Going for Gold in Gainesville as 2017 National University & Under 25 Championships kick off

By Kevin Farley | April 06, 2017, 9:01 p.m. (ET)

More than 200 athletes representing colleges and universities from around the country will descend on Gainesville, Florida this weekend for the 2017 Nike National University & Under 25 Championships powered by Rogue Fitness.

The Stephen C. O'Connell Center on the campus of the University of Florida will serve as the venue for USA Weightlifting's premiere collegiate event of the year. Athletes will enjoy a unique atmosphere, competing in the center of one of Florida's most hallowed arenas. 

Mattie Rogers (69kg) looks to defend her crowns as the reigning National University Champion and Under 25 Champion. She set American Records at the 2016 National University & Under 25 Championships in New Orleans, Louisiana.

More than just bragging rights are on the line. This weekend's competition serves as the final qualifier for the 2017 World University Games this July in Taipei, Chinese Taipei. It is also the first qualifying event for the 2017 International Weightlifting Federation World Weightlifting Championships that will be held in Anaheim, California, November 28-December 5, 2017.

The event is two competitions in one. Athletes affiliated with a college or university can compete under their school's name. Athletes who are not affiliated with a school and are 25 and under can compete in the Under 25 Championship. Athletes who are affiliated and the age of 25 or under can compete in both competitions. While technically two competitions are taking place, both are running concurrently. Medals will be awarded for the top three finishers in snatch, clean & jerk and total in both competitions.

Tickets are available at the door of the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. 

Lifting begins 9AM Friday and continues all weekend. Click here for the event schedule, start list and live stream.