Teagan Newman has made extraordinarily fast progress as a weightlifter.

A year ago, Newman was using the sport as an extra training strand to bolster her athletics career, in which she excelled at the discus and hammer throw.

After a chat with track and field coach Brent Vallance about her potential as a weightlifter, Newman decided to change course and take up weightlifting full-time.

Since then, the personal best lifts and the honours have been stacking up for Newman, confirming to her that weightlifting is where her future lies.

Newman’s first major competition was last year’s national championships, in which she delivered an eye-opening fourth-place finish.

That was achieved on one day a week training and without the expert guidance of the coaches at the Hawthorn Weightlifting Club.

At that stage, Newman was lifting about
112 kilograms, but that has improved exponentially in the months since.

“Now my PB is 137 kilograms,” Newman said. “To see my improvement over the nine months or so before I got the PB, it showed me that I can progress in leaps and bounds over the next few years. If I can improve that quickly, it will be good to see how I can improve over the next few years.”

Newman represented Victoria for a second time on the national stage this year. Her lift of 137 kilograms was enough to take out the 69-75 kilogram class.

The 19-year-old is now rated one of the rising stars of Australian weightlifting.

“It was great to see my improvement over the months because I didn’t expect to go to nationals and win,” Newman said. “I actually won by 16 kilograms.

“They have a rankings system on the Australian Weightlifting Federation site and I’m ranked sixth in Australia for most improved.”

Newman, a postwoman from Hoppers Crossing, has qualified to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Oceania Junior Championships on the Gold Coast next month.

“That’s my first big step,” said Newman, who is coached by Anthony Dove.

“I’m quietly nervous, but I’m determined to do the best that I can. I’m hoping to go out there and get another PB because I’ve been training hard for it.”

Newman is targeting Australian representation for next year’s World Junior Championships.

She thinks the 2018 Commonwealth Games is out of reach, but is determined to make it to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Newman is the August nominee of the Deeble Rising Star Award.

The award, hosted by the Sunshine Western Region Sports Club and Star Weekly, recognises young athletes from the western suburbs who have achieved outstanding results at state and/or national levels.

The award, hosted by the Sunshine Western Region Sports Club and Star WeeklyNewman will receive $1000, donated by the Yarraville Club Cricket Club, and other prizes to assist her in achieving her sports goals.