USA Weightlifting is soon back on the road for the 2016 IWF Youth World Championships in Penang, Malaysia. Competition will occur October 19 to 25 and feature top youth lifters from around the world.
Team USA's roster includes a strong blend of seasoned international competitors and rising youth lifters making their international debut. CJ Cummings (Beaufort, S.C.) is ready to get back up on the platform after his monumental record-breaking performance at the 2016 IWF Junior World Championships in June. He broke three IWF youth world records, the first American ever to do so, and claimed the championship title in the 69kg class.
Leading the 69kg class with a 25kg entry lead over the rest of the field, Cummings has the opportunity to keep his family name on the medal stand for another year. His brother, Omar Cummings (Beaufort, S.C.), medaled at last year's Youth Worlds with a third place finish.
Hayley Reichardt (Leesport, Pa.), Sha'la McMillian (Palmetto, Fla.), Harrison Maurus (Auburn, Wash.), and Will Cohen (Savannah, Ga.) will bring their experience from last year's event.
At only 17 years, Reichardt is quickly becoming a household name in the USA Weightlifting community. She placed second behind Olympian Morghan King at the National Championships earlier this year. She currently holds six youth American records in 48kg category.
"I am incredibly excited to compete in Malaysia," said Reichardt. "I have been fortunate enough to have competed internationally and represent Team USA before, but I've never traveled this far. I'm looking forward to competing, touring the city of Penang, and learning about Malaysian cultures and traditions."
Maurus is also on a fast rise in the men's 77kg class. He currently holds 10 youth American records and won silver at the 2016 Junior Pan American Championships. While lifting in San Salvador, Maurus had a very close attempt at setting a new IWF Youth World record in the clean and jerk.
McMillian and Cohen had standout performances at the Youth National Championships in June. McMillian dominated the +75kg class, setting two American records in the 16-17 age group. In a similar fashion, Cohen blazed ahead competition in the 69kg category, capturing first with a 27kg lead.
Team USA will be led by staff David Fleming (Pine City, NY) and Tracey Maurus (Auburn, Wash.) and coaches Rayford Jones (Beaufort, S.C.), Freddie Myles (Rohnert Park, Calif.), and Dane Miller (Leesport, Pa.). Doctor Mark Lavallee (York, Pa.) will serve as the team medic.
Reflecting on this year's team, Coach Jones said, "We are bringing a large contingent of talented youth lifters that will have the honor of representing USA for the first time on the international stage. I'm excited to be a part of this valuable experience in their lifting careers."
Stay up-to-date with the action through USA Weightlifting's website and social media accounts. Reichardt and Chloe Tacata (Rohnert Park, Calif.) will open competition for Team USA on Thursday, October 20, in the women's 48kg class.
TEAM USA ROSTER
CJ Cummings, 69kg, Beaufort, S.C.
Will Cohen, 69kg, Savannah, Ga.
Harrison Maurus, 77kg, Auburn, Wash.
Dale Loch, 77kg, Wyomissing, Pa.
Kolton Koontz, 85kg, Mesa, Ariz.
Jaden Washington, 85kg, Benica, Calif.
Marcos Bribiesca, +94kg, Amarillo, Texas
Hayley Reichardt, 48kg, Leesport, Pa.
Chloe Tacata, 48kg, Rohnert Park, Calif.
Juliette Chang-Fane, 63kg, Merritt Island, Fla.
Athena Schrijver, 69kg, Rohnert Park, Calif.
Maddie Stenbo, 69kg, Carroll, Iowa
Jessica Sipos, +69kg, Santa Fe, N.M.
Sha'la McMillan, +69kg, Palmetto, Fla.