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      Local USOEC lifters

      Four student athletes are making history with the United States Olympic Education Center.

      Kyle LaJoye, Annie Bengry, Andrew Wener, and Holly O'Dovero are all training with the weightlifting team. Besides their love of hitting the gym, they have something else in common: they're all from the U.P.

      "I'm from Marquette, MI. This is a very cool and special opportunity for me because it's so close to home. And the fact that I'm a part of this awesome's a blessing," said student athlete Kyle LaJoye.

      It's not just a coincidence either. Head Coach Vance Newgard says he wanted to recruit more lifters from the U.P. Newgard also says this is the largest amount of U.P. weightlifters the team has ever had. In some years, they didn't have any, until he started looking locally.

      "We made kind of a valued effort to find talent locally, and we're always looking for more. I have a lot of plans to keep looking for athletes in the area," Newgard said.

      And as for the student athletes, they're just happy for the close commute.

      "It's awesome. I mean, I have to stop and think about how grateful I am for that. A lot of people don't get the opportunity I got. Just walk down the street and come down here. It's pretty nice," said student athlete Andrew Wener.

      Coach Newgard says he has high hopes for the local athletes and can see some of them making the Olympic team is 2016.