Team USA Nabs 30 Medals at Youth Pan Ams

Nov. 07, 2017, 9:17 p.m. (ET)


Team USA nabbed 30 medals, 2 Youth Pan American Championships and broke Youth American Records as the 2017 Youth Pan Ams wrapped up over the weekend in Palmira, Colombia. 

Led by strong performances by Kaela Stephano (53kg, Hype Weightlifting, Boca Raton, FL), Taylor Babb (63kg, unattached, Arlington, TN), Athena Schrijver (75kg, Myles Ahead Weightlifting, Santa Rosa, CA), Ashamarie Benitez (+75kg, Team Lara, Austin, TX) and Kuinini Manumua (+75kg, Hassle Free Barbell, San Francisco, CA), Team USA Women won 2nd place overall. 

"These kids did such a phenomenal job in Colombia," USA Weightlifting National Teams Coach Mike Gattone said. "It was so much fun seeing them bond as a team and represent their country with honor, respect and dignity. It was an honor to coach them."

Babb,16, claimed gold in snatch with an 86kg lift, sliver in clean & jerk with a 104kg lift. Her 190kg total was enough to take home the Youth Pan American Champion title. 

In the +75kg category, it was a back-and-forth battle for gold between Team USA teammates Benitez, 17, and Manumua, 17. Benitez came out on top to sweep gold in snatch (101kg), clean & jerk (125kg) and total (226kg.) Benitez also broke all 3 Youth American Records with her performance in Palmira. Manumua swept silver, finishing one kg off of her teammate's performance. Manumua snatched 100kg, clean & jerked 124kg and ended with a 225kg total. 

Sixteen-year-old Schrijver, meanwhile, swept silver in her 75kg weight category with a 91kg snatch, 114kg clean & jerk and 205kg total. Stephano, 17, started Team USA's winnings, by sweeping silver with a 72kg snatch, 91kg clean & jerk and a 163kg total. 

Other medalists included 17-year-old Katelyn Wehr (58kg, Garage Strength, Kutztown, PA) who swept bronze in her weight category with a 74kg snatch, 92kg clean & jerk and 166kg total. Nadine Pierre, 17, (69kg, Mash Mafia Weightlifting, Andover MN) took home bronze in clean & jerk with a 104kg lift. Team USA Women grabbed 19 medals in all. 

Click here for full results from Youth Pan Ams (.pdf)

On the men's side, Team USA finished 4th overall. Seventeen-year-old Cole Bramble (94kg, CHFP Weightlifting, Burke, VA) took home the men's only gold medal with a 131kg snatch. 

Jerome Smith, 16, (69kg, Lift for Life Gym, St. Louis, MO) swept silver in his weight category with a 120kg snatch, 151kg clean & jerk and 271kg total. 

Sixteen-year-old Stephen Short (77kg, Vero Beach Weightlifting, Vero Beach, FL) also swept silver with a 120kg snatch, 138kg clean & jerk and 258kg total. 

Marc Vanchiasong, 17, (+94kg, Hassle Free Barbell, Sacramento, CA) closed out competition by taking home 3 bronze medals. Vanchiasong lifted 128kg in snatch, 148kg in clean & jerk and ended the day with a 276kg total. 

Antwan Kilbert, 16, (56kg, Lift for Life Gym, St. Louis, MO) picked up a bronze medal with a 99kg snatch to give Team USA men its 11th medal in competition.