USA Weightlifting Features Men's Team Aims to S...

Men's Team Aims to Secure Olympic Berth at 2016 Pan American Championships

By Anna Resman | June 02, 2016, 12:17 p.m. (ET)

Just a few weeks after the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and USAW National Championships, Team USA is on the road again for the 2016 Pan American Championships.  Delegations will arrive in Cartagena, Colombia, this weekend and prepare for the start of competition on Monday, June 6.

Seven women and eight men will represent the United States in Colombia.

The women’s team includes Kelly Rexroad Williams (48kg), Kathleen Winters (48kg), Morghan King (53kg), Caitlin Hogan (53kg), Jessica Lucero (58kg), Mattie Rogers (69kg), and Marissa Klingseis (+75kg).

Alex Lee (69kg), Travis Cooper (77kg), James Tatum (85kg), Kendrick Farris (94kg), Norik Vardanian (94kg), Wes Kitts (105kg), Donovan Ford (105kg), and Caine Wilkes (+105kg) will compete on the men’s team.


Stakes are higher in Colombia for the men’s team as the men have not yet earned any spots in the Olympics Games. If the team places seventh or higher, the U.S. will receive one Olympic berth.


While the lifters will be focused on the international competition to ensure a top team placement, they will also be keeping an eye on each other. If a berth is earned, it will go to the male lifter that places highest in his respective weight category.


As proved during the Olympic Trials in Salt Lake City, Utah, competition will be close. Farris, a two-time Olympian, and Vardanian went neck to neck in the 94kg weight class, both setting new American records. Heading into next week, Lee and Wilkes are also ranked in the top five by USAW selection procedures.


The women’s Olympic team was already named following the Olympic Trials. King, Jenny Arthur (75kg), and Sarah Robles (+75kg) will lift in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, this August. Arthur and Robles are not competing next week.


After setting four American records at the Olympic Trials, Lucero will aim to set the bar even higher in the 58kg category. Rogers, who also set an American record in May, has another opportunity to complete 109kg in the snatch – the weight she missed in her final attempt at Olympic Trials.


It’s bound to be an exciting week in Cartagena. While there is no live feed for the competition, daily team reports will be published on the USA Weightlifting website.


2016 PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS ROSTER


Women

Kelly Rexroad Williams – 48kg – Flowery Branch, Ga.

Kathleen Winters – 48kg – Bozeman, Mont.

Morghan King – 53kg – Redmond, Wash.

Caitlin Hogan – 53kg – Long Beach, Calif.

Jessica Lucero – 58kg – Tustin, Calif.

Mattie Rogers – 69kg – Apopka, Fla.

Marissa Klingseis – +75kg – St. Joseph, Mo.


Men

Alex Lee – 69kg – Chandler, Ariz.

Travis Cooper – 77kg – Tyrone, Ga.

James Tatum – 85kg – Hampstead, N.C.

Kendrick Farris – 94kg – Shreveport, La.

Norik Vardanian – 94kg – Colorado Springs, Colo.

Wes Kitts – 105kg – Knoxville, Tenn.

Donovan Ford – 105kg – Shreveport, La.

Caine Wilkes – +105kg – Chesapeake, Va. 


Schedule

The Pan Ams Start Book is out on the IWF website – www.iwf.net . It is live on Flo Elite www.floelite.com (Lance, if you want to watch any let me know we have some comp logins).

Times are in Central Time.

Tuesday 7:
48kg A – 3pm – Kathleen Winters, Kelly Rexroad-Williams

Wednesday 8:
53kg A – 2pm – Caitlin Hogan, Morghan King
M69kg A – 4pm – Alex Lee
58kg A – 7pm – Jessica Lucero

Thursday 9:
77kg A – 5pm – Travis Cooper
W69kg A – 7pm – Mattie Rogers

Friday 10:
85kg A – 4pm – James Tatum
+75kg A – 7pm – Marissa Klingseis

Saturday 11:
94kg A – 9am – Norik Vardanian, Kendrick Farris
105kg A – 11.30am – Wesley Kitts, Donovan Ford
+105kg A – 2pm – Caine Wilkes