinal football team for the Steers. Jones, who is the son of Steve and Kristi, is now a freshman at Abilene Christian University, Contributed photo by Steve Jones

Former GHS athlete places at nationals

Former Graham High School student Joel Jones recently competed in one of the top weightlifting meets in the nation. Jones placed at the USA Weightlifting Junior National Championships in Chicago on Feb. 17.

He took third in the clean and jerk division, and placed fifth overall with his total of 288 kilograms. Jones performs for Force Praxeum, a weightlifting club outside of Austin. He not only has performed well recently, but over the last few years as well. Jones is the reigning, three-time state junior weightlifting champion and has set a state record in the 89 kilogram junior class. His records include 125 kilogram snatch set, 163 kilogram in the clean and jerk division and 288 kilograms total.

He said performing on a big stage with some of the best lifters in the country have taught him many things and gave him an opportunity ...

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