Meredith Alwine Wins Bronze in the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile
SANTIAGO, Chile – 2021 World Champion Meredith Alwine (71 kg/Altamonte Springs, Fla.) added more hardware to her trophy case, winning a bronze medal in her first Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. She was the final American weightlifter to compete in Sunday’s action and she closed the night in style in the women’s 71 kg weight division. Earlier in the day, U.S. weightlifters Taylor Wilkins (59 kg/Sebastian, Fla.) and Brandon Victorian (89 kg/Monroe, La.) stepped on to the platform, finishing in 6th and 7th place respectively.
Three more U.S. weightlifters will showcase their skills in Monday’s weightlifting action as Morgan McCullough (102 kg/Knoxville, Tenn.) competes in afternoon action and the two women’s 81 kg athletes Olivia Reeves (81 kg/Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Shacasia Johnson (81 kg/Blue Springs, Mo.) close out the day in the evening session.
Monday’s Pan American Games Schedule
4 p.m. Chile time/3 p.m. ET: Morgan McCullough/M 102 kg
7:30 p.m. Chile time/6:30 p.m. ET: Olivia Reeves and Shacasia Johnson/W 81 kg
Alwine missed her opening snatch attempt at 100 kg, but quickly rebounded to land successful lifts at 100 kg and 103 kg in her second and third snatch attempts. Yet it was in the clean and jerk where she shined brightest as is typically the case. Alwine opened with a successful attempt of 131 kg and then put up a 136 kg lift to clinch her spot on the medal stand. She missed a lift of 140 kg in her final attempt of the event, but her overall total of 239 kg earned Alwine Pan American Games bronze.
Alwine was emotional after receiving her medal, reflecting on what she had been through since suffering an injury at the 2023 World Championships. “I’m feeling amazing. There’s a lot that went into this. It’s definitely the most difficult medal I’ve earned which makes it feel super special. As a lot of people know, I got hurt on the worlds stage five weeks ago so to come back, lift more than the weight that hurt me and make lifts enough to get a medal is overwhelming,” Alwine said.
She had the highest starting total in the clean and jerk but is familiar with that position following the snatch competition. “It's not too unusual, I’ve always lagged behind in the snatch and made it up in the clean and jerk so we knew we had that advantage coming in and we figured we were going to have to push it a little bit given who I was competing against, so we were like let’s just go,” she said.
Wilkins was the first American weightlifter to compete in Sunday’s competition, leading off the day in the women’s 59 kg bodyweight division. She enjoyed a strong start to her first Pan American Games, completing successful lifts in each of her snatch attempts at 88 kg, 92 kg and 95 kg. Wilkins continued her streak of successful attempts in the clean and jerk, opening with a good lift in her first attempt of 115 kg but missed in her second and third attempts of 120 and 125 kg. Team USA felt that she completed a successful lift in her second attempt at 120 kg, challenging the ruling but the jury didn’t overturn it. Wilkins ended the competition with a total of 210 kg, finishing sixth in the overall standings in the women’s 59 kg division.
“I obviously didn’t hit six lifts which is what I was hoping to do, but I hit all three snatches, which was fun, more than I was expecting to hit. My clean and jerks obviously didn’t go as planned. When I got called for a press out, we were like we have nothing to lose so we decided to go up,” Wilkins said. ‘It was a “have fun” meet. See what we can do. I learned that even I am not fully peaked, I am capable of pretty big numbers.”
Victorian opened the day with a successful snatch of 150kg but missed on his next two attempts of 155 kg and 156 kg. A similar scenario played out in the clean and jerk for Victorian, who was competing in his first major international meet in Santiago. He made a successful lift of 185 kg in his first attempt but missed on two attempts at 191 kg in the clean and jerk. His total of 335 kg gave Victorian a 7th place finish in the men’s 89 kg competition.
“It felt good. Obviously, there were some lifts that I wish I would have made, but overall, I had a good time, got the crowd engaged a little bit and had some fun out there,” Victorian said. “It was really cool to see all these high-level athletes and to even be on the stage with some of those guys that I’ve watched on you tube and Instagram and compete against them, so it’s been fun.”
All of the 2023 Pan American Games competition can be watched live on the Pan Am Sports Channel.
Stay tuned to USA Weightlifting’s website and social media channels for all of the latest news from Santiago.
Team USA 2023 Pan American Games Results
59 kg Taylor Wilkins’ Results:
Snatch: 95 kg
Clean and Jerk: 115 kg
Total: 210 kg
Sixth place finish
71 kg Meredith Alwine’s Results:
Snatch: 103 kg
Clean and Jerk: 136 kg
Total: 239 kg
73kg Travis Cooper's Results
Snatch: 137 kg
Clean and Jerk: 165 kg
Total: 165 kg
89 kg Brandon Victorian’s Results:
Snatch: 150 kg
Clean and jerk: 185 kg
Total: 335 kg
Seventh place finish