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Bakersfield weightlifting team heading to Pittsburgh for nationals

Posted at 10:14 AM, Jun 13, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A non-profit based out of Bakersfield, builds a team of youth 22 weightlifters. Out of the 22, 5 have qualified and are heading to the USA Weightlifting Nationals.

  • Two members of the team are their daughters Brianna & Mikaella Bowens.
  • Team Juanatas-Bowens started in 2023, but the family has been training since 2019.
  • Had to qualify at a local meet, to be able to attend Nationals in Pittsburgh.


Team Juanatas-Bowens, a non-profit weightlifting organization based in Bakersfield. Teaches youth how to properly lift at a young age. I'm Eric J. Dockery your Bakersfield neighborhood reporter. The team prepares for nationals, and plans to make a name for themselves in front of the country.

This non-profit began in 2023, originally starting off with just Bryan and Michelle Bowen's daughters. Now in 2024 they are growing throughout the community.

Bryan Bowens Co-Owner of Team Juanatas-Bowens said "Our USA weightlifting team there is 22, of the 22 we have 5 of them who quailed for youth nationals. That includes our daughters, but we have some more athletes as well.

Mikaella and Brianna are their children, joining them will be Luke and Hayden. Liliana didn't make it this year, but she is training for the next event.

Luke Ardinez who is heading to nationals said"I like to lift heavy weights and going out to different places out of state."

Liliana Layman client of Team Juanatas-Bowens is working everyday to become stronger! She said "I can lift for my cling and jerk I can do 19kgs for my snatch I can do 14kgs."

They say a family that works out together, stays together. While they are still competing for the gold, Bryan still wants his family to have fun while doing it.

"I love it because this is a way our family spends quality time. I m glad that were here because we started this with our daughters in 2019. Warrior 1 yoga was our girls first sponsor at 5 and 6. Doing this as a family spending quality time helps us to do healthy things together and stay positive. So bringing it to other families mean the world to me." said Bryan

Hayden Eades who is also heading to nationals says her whole family used to lift. So as a child she got bored and started lifting along with them. Now she loves the sport just as much as her family.

If you would like to watch the competitions you can go to our website at and find the link in this story. The team leaves for nationals on Thursday and competitions start on Saturday. I'm Eric J. Dockery your Bakersfield neighborhood reporter.


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