Weightlifting hosts first competition in program history



The Lenoir-Rhyne Weightlifting Team held the first Lenoir-Rhyne University Regional Weightlifting Championships on Saturday and had an amazing time. The event hosted eight current and former US team athletes, by far the most on the varsity circuit. LR qualified ten for the Senior American Open Championships to be held in Denver, CO. Some of the highlights are as follows:

-Team Captain (announced at the end of the competition) Liz Becker (64kg class) – qualified for the Senior American Open with a Lifetime PR of 81kg / 178lb and Clean & Jerking 92kg / 202lb for a Total Lifetime PR of 173kg.

– Hannah Dunn (55kg class) of Team USA competed barely off the plane after competing for Team USA in Mexico at the Pan American Junior Championships. She did a few symbolic lifts to win the 55 kg class of a 63 kg / 138 lb Snatch and a 83 kg / 182 lb Clean & Jerk.

-Harley Creech (Class 87kg) – hit a 77kg competition PR Snatch and she made the lift of the day hitting a 107kg / 235lb Lifetime PR Clean & Jerk. Total lifetime PR of 184 kg.

-Kaylee Coughlin (71kg class) – another from our amazing Freshman class. 73kg / 160lb Snatch, 94kg / 205lb Clean & Jerk, and Total of 167kg.

-Mallory Garza (59 kg category), another fun-loving American team athlete, lifts and represents her school. Snatch 73kg / 160lb and Clean & Jerk of 100kg / 220lb for a nice total of 173kg.

-Kaziah (55 kg class) another member of a strong recruit class. She hit a 66 kg / 145 lb snatch and 84 kg / 185 lb clean and jerk for a total of 150 kg.

-Ruby Shepard (81kg class) competed unattached, but she will be another addition to the Freshman class next semester. She reached 10kg with a Total PR of 150kg.

Riley Breske (67kg class) led the way in the men with a total PR of 230kg electrifying the gym when he hit his lifetime PR Clean & Jerk of 133kg / 292lb.

Ryan Grimsland (67kg class) took his last heavy day before heading for the United States tomorrow in Ecuador for the Senior Pan American Championships where he will face the strongest 67kg men on that side of the world. It Snatch 131kg / 288lb and Clean & Jerked 160kg / 352lb for an easy 291kg.

Tynan O’Connor (73kg) had a hard day bombing the Snatch. However, the coach Travis Mash has every confidence that this young man will come back from this meeting and crush him. He has recovered from a back injury he suffered before arriving at Lenoir-Rhyne just three months ago by hitting PR weights in training. It just needs a little more time to consolidate these numbers and gain consistency. Tynan is going to do great things.

Joseph Neel (81 kg), also a former competitor for the US team, had a great encounter with a total PR of 244 kg via a 115 kg / 253 lb Snatch and a 134 kg / 295 lb Clean & Jerk .

Matt Wininger (81kg), also a former US team athlete, pulled off a nice 105kg / 231lb Snatch and 143kg / 315lb Clean & Jerk. He trained through this encounter by hitting certain powers.

Conner Popielarz (89 kg) had a great meeting after being sick with the flu and quarantined at home. Snatch 120kg / 264lb and a PR Clean & Jerk of 162kg / 356lb. This young man is going to be amazing! Future United States team.

Hunter Orloff (89 kg) pulled off a very easy 105 kg / 231 lb and Clean & Jerked 125 kg / 275 lb. This young man is capable of so much more with a lot of athleticism to work with. I can’t wait to help him use it.

William “Avery” Dayvault (96kg class) at his first weightlifting meet pulled off a nice 65kg / 143lb Snatch and a 75kg / 165lb Clean & Jerk. Most importantly, Avery is a member of the National Guard and an Army veteran who served four years in the military on multiple deployments. It means more than any of these performances in my opinion.

Tank Lunsford (96 kg) crushed him with a Lifetime PR Snatch of 120 kg / 264 lb and a PR Clean & Jerk of 150 kg / 330 lb for a total monster PR of 270 kg qualifying him for the University National Championships . Tank is a SuperTotal athlete, which means he competes in both weightlifting and powerlifting. I see him being a real threat at the University Nationals Powerlifting Championships.

Tre Luttrell (96kg) injured as a starting receiver on the LRU football team was able to advance to the University Nationals with easy 95kg / 209lb snatch lifts and a solid Clean & Push 136 kg / 300 lb jerk. Not bad for someone about to have knee surgery.

Morgan McCullough (102 kg) also relied on his preparations for the Pan American Junior Games, the most prestigious junior competition of the year. Snacking 130kg / 286lb and Clean & Jerking 175kg / 385lb for a total of 305kg. The coldest total of 300+ you’ll see.

Team captain Dean Scicchitano (102 kg) hit a total PR of 295 kg and qualified for the American Open via a magnificent 120 kg Snatch and 175 kg / 385 lb PR Clean & Jerk for a clutch to reach the qualification total of its final lift. Congratulations captain!

Trip Johnston (109 kg) pulled off a single 80 kg / 176 lb Meet PR Snatch and a 110 kg / 242 lb PR Clean & Jerk. Trip started weightlifting last year after moving away from football. This young man overcame many mobility issues to improve tremendously in his new sport. I am proud of his perseverance.

JC Greiner (109+ kg) is a world class powerlifter who has decided to do weightlifting for a ride. He snatched 178lb / 81kg and Clean & Jerked 244lb / 111kg for his first and last weightlifting total of 192kg. I am impressed that someone with their incredible musculature can learn to move so well in such a short time. However, he is destined to be one of the best weightlifters in the world, so I understand his decision.

Coach Mash had this to say after the competition. “I have seen glimpses of greatness from a team that is much stronger than last year’s National Championship team. We have several members who will soon be joining Team USA. We have some. few who will be fighting for the 2024 Olympics, so it’s gonna be exciting to watch for the next few years. I also want to especially thank Coach Sean Rigsby for planning, organizing and leading this great competition. He’s been a great addition to our team. ”


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