USA Weightlifting Starts New Olympic Quad With 20-Athlete Team At Pan American Championship
by USA Weightlifting
GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador – USA Weightlifting is sending a decorated and diverse team to Guayaquil, Ecuador, for this week’s 2021 Pan American Championship, marking the unofficial start of the 2024 Olympic quadrennial.
While the qualification system for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 has yet to be published, it is known that teams that finish in the top three from the 2021 and 2022 Pan American Championships will qualify a full team for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.
The U.S. is one of five countries fielding the maximum team size of 20 for the Nov. 3-7 competition. The athletes who earned those spots include a mix of Olympians and those representing Team USA for the first time.
Between senior Pan American and Olympic competition, plus the three levels of world championships, the athletes on this U.S. team in Guayaquil have amassed 84 major international medals in their careers.
Seven of the 10 Tokyo Olympic medalists hailing from the Americas are expected to compete in Guayaquil, including Kate Nye, who earned 76kg silver this summer.
Three of the eight 2020 U.S. Olympic weightlifters return to competition this week for the first time since Tokyo: CJ Cummings (73kg), Nye and Mattie Rogers (87kg in Tokyo, 76kg in Guayaquil).
Meanwhile, seven Americans are making their international debut: Laura Alexander (87kg), Beau Brown (89kg), Maddison Pannell (49kg), Mariah Park (71kg), Ryan Sester (102kg), Mary Theisen-Lappen (+87kg) and Kelly Wild (59kg).
The U.S. team has an average age of 24.9 and ranges from 17-year-old Hampton Morris (61kg), who last month was crowned youth world champion, to almost-33-year-old Alexander. Two of the athletes will celebrate their birthday during the Pan American Championship: Theisen-Lappen will turn 31 on Nov. 3 and Alexander 33 on Nov. 6.
Seven of the athletes who competed and medaled at the rescheduled 2020 Pan American Championship, which was held in April 2021 in the Dominican Republic, return for more continental competition in Ecuador: Meredith Alwine (71kg), Cummings, Nathan Damron (96kg), Nye, Hayley Reichardt (49kg), Rogers and Taylor Wilkins (64kg).
Rogers is looking to medal for the sixth consecutive Pan American Championship while Cummings is seeking his fourth straight Pan Am podium.
Both Nye and Rogers are current senior Pan American record holders, while Cummings, Morris, Nye, Rogers and Wilkins hold senior American records.
Nine of the U.S. lifters have already competed abroad this year, including Ryan Grimsland (67kg) and Morris at the rescheduled 2020 Junior Pan American Championship.
Name; Session; Competition Schedule (ET)
Maddison Pannell; 49kg A; Wednesday, Nov. 3, 5 p.m.
Hayley Reichardt; 49kg A; Wednesday, Nov. 3, 5 p.m.
Darrel Barnes; 61kg A; Wednesday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
Hampton Morris; 61kg A; Wednesday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.
Ryan Grimsland; 67kg A; Thursday, Nov. 4, 3 p.m.
Jordan Wissinger; 67kg A; Thursday, Nov. 4, 3 p.m.
Kelly Wild; 59kg A; Thursday, Nov. 4, 5 p.m.
CJ Cummings; 73kg A; Thursday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.
Jacob Horst; 73kg A; Thursday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m.
Taylor Wilkins; 64kg A; Friday, Nov. 5, 3 p.m.
Beau Brown; 89kg A; Friday, Nov. 5, 5 p.m.
Meredith Alwine; 71kg A; Friday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.
Mariah Park; 71kg A; Friday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m.
Nathan Damron; 96kg A; Saturday, Nov. 6, 11 a.m.
Kate Nye; 76kg A; Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.
Mattie Rogers; 76kg A; Saturday, Nov. 6, 1 p.m.
Ryan Sester; 102kg A; Saturday, Nov. 6, 3 p.m.
Laura Alexander; 87kg A; Sunday, Nov. 7, 11 a.m.
Keiser Witte; +109kg A; Sunday, Nov. 7, 1 p.m.
Mary Theisen-Lappen; +87kg A; Sunday, Nov. 7, 3 p.m.