Team USA has returned from a successful week in San Salvador, El Salvador, for the 2016 Junior Pan American Championships. 19 junior athletes, including four reserves, represented the United States in competition. In total, the team brought home 29 medals – six gold, fourteen silver, and nine bronze.
The men’s team placed third overall, with a total of 562 points. Ecuador, who also totaled at 562 points, earned one additional bronze medal to slip pass the U.S. for second place. The championship team title was awarded to Colombia, who finished with a total of 647 points.
Team leader and USA Weightlifting High Performance Director Peter Roselli (Frenchtown, N.J.) commented, “The men’s and women’s teams are now positioned to move ahead of Ecuador for second place. The real challenge for us is winning head to head against Colombian athletes for first position in Pan America.”
Harrison Maurus (Auburn, Wash.) took silver across the board in the 77kg category and set new youth American records in the snatch ( 137kg), clean and jerk (170kg), and total (307kg). He set a new Pan American record in the clean and jerk; however, it was later broken by Colombian Yeison Lopez who made 186kg.
“It was a pleasure representing the United States and being able to compete with so many great lifters. I am looking forward to improving, and I’m going to get the youth world record,” said Maurus.
The same combination of countries stood on the medal stand for the women’s team competition, in a slightly different order. Team USA placed third overall with 468 points. Colombia totaled at 511 points to claim second, and Ecuador took home the championship team title with a total of 532 points.
Maddy Myers (La Jolla, Calif.) had a standout performance in the 63kg category and was awarded the best female lifter award. She earned silver in the snatch competition with a successful 89kg lift, and then followed with a gold medal lift in the clean and jerk at 120kg. With a total of 290kg, Myers brought home the overall gold medal for the category. Additionally, she set new junior American records in the clean and jerk and total, breaking her existing records.
“I am extremely proud of Maddy Myers – she has done an amazing job of juggling school, CrossFit and weightlifting, and her total continues to improve every month,” said CJ Martin (San Diego, Calif.), who served as a team coach for the competition. “The trip to El Salvador was a great success. We had several lifters improve their totals, and all of the coaches were impressed by the way they fought in competition. This is a great group of talented athletes; I am excited to see what they can do at Worlds and other future events.”
Jessie Bradley (Provo, Utah) also brought home three medals – two gold and one silver. She successfully lifted 96kg in the snatch and 119kg in the clean and jerk to total at 215kg. Bradley has a quick turnaround this week to recover and prepare for the Olympic Trials, taking place on May 8 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Lifters were accompanied by coaches Martin, Travis Mash (Advance, N.C.), and Kevin Simons (Auburn, Wash.) as well as team leader Roselli and physician Michael Messmer (Hillard, Ohio).
“Coaching the men's junior Pan American team was the highlight of my coaching career. The entire team was a real pleasure to work with, and I can say one thing with 100% certainty – there is a mindset shift coming in America. No longer will we desire to make world and Olympic teams. From now on, we will set our sights on winning,” said Mash.
Competition is back in action next weekend with the 2016 US Weightlifting National Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials. Full event details are posted on the USA Weightlifting website; a live webcast will be available.
Following Sunday’s Olympic Trials, the three female lifters representing Team USA in Rio will be named. The men’s team has not yet earned spots for Rio; however, they have the opportunity to earn one at the Pan American Championships in June.
JUNIOR PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS – TEAM USA RESULTS
Read daily team leader reports here.
John Stang (Corvallis, Ore.) – 62kg – 108kg snatch (third place), 137kg c&j (third place), 245kg total (third place) 3 for 6
Mason Groehler (Denmark, Wisc.) – 77kg – 134kg snatch (third place), 160kg c&j (fourth place), 294kg total (fourth place), 4 for 6
Harrison Maurus (Auburn, Wash.) – 77kg – 137kg snatch (second place), 170kg c&j (second place), 307kg total (second place), 3 for 6
Jordan Cantrell (Clovis, Calif.) – 85kg – 145kg snatch (fourth place), 175c&j (fourth place), 320kg total (fourth place), 4 for 6
Tom Summa (Advance, N.C.) – 85kg – 145kg snatch (fifth place), 173c&j (fifth place), 318kg total (fifth place), 3 for 6
Nathan Damron (Advance, N.C.) – 94kg – 152kg snatch (second place), 190kg c&j (second place), 342kg total (second place), 4 for 6
Dylan Cooper (Advance, N.C.) – 94kg – 142kg snatch (third place), 177kg c&j (third place), 319kg total (third place), 3 for 6
Joshua Ji (Rowland Heights, Calif.) – 105kg – 151kg snatch (first place), 179 c&j (second place), 330kg total (second place), 3 for 6
Reserves – Tom Piscopo (Marquette, Mich) and Melvin Peete (Sacramento, Calif.)
Jourdan Delacruz (Wylie, Texas) – 53kg – 77kg snatch (first place), 94kg c&j (third place), 171kg total (second place), 4 for 6
Kajja Bramwell (Queen Creek, Ariz.) – 53 kg – 68kg snatch (fourth place), no total, 1 for 6
Erin Amos (Colorado Springs, Colo.) – 58kg – 76kg snatch (fourth place), 93kg c&j (fourth place), 169kg total (fourth place), 3 for 6
Maddy Myers (La Jolla, Calif.) – 63kg – 89kg snatch (second place), 120kg c&j (first place), 209kg total (first place)
Jessie Bradley (Provo, Utah) – 75kg – 96kg snatch (first place), 119kg c&j (second place), 215kg total (first place)
Deirdre Lenzsch (Somers Point, N.J.) – 75kg – 94kg snatch (third place), 115kg c&j (fourth place), 209kg total (fourth place)
Kjayla Martin (Johnson City, Tenn.) – +75kg – 93kg snatch (second place), 119kg c&j (second place), 212kg total (second place)
Reserves – Celia Gold (Newton, Conn.) and Chloe Tacata (Rohnert Park, Calif.)