PALMIRA, Colombia – All eyes were on Meaghan Strey (59kg; Auburn, Wash.) on Saturday as she was the lone U.S. weightlifter competing and on a day that followed a three-for-three podium performance by her teammates. Strey withstood the pressure and earned a silver medal at the Junior Pan American Games Cali-Valle 2021.
Her result was second only to a junior Pan American record.
The 19-year-old Strey had made her international debut earlier this year, earning bronze in the 59kg at the rescheduled 2020 Junior Pan American Championship that was held in July in Manizales, Colombia.
She returned to Colombia, this time to the Ramón Elías López Arena in Palmira, Valle del Cauca, and was the penultimate athlete to begin competing in her session in both the snatch and the clean and jerk.
Strey easily made her opening snatch of 87kg, then hopped out in front of her 90kg attempt. She successfully made 90 on her final snatch, which is one kilogram short of her junior American record.
She started her clean and jerks at 104kg, making that, before being unable to clean both 109 and 110. Strey’s personal best in competition is 107kg.
Her 194kg total not only earned the silver medal at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games but also marked a new personal record, outdoing the 193kg she hit at the 2021 North American Open Series 2.
Colombia’s Concepcion Usuga won gold after setting two new junior Pan American records: a snatch of 96kg, two kilos over the previous record, and total of 213kg, raising that by one kilo. Ecuador’s Jenifer Samanta Becerra Romero earned bronze with a 188kg total.
All four U.S. weightlifters who have competed to date at the Cali-Valle Games have earned either gold or silver medals. The U.S. is currently second in the sport’s medal count, one behind the host nation.
The U.S. trails Brazil, 41 medals to 32, in the overall medal count, having also medaled in diving, gymnastics, judo, shooting, skateboarding, squash and taekwondo.
Weightlifting continues Sunday with four Americans hitting the platform: Chrisanto D’Agostino (96kg; Moorhead, Minn.) at 12 p.m. ET, Olivia Reeves (76kg; Chattanooga, Tenn.) at 2:30 p.m. ET, Morgan McCullough (109kg; Granite Falls, N.C.) at 5 p.m. ET, Anna McElderry (87kg; Oley, Pa.) at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Day 2 Team USA Weightlifting Results:
Meaghan Strey (59kg; Auburn, Wash.); Snatch: 90kg, Clean and Jerk: 104kg, Total: 194kg (silver)