40-Year-Old Mom Kristi Brewer Leads Team USA's Performance In Cuba

by USA Weightlifting

All 13 Team USA athletes pose with tropical trees behind them (Photo by USA Weightlifting)
The U.S. team of 13 athletes poses for a photo at the XL International Tournament “Manuel Suárez in Memoriam” in March 2022 in Cárdenas, Cuba.


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Weightlifting congratulates the talented team that represented the red, white and blue at the XL International Tournament “Manuel Suárez in Memoriam” March 15-19 in Cárdenas, Cuba.

Athletes applied to compete in the meet and qualified for the U.S. team based on their performances between June and December 2021. Of the 13 Americans, 11 were competing abroad for the first time.

The U.S. was among the 10 nations from the Pan American region lifting in Cuba.

Team USA took home nine medals, while 10 of the team members placed in the top five of their respective bodyweight categories. Medalists include Kristi Brewer (59kg; Meridian, Idaho), Caleb Goodman (89kg; Mechanicsville, Va.), Hunter Harrison (71kg; Daytona Beach, Fla.), Estelle Rohr (76kg; Wilmington, N.C.) and Brandon Victorian (81kg; Fort Worth, Texas).

The squad ranged in age from 21-year-old Goodman to 40-year-old Brewer.

Brewer entered as the oldest competitor in the field of 144 athletes by a margin of five years. She left as the oldest medalist and the only U.S. athlete to earn three medals (snatch, clean & jerk, total).

Having taken up the sport just a handful of years ago, this collection of bronze medals marks Brewer’s first open international medals in a field of more than three athletes.

“Competing as a 40-year-old mother is cool for me because many count you out,” Brewer said. “There’s so many stigmas about age and what’s possible. I love defying those odds. I’ve always said, ‘I may be older, but I’m not dead yet – I’m going to see what is possible.’”

In addition to lifting and working as a CPA, Brewer is the mother of daughters Keilana, who competes in gymnastics, and Kale’a, who has autism and is nonverbal.

“One of the coolest parts of this journey is that I can directly relate to my daughter with her competitions. She sees my struggles, failures, and roller coasters of training cycles. We get to do this journey together instead of me just talking about ‘back in my day.’”

Brewer and Deborah Doran (81kg; Belton, Texas) both went six for six, making all of their lifts.

Perhaps most impressive for the U.S. team, consisting almost entirely of athletes competing at their first international meet, is the fact that 17 personal records were matched or broken.

Twelve personal best competition lifts were set while five were tied. Those efforts were led by Goodman, Harrison and Layne Palm (96kg; Austin, Texas), who had reason to celebrate all of their results. Goodman set a PR snatch of 140kg, tied his PR clean & jerk of 190kg and set a total PR of 330kg; Harrison also set PRs in the snatch (87kg) and total (202kg) and tied hers in the clean & jerk (115kg); and Palm tied his snatch PR of 150kg while setting new records in the clean & jerk (175kg) and total (325kg).

Seven of the athletes who hit the platform in Cárdenas – Brewer, Onzy Elam II (89kg; Vienna, Va.), Goodman, Harrison, Jacob Mattrella (102kg; Smyrna, Ga.), Rohr, Sarah Wright (55kg; High Point, N.C.) – are on the rankings for the Ibero-American Championships, which were finalized Monday, and in line to attend that event this summer in Montevideo, Uruguay, should they accept.

Full Team USA Results:
Brandon Victorian (81kg; Fort Worth, Texas); Snatch: 138kg (4th), Clean & Jerk: 173kg (4th), Total: 311kg (bronze)

Onzy Elam II (89kg; Vienna, Va.); Snatch: 141kg (4th), Clean & Jerk: 170kg (7th), Total: 311kg (7th)

Caleb Goodman (89kg; Mechanicsville, Va.); Snatch: 140kg (5th), Clean & Jerk: 190kg (bronze), Total: 330kg (bronze)

Layne Palm (96kg; Austin, Texas); Snatch: 150kg (4th), Clean & Jerk: 175kg (4th), Total: 325kg (4th)

Jacob Mattrella (102kg; Smyrna, Ga.); Snatch: 145kg (4th), Clean & Jerk: 173kg (4th), Total: 318kg (4th)


Sarah Wright (55kg; High Point, N.C.); Snatch: 79kg (5th), Clean & Jerk: 94kg (8th), Total: 173kg (5th)

Kristi Brewer (59kg; Meridian, Idaho); Snatch: 80kg (bronze), Clean & Jerk: 105kg (bronze), Total: 185kg (bronze)

Shelby Pflug (64kg; Grayslake, Ill.); Snatch: 90kg (5th), 109kg (7th), Total: 199kg (5th)

Hunter Harrison (71kg; Daytona Beach, Fla.); Snatch: 87kg (5th), Clean & Jerk: 115kg (silver), Total: 202kg (5th)

Reba Lewis (71kg; Wendell, N.C.); Snatch: 85kg (6th), Clean & Jerk: 102kg (7th), Total:187kg (7th)

Kristina Robinson (76kg; Malta, Ill.); Snatch: 88kg (7th), Clean & Jerk: 113kg (7th), Total: 201kg (7th)

Estelle Rohr (76kg; Wilmington, N.C.); Snatch: 96kg (4th), Clean & Jerk: 123kg (bronze), Total: 219kg (bronze)

Deborah Doran (81kg; Belton, Texas); Snatch: 88kg (6th), Clean & Jerk: 117kg (4th), Total: 205kg (4th)

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