This time last year, Crossfit Rotorua had just secured its status as the town's first Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand (OWNZ) affiliated club. A week later they took four teenagers to compete at the New Zealand Secondary School Weightlifting Championships for the first time and they brought home three gold medals. At the weekend, three of those athletes returned with another year of experience under their belts, eager to get back on the podium.
At last year's New Zealand Secondary School Weightlifting Championships, competing in her first weightlifting event, Anja Jennings broke national records for the snatch and clean and jerk in the under-15, 53kg girls' division to take first place.
At the weekend, the 16-year-old returned to the national event, this time competing in the girls' 55kg division. She successfully lifted 65kg in the snatch and 74kg in the clean and jerk to take the gold medal - the snatch was a new national record for her age and weight division.
"It was good, I was happy with the snatch because I haven't snatched 65kg for over a month. Even in training, I couldn't hit it. I think it was the adrenaline of competing," Anja said.
To put into perspective how far she has come in the last year, her snatch improved by 13kg and her clean and jerk by 11kg - a massive jump in that time period. She put the improvement down to consistent training and improved nutrition.
Her focus now turns to the Crossfit Open next month, the first stage of qualifying for the worldwide Crossfit Games.
Meanwhile Promyss Pitman, who won the under-15, 63kg girls' division last year, also went back-to-back.
Crossfit Rotorua owner and coach Munro Waerea said Promyss showed great mental strength just to compete after battling illness leading up to the event.
"She did an amazing job, considering her build-up. The mental challenge plays a big factor in the overall outcome, it can be quite intimidating there and there are a lot of mind games going on in the background.
"Anja narrowly missed out on a record-breaking total by 2kg. She is now snatching what she used to clean and jerk - for anyone not familiar with those lifts, that's quite a remarkable achievement."
Rotorua teens dominate Crossfit Nationals
Rotorua teens qualify for Crossfit Games
The third athlete Crossfit Rotorua took this year was Awanuiarangi Gardiner, 16, who won the boys' under-15, 77kg division last year.
This year was a good learning curve for him - competing in the boys' 81kg he finished fourth against some tough competition and was left frustrated by a judge's decision.
He was given a down signal before being allowed to lock out his hips fully resulting in a no lift. It created a disagreement between the judges but ultimately remained a failed attempt.
He said at the time he was disappointed but he understood it was the nature of the sport.
"I got over it pretty quickly, I was pretty happy with what I did. My snatch has increased by about 9kg since last year and my clean and jerk a good 15kg.
"I'm still enjoying it, I like weightlifting more than Crossfit. I like just trying to get better and lift heavier."
Waerea said all three lifters were "amazing".
"Their attitude and composure was good. They are all different athletes so their approach individually had to be a bit different. Out on the platform they did what was required of them to our standard which, looking at everyone else is quite a high standard.
"Because we're all crossfitters as well, there's a stereotype that crossfitters aren't that great at weightlifting but if you look at the ones who are doing it they're actually really good.
"That's the beauty of Crossfit, being able to create a bridge between Crossfit and weightlifting. Now we're seeing more athletes doing Olympic weightlifting."
Crossfit Rotorua results at the New Zealand Secondary School Weightlifting Championships
Girls' 55kg: 1st Anja Jennings.
Girls' 64kg: 1st Promyss Pitman.
Boys' 81kg: 4th Awanuiarangi Gardiner.