42 American Records Fall At World's Largest Weightlifting Meet

by USA Weightlifting

View of all six competition platforms from stands (Photo by USA Weightlifting)
A view of all six competition platforms used for the 2022 North American Open Series 1 and 2022 National University Championships on March 5, 2022 in Columbus, Ohio.


COLUMBUS, Ohio – American records were set in every category of weightlifting at the 2022 North American Open Series 1 and 2022 National University Championships that wrapped earlier this week in the capital of Ohio.

Declared the largest weightlifting competition and largest participation strength event ever with 1,866 competitors entered, the meet was held concurrently on six platforms – more than ever used before – at the Celeste Center plus a seventh, during the Rogue Strength Sessions, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, where the majority of the Arnold Sports Festival took place.

The unprecedented field of competitors had its strength on full display as 42 American records were set or broken, across all five weightlifting categories, over the four days of competition. Four youth records, two junior records, two university records, one open record and 33 masters records were witnessed in all.

Awards were handed out for open, university, youth, masters, military and team categories.

Weightlifting’s inaugural All-American titles were determined as well. First announced last month by USA Weightlifting and the University Weightlifting Committee, the 16 men and 21 women who hit 75% of the National Ranking System number for their weight class earned the status.

This was also the final ranking event for the senior-level Pan American Championships and the sole qualifier for the FISU America Games.

The six 2020 Olympians competing all finished first or second in their respective bodyweight category, with three going six for six; Kate Nye (Berkley, Mich.) did so for the first time since April 2019, Mattie Rogers (Geneva, Fla.) had her first perfect meet since July 2021 and Caine Wilkes (Matthews, N.C), returning to competition for the first time since the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, hit all his lifts for the first time in exactly three years.

Wilkes, who turns 35 in July, was also competing as a masters athlete for the first time. In winning both the +109kg open and men’s 35 +109kg, Wilkes broke the masters American records in the snatch, clean & jerk and total, smashing the latter by 69 kilograms. His 385kg total would beat the current masters world record by 10 kilograms at an eligible meet.

He was one of 16 record-setting masters athletes, a list that also includes 79-year-old Kathleen Hawkins (Fairborn, Ohio), who broke her own age +75 87kg snatch record with a 20kg lift, and Linda Foess (Detroit, Mich.), who set the previously nonexistent age 65 49kg snatch (25kg), clean & jerk (29kg) and total (54kg) American records.

Mary Theisen-Lappen (Eau Claire, Wis.) was the sole open record-breaker, increasing Sarah Robles’ (San Jacinto, Calif.) +87kg clean & jerk American record from 162kg to 163kg. Two-time Olympic medalist Robles won the snatch gold medal in Columbus, while Theisen-Lappen came out on top in the clean & jerk and total.

Ryan Grimsland (Lewisville, N.C.) bested both the 73kg university clean & jerk and total American record standards to hold them at 182kg and 320kg. Meaghan Strey (Auburn, Wash.) matched the junior 59kg clean & jerk record standard (112kg) and beat the total record standard with 199kg, now giving her a stranglehold on all three junior American records at that weight. Logan Lockwood (South Lyon, Mich.) beat both the youth 16-17 49kg snatch and clean & jerk record standards with lifts of 75kg and 103kg, while Ireland Sullivan (Roeland Park, Kan.) matched the 13U clean & jerk record standard (81kg) and beat the total record standard with 144kg.

Of the 20 open category winners, six went six for six: Nathan Damron (Pittsburg, Calif.), Nye, Juliana Riotto (Fairfield, N.J.), Rogers, Tom Summa (Kirkwood, Mo.) and Wilkes.

The women’s open winners are Cicely Kyle (45kg; Pensacola, Fla.), Jourdan Delacruz (49kg; Wylie, Texas), Shayla Moore (55kg; Jefferson, Ga.), Taylor Wilkins (59kg; McKinney, Texas), Danielle Gunnin (64kg; Monroe, Ga.), Nye (71kg), Mariah Park (76kg; Pittsburgh, Pa.), Rogers (81kg), Riotto (87kg) and Theisen-Lappen (+87kg).

Gabe Chhum (55kg; Hamilton, Ga.), Brian Reisenauer (61kg; Claremore, Okla.), Hampton Morris (67kg; Marietta, Ga.), Jacob Horst (73kg; Leesport, Pa.), CJ Cummings (81kg; Beaufort, S.C.), Damron (89kg), Summa (96kg), Ryan Sester (102kg; Gresham, Ore.), Nathan Lewis (109kg; Chicago, Ill.) and Wilkes (+109kg) won the men’s open categories.

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