Owens and McCullough light up the YWC stage Wednesday for Team USA

March 13, 2019, 10:01 p.m. (ET)

Avery Owens kicked off the competition for Team USA Wednesday at the 2019 Youth World Championships. Owens had a strong performance, setting all new competitions personal records. She nailed her first and second snatch attempts of 80kg and 83kg. Owens went for 87kg on her third attempt, a weight she’s never attempted even in training, but missed. Owens usually competes in the 76kg category but went up a class to 81kg for this competition.

After the session, Owens said she’s learned valuable lessons competing for Team USA. “As long as you leave it all on the platform, you’ll be happy with what you did,” she said.

Owens went three for three in the clean and jerk portion of the competition, hitting 102kg, 105kg and 108kg, another personal best. Her 191kg total landed her in fourth place overall.

Morgan McCullough earned Team USA’s only medal Wednesday, competing in the 96kg category. He went three for three in the clean and jerks hitting 168kg, 171kg and 178kg after missing all three of his snatch attempts at 130kg.

“I was very frustrated and had to take a few minutes for myself. Snatches are usually my thing, I make two or three,” McCullough said after the session. “There are more competitions this year and I’m going to come back and take gold.” His 178kg clean and jerk earned him a silver medal.

A break in the competition is scheduled for Thursday. Nia Walker and Julia Yun will lift for Team USA on Friday at 2pm PST.