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The Amateur Athletic Union today released its list of AAU Strength Sports Academic All-Americans for 2016. Thirty stand-out athletes from across the country, ages six to 18, were selected from the four Strength Sports disciplines – powerlifting, weightlifting, Feats of Strength and combine. To qualify, athletes must have participated in AAU Strength Sports meets during the past year, and maintained a very high academic standard in school.

"Our Strength Sports Academic All-Americans are a tremendous group of incredibly accomplished young people," says Martin Drake, Chairman of AAU Strength Sports. "The list includes AAU Strength Sports Athletes of the Year and multiple past AAU Junior Olympic Games Joel Ferrell Award winners. This group represents the best of the best from among our strength sports athletes across the United States."

The list also includes multiple repeat Academic All-Americans, as well as new entries. Jets Barbell, the national AAU Strength Sports team based in Shreveport, LA, again had more than a dozen Academic All-Americans on the list. "This is not a surprise to me," says John Crofton, Jets head coach. "These kids have excelled at sports, but they also excel in the classroom, and we're proud of them for being dedicated, respectful athletes and students."

Crofton's two sons, 13-year-old Max and 16-year-old Noah, repeated as Academic All-Americans. Both are multi-time AAU Junior Olympic Games and world weightlifting and powerlifting champions. Max is a top football and basketball player who is a past Student of the Year at St. Joseph Catholic School in Shreveport, while Noah is a varsity track athlete who represented Team USA Junior Bobsled in European during World Cup races in winter 2015-2016; Noah also received the prestigious 2016 AAU Joel Ferrell Award in Weightlifting at this year's AAU Junior Olympic Games.

Two-time AAU Junior Olympic Games national combine champion 12-year-old Luke Villaluz, a sixth-grader from Bedford Middle School in Westport, CT, AAU Junior Olympic Games powerlifting and weightlifting champion 10-year-old Damiyah Smith, from Alexander Elementary School in Commerce, OK, and AAU Junior Olympic Games powerlifting record-holder and multi-sport athlete Will Hawkins IV are a few of the repeat Strength Sports Academic All-Americans.

This year, two families were recognized with four siblings each making the Strength Sports Academic All-American list, while another family had three daughters honored. Allie, Emma Grace, Cade and Jase Lazarus, of Shreveport, LA, all received Academic All-American honors for the second time. Joining them this year is the weightlifting Lindsay family, from Cowley, Wyoming – Carissa, Celeste, CJ, and Quinn. The three powerlifting Rosado sisters, from San Antonio – Liszette, Zellimar, and Betzaidalis – also received Academic All-American honors.

"This is a wonderful program to recognize the very best of the best," Drake says. "We're proud of these kids and all they have accomplished."

For a complete listing of the 2016 Amateur Athletic Union Strength Sports Academic All-Americans Click Here



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