2016 USA Weightlifting Award Winners

By Kevin Farley | Jan. 06, 2017, 2:32 p.m. (ET)

The following are the winners of 2016 USA Weightlifting Awards. Each were nominated by Local Weightlifting Committee Presidents and, except for the Hoffman and Hatch Awards, were voted on by the USA Weightlifting Board of Directors. 

Recipients of the Awards will receive them at a ceremony at the 2017 USA Weightlifting National Championships this May in Chicago. 


The Mabel Rader Award for Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Weightlifting – Sarah Robles (Team Houston - Desert Hot Springs, CA)
The first American to medal in the Olympic Games in 16 years, Robles brought the media’s attention back to female American Weightlifting. Starting her sporting career as a Thrower reaching the Division 1 NCAA level; Robles started her Weightlifting career at the Junior World level before making the 2012 Olympic Games in London under the tuition of Joe Micela (Mesa, AZ). Moving to train in Houston, Texas for the 2016 Games, Robles this time headed to Rio with the backing of Tim Swords (League City, TX). The day went flawlessly, executing 6 for 6 lifts at just below fellow Olympic Medalist Cheryl Haworth’s American Records. Also in 2016, Robles clocked up international Gold medals at the 2016 IWF Grand Prix in Russia and the 2016 Olympic Games Test Event in Rio, BRA.


#TBT to when @roblympian won the Bronze Medal at #Rio2016! Relive Rio magic by clicking our profile link. #🏋 #🏅

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The Gordon Andrews Award for Outstanding Contribution to Men’s Weightlifting – Dr Kyle Pierce (LSU Shreveport – Shreveport, LA)
Leading the USA Weightlifting High Performance Center for many years, Dr. Pierce is best known for his coaching of 3 time Olympian, Kendrick Farris. The 94kg total American Record holder started out with as a pre-teen with a broomstick in hand and Kyle by his side. Over his time at LSU Shreveport though, Pierce has had a hand in the coaching of several international team members, and has hosted several national championship and national university championship events. Now turning his hand to help international matters, Pierce is a member of the Pan American Weightlifting Federation executive board and serves on the IWF Coaching Committee.




The Tara Nott Award for Outstanding Female Senior Athlete – Morghan King (Unattached – Seattle, WA)
2016 was quite the year for Seattle native and former soccer player King, finishing 6th at the Olympic Games in Rio, King broke a 16 year old Snatch American Record, held by the IWF Hall of Fame member this award is named for, on the biggest stage of them all. Her week was not quite done just yet as she got engaged later that week. As a 53kg athlete, King also medaled at the Pan American Championships. Across the year, King has also seen achievements off the platform becoming an ambassador for BMW-Mini during the Olympic Games.



The Anthony Terlazzo Award for Outstanding Male Senior Athlete – Kendrick Farris (LSU Shreveport – Shreveport, LA)
Kendrick Farris made it 3 in a row when he qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games following his Gold Medal in the total at the 2016 Pan American Olympic Qualification event. Amongst the highest point scorers at the 2015 IWF World Championship, Farris continued his form into 2016 setting a new American Record total of 377kg at the 2016 Olympic Trails before winning the Pan American Championship on his road to Rio where he gained notoriety for his vegan lifestyle.




The Jack Hughes Award for Outstanding Junior Female Athlete – Hayley Reichardt (Garage Strength – Leesport, PA)

Reichardt’s 2016 was highlighted by a total medal at the World Youth Championships in Penang, Malaysia where Reichardt secured the first ever Youth World Championships medal for an American Woman, and was later joined in that honor by Sha’la McMillan (Palmetto, FL – Full Circle Performance). Reichardt opened the year with a record breaking 6-for-6 performance at National Juniors in her hometown, and continued a breakout year with American Records and international appearances to round out her final year as a Youth Athlete. 


The Rudy Sablo Award for Outstanding Junior Male Athlete – CJ Cummings (Team Savannah – Beaufort, SC)
CJ Cummings has always had potential to be amongst the World Elite, in 2016 he started showing he was. Cummings has been breaking records all year highlights include the first male World Record in 40 years, subsequently breaking that streak again later in the year. Cummings securing two World Championships (World Junior and World Youth Champion), on his way to a just outstanding year. He finished the year with a 183kg Clean & Jerk above his own Youth World Record at the 2016 American Open.

🏅🏅🏅 Read about @cj__cummings big day in our bio link. #🏅🏅🏅 #🏋 #TeamUSA

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The Gayle Hatch Coaching Award for Coach of The Year (Female) – Shahin Nasirinia (Unattached – Scottsdale, AZ)
The Gayle Hatch Award is awarded to the coach of the #1 Ranked athlete at the World Championship or Olympic Games at the time of the competition. As the #1 ranked athlete going into the Olympic Games, this award goes to the Coach 1 on Record of Morghan King, former World Champion for the Islamic Republic of Iran, Shahin Nasirinia. Nasirinia acted as personal coach to King on her way to breaking the Snatch American Record at the Olympic Games and a 6th place finish.



The Gayle Hatch Coaching Award for Coach of The Year (Male) – Dr Kyle Pierce (LSU Shreveport – Shreveport, LA)
The Gayle Hatch Award is awarded to the coach of the #1 Ranked athlete at the World Championship or Olympic Games at the time of the competition. As the only male athlete to go to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, this award therefore goes to Dr Kyle Pierce. Coach Kendrick Farris to a 3rd Olympic Games, Pierce also was present in the back room for the medal winning session for Sarah Robles and acted as Head Coach for Team Ghana for the Games in addition. 


The Larry Barnholth Award for Coaching Excellence – Dane Miller (Garage Strength – Leesport, PA)

A relative newcomer to the sport, former D1 thrower Miller has quickly made a name for himself out of one of the most unique gyms in the nation located in tiny Leesport, PA just outside of Reading, PA. Starting the year by assisting with hosting the National Junior Championships, Miller’s strength factory Garage Strength produced champions, international team members and record breakers across the year including Hayley Reichardt, Tanner Reichardt, Dale Loch, DJ Shuttleworth, Juliana Riotto and Jacob Horst. Miller also served as a coach for the IWF Youth World Championships in Penang, Malaysia where Team USA had a record breaking performance. 



The Hoffman Award for Outstanding LWC Performance Pacific Weightlifting Association
Winning by just a slim margin over the Florida Weightlifting Association (460.75 to 459.25), this award is a points based system based on international meet results and domestic meet medalists. The PWA had another powerhouse year, providing athletes to every international team save the Olympic Games, highlighted by Donovan Ford’s 2nd place and critical points towards qualifying our one male slot at the Olympic Games. Elsewhere, Megan Seegert and Wes Kitts amongst others delivered American Records for the LWC. 

2nd Place: Florida
3rd Place: S Pacific
4th Place: North Carolina
5th Place: Georgia-Alabama
6th Place: Missouri Valley 
7th Place: Washington 
8th Place: Mid Atlantic
9th Place: South Texas
10th Place: Arkansas-Louisiana