GREEN COVE SPRINGS - A bit slimmer and able to eat as she wishes, Clay High state weightlifting champion Brooke Berger is back in action in the Iron Works building stationed behind Clay High School.
"It's nice to be able to come back into this room and feel the energy," said Berger, now studying at University of North Florida as well as helping Clay weightlift coach Rodney Keller. "I just graduated last year so most of the girls know me already."
Berger, who dominated the Class 1A 154 pound weight class last year with a 25 pound gap between her gold medal and the silver medal, commented that her weight is about 20 pounds lighter and that she and her dad will be venturing into their own gym in Jacksonville Beach pretty soon. Berger was second at 129 by just five pounds in her junior year and 11th in 129 her sophomore year.
"The weight went away pretty fast, its was mostly water weight anyway," said Berger. "I still miss the competition a lot, but UNF has no weightlifting team. It's nice to be able to step on scale and not worry about what it says."
Berger's sights are set on powerlifting in the future; with dead lifts and squats because of shoulder issues.
"It's more power than technique to get the bar over head," said Berger, who noted her picture on the walls of the room amidst the handful of past state weightlifting champs. "I think it's good for the girls to see someone that has done the work and got the result."