USA Weightlifting Youth Nationals 2017 Recap

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This past weekend the Force Weightlifters took our largest contingent of athletes yet, to the Youth national championships in Atlanta, GA. Youth nationals is for athletes 17 and under, with age groups of 13U, 14-15, and 16-17.

This year we sent 5 athletes to compete in the 16-17 age group. For each of these athletes it was the biggest, and most important meet of their young careers, and was the first national meet in which any of these athletes has competed.


The first athlete to compete was Alex Grannan of Bloomington North High School. Alex was in the 77kg class. Alex did a best snatch of 83kg (185 lbs) and a best clean and jerk of 103kg (226 lbs). I was really proud of Alex, he came back on his 3rd clean and jerk to make a weight he missed the first two attempts. His snatch was a PR by 5kg and he also PR’ed in the total.

Next up was Colten Harper of Brown County High School, Colten also competed in the 77kg class. Colten finished with a PR snatch of 91kg (200 lbs) and a clean and jerk of 105kg (231 lbs). This gave Colten a PR total. Colten’s snatch was a big milestone, as I remember the first time I ever attempted 200lbs I dropped it on my head. Colten faired much better than I did, making his 200lbs snatch look easy!

Next, we had the trifecta of Bowen Murphy, Noorhadi Shahrani and Aaron Nunes. All 3 of these athletes were competing in the 85kg class simultaneously. It worked seamlessly because I had the expert help of Jarrod Nobbe and several others, including one of our online clients April Roach.

Bowen, of Bloomington North High School, did a snatch of 82kg (182 lbs) and a best clean and jerk of 110kg (242 lbs). Bowen had to deal with some tight judging that is typical of the referees at national meets, but did a good job of rebounding to hit some good lifts.

Noorhadi, also from Bloomington North, did a best snatch of 84kg (186 lbs) and a best clean and jerk of 105 (231 lbs). Lots of potential for growth from Noorhadi, and this meet could not have fallen at a worse time, so i am very proud of his perseverance to come out and still make some amazing lifts.

The performance of the day went to Aaron Nunes. Aaron, Bloomington South, had a huge day doing 87 kg (191 lbs) on the snatch for a competition PR. Aaron then went 3/3 in the clean and jerk and hit a huge 8kg PR of 121 kg (264 lbs). Aaron has made tremendous improvements over just the last couple months by really focusing on his technique while also becoming one of the strongest athletes at all of south high school.

I loved our showing as a team. My big hope with the youth athletes at national meets is that this sparks the fire for them to want to achieve more and make it to their next national meet! All of these athletes have aged out of youth nationals next year, so each will be training hard to qualify for the Junior (20U) national championships next February.

We have some promising 14-15 lifters coming up who could do tremendous things next year at youths. If you know of some young athletes who want to learn more about the sport, let me know! I’d love to introduce them to weightlifting and help them improve their athletic performance and qualify for a national championship.

In Health,

Coach Wil

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