USA Weightlifting Announces Inaugural Class Of All-American Student-Athletes

by USA Weightlifting

Ryan Grimsland with bar above his head (Photo by USA Weightlifting)
Ryan Grimsland competes in the Rogue Strength Men's Session at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.


COLUMBUS, Ohio – USA Weightlifting is proud to announce the inaugural class of All-American student-athletes in the sport of Olympic weightlifting, following the conclusion of the 2022 National University Championships.

An impressive list of 38 lifters earned the honor based on their performances in Ohio’s capital, where the title was up for grabs for the first time.

The All-American honorees include 22 women and 16 men who represent 23 colleges or universities. The full list is below.

USA Weightlifting and the University Weightlifting Committee announced last month that All-American weightlifting titles would be implemented for the first time in 2022. They will continue to be awarded annually at the National University Championships.

Athletes must make 75% of the National Ranking System total for their respective bodyweight category to be crowned an All-American.

“The All-American program is going to help push our sport into the next level of collegiate recognition and growth,” said Suzy Sanchez, USA Weightlifting director of culture, community and outreach. “These titles will help showcase the talent of our student-athletes and also help support the push for club teams to receive university support, which we hope results in more varsity programs across the country.”

To date, over 40 colleges and universities offer Olympic weightlifting at the club, intramural or varsity level. More information on university programs can be found at

Led by Lenoir-Rhyne University with seven All-Americans, five schools have multiple athletes on this year’s list. Northern Michigan University follows with five, while Brewton-Parker College and Temple University each have three and San Francisco State University has two.

Leila Cook (55kg; Arizona State University) and Ryan Grimsland (73g; Lenoir-Rhyne University), who made the list, were also granted best lifter honors at the National University Championships for having the highest Sinclair totals among all women and men, respectively.

Grimsland set two university American records with a 182kg clean & jerk and 320kg total, besting the 73kg record standards. The 19-year-old who lifts for LRU also made the Pan American Championships and IWF Junior World Championships teams. He will be joined at junior worlds in May by fellow National University Championships medalists and All-Americans Avery Owens (87kg; Northern Virginia Community College), Ryland Shriver (109kg; Northern Michigan University) and Lander Wells (89kg; Northern Michigan University).

More than 300 athletes (184 men, 120 women) competed across the 20 weight classes at this year’s National University Championships, which also served as the sole qualifier for the multisport FISU America Games that will be held in October in Merida, Mexico.

Nine of the 10 athletes who made that team are also All-Americans. The team includes Blaine Brooks (81kg; Lenoir-Rhyne University), Manny Cheam (102kg; East Tennessee State University) and Jonathan Morrow (89kg; Temple University) on the men’s side, while the women invited are Jordyn Bush (76kg; Rutgers University-New Brunswick), Abigail Cooper (71kg; Temple University), Emma Esterbrook (71kg, Temple University), Brie Gomez (64kg; The University of Texas at Austin), Owens, Kailey Sidders (49kg; University of South Florida) and Madeline Staniszewski (64kg; Palm Beach State College).

The 2022 men’s university national champions are Blake Gamez (55kg; The University of Texas at Austin), Seth Tom (61kg; San Francisco State University), Lukas Zielke (67kg; Northern Michigan University), Grimsland, Brooks, Morrow, Chrisanto D’Agostino (96kg; Concordia College – Moorhead), Cheam, Shriver and Gage Senty (+109kg; Northern Michigan University).

The 2022 women’s university national champions are Alyssa DePalo (45kg; Indian River State College), Presley Cruz (49kg; Clark State Community College), Cook, Mallory Garza (59kg; Lenoir-Rhyne University), Staniszewski, Amerie Daniels (71kg; Brewton-Parker College), Bush, Andrea Barrows (81kg, University of South Florida), Owens and Kuinini Manumua (+87kg; San Francisco State University).

USA Weightlifting regrets the lack of National University Championships signage at the Celeste Center during last week's event, which was held in conjunction with the 2022 North American Open Series 1.


List of All-American men with weight class, name, school (Photo by USA Weightlifting)
List of All-American women with weight class, name, school (Photo by USA Weightlifting)

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