Reeves, Alwine Have Strong Performances at European Championships

SOFIA, Bulgaria - Team USA had yet another strong showing Friday afternoon at the European Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. The 71 kg A session featured junior world record holder Olivia Reeves (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Meredith Alwine (Altamonte Springs, Fla.). Reeves made three lifts, topping out at 115 kg in the snatch and 140 kg in the clean and jerk for a 255 kg total. Her 115 tied the senior American record she set just over two months ago at the IWF Grand Prix II in Doha, Qatar, and her C&J was just seven kilos shy from her personal best. Alwine went four-for-six with a 98 kg snatch and 135 kg clean and jerk. While U.S. athletes are ineligible for the podium and medals in this competition, had they counted, Reeves’ total would’ve won the meet by 14 kilos, and Alwine would’ve finished fourth.

“It felt good to still go heavy today,” Reeves said. “I felt very close to getting that 148 in the clean, but I’m kind of relieved that I didn’t go six-for-six because the pressure kinda continues to build after each make. So I’m relieved to have misses and to be in that position where I have to come back and make a lift.”

“I feel great about her performance,” Steve Fauer, Reeves’ coach, said. “For all of our meets we just want to get the most out of her. We’re not training through anything. I want to get a 265 kg total out of her - I think it’s there in her and I just have to help find a way to bring it out.”

Alwine was competing in her first international competition since the Pan American Games in October 2023.

“I feel pretty good about my performance,” Alwine said. “I’ve had a few meets recently where I haven’t totaled so it just feels good to have a total on the board. To also go three-for-three in the clean and jerk - it wasn’t my heaviest performance but we haven’t gone three-for-three in a long time and I wasn’t in the best shape coming into this, but we put numbers on the bar and we fought and it was a pretty good day.

“Shifting to Thailand, I’m ready to get into a good training cycle. We’ve had a tough back-to-back-to-back with World Championships, the Pan Am Games, the North American Open Series Finals, the holidays and now this meet. Now I can take a step back, get into training, get to Thailand, and hopefully put up some of the numbers I know I can put up.”

Alwine added that she’s shooting for north of 105 kg in the snatch and 142 in the clean and jerk at Thailand.

“All things considered this was a great day,” Danny Camargo, Alwine’s coach, said. “She’s very banged up and exhausted from all the meets, and during the warmup she shared that she was dealing with some specific aches and pains. When an athlete at this level tells you that you have to listen which is why we adjusted our opening clean jerk to 127 kg. When she got off the stage, that little drop seemed to revitalize her. When you don’t feel good, you lower your openers, and that seemed to turn things around for her. So all in all we’re very content.”

Up Next

Team USA’s next competing athletes at the European Championships are CJ Cummings and Nathan Damron. Cummings takes on the 89 kg B session at 5:00 a.m. ET Saturday, and Damron follows at 10:00 a.m.

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