Action continued non-stop on Saturday for the USA Weightlifting National Championships in Salt Lake City. With two platforms running the majority of the day, another wave of lifters set out to hit new personal bests.
On the women’s side, sessions took place for the 63kg, 69kg and 75kg categories. The men competed in 77kg, 85kg, 94kg and 105kg sessions.
Tanner Reichardt (Leesport, Penn.) currently leads the 77kg weight class. He totaled at 295kg with a 130kg snatch and 165kg clean and jerk. This secured him a spot on the 2016 Junior World Championships team for this summer. Reichardt will join his sister, Hayley, who also qualified for the team on Friday.
Today included several special pauses in competition for the recognition of inductees into the USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame.
Two-time Olympian and six-time National Champion Oscar Chaplin III (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was the first inductee. Chaplin, who is still very involved today as a coach, won gold at the Junior World Championships in 2000. He is the only U.S. weightlifter in history that has claimed a Junior World Championship title.
Weightlifting runs in the Chaplin family. Oscar's parents, Oscar and Rebecca, accompanied him on stage and proudly watched as he accepted the award. The crowd had a good laugh when Rebecca, a retired weightlifter herself, took the trophy from Oscar and enthusiastically raised it overhead.
Oscar’s siblings have also been involved in the sport, and his brother, Jim Chaplin, was on the Junior World Championships team in 2000 when Oscar won gold.
Later in the afternoon, USA Weightlifting’s Director of Operations Laurie Lopez (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was caught completely off-guard as she was called on stage. Lopez was recognized for her nineteen years of service to the organization.
Spencer Moorman (San Ramon, Calif.) presented Lopez with the award and reminisced on his first interaction with Lopez over 12 years ago. Traveling to the Olympic Training Center for the first time, he had gotten lost in the airport. Lopez’s voice came over the intercom multiple times before Moorman, 13 at the time, realized that he was being called. Soon after, he was connected with Lopez who ensured that he safely made it down to training camp in Colorado Springs.
Emphasizing her calm demeanor and unwavering commitment to the athletes, Moorman affirmed that Lopez truly is the ‘guardian angel of USA Weightlifting.”
The final inductee of the day was Diana Fuhrman (North Ridge, Calif.). A four-time National Champion and member of six World Championships teams, Fuhrman has made a lasting impact on the sport of weightlifting in the United States. Her former coach, Bob Takano (Woodland Hills, Calif.), presented the award.
“I never expected the experiment that Takano had with me would turn into me standing here today,” said Fuhrman. With a thirty-seven year weightlifting career, Fuhrman has seen a lot of changes and growth in the sport over the years. She especially emphasized the advancement of female lifters, as they clearly have a seat at the table today. “I have to thank the crazed men, especially Takano, that challenged me to get up on the platoform and do this sport that women just didn’t do back then.”
The final sessions of the National Championships will occur Sunday morning. Remaining are 75kg A and +75kg for the women and 105kg and 105+kg for the men.
Shortly after, the U.S. Olympic Trials will commence. The men kick off at 3:45 p.m. Mountain, and the women will closely follow.
All eyes will be on the women as they vie for the remaining two Olympic berths to Rio. The first spot was awarded to Jenny Arthur (Colorado Springs, Colo.) earlier this year as a result of her consecutive top U.S. placement at the 2014 and 2015 World Championships.
The men’s team has not yet earned any Olympic berths; however, they have the opportunity to do at the Pan American Championships in June. Results from tomorrow’s trials will solidify the team that will travel south next month to represent the U.S. in Colombia.
Everyone can tune into the action tomorrow afternoon as NBC Sports is live streaming the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The sessions will be available in high-definition on the NBC Sports Live Extra app and online at NBCSports.com/LiveExtra.
Full results will continue to be posted on the USA Weightlifting website. While Trials participants are not technically lifting in the National Championships, their scores count towards Nationals placement. As a result, National Champions will not be named until later in the evening when Trials have concluded.