Women Make History at Day 1 of USA Weightlifting National Championships

Day 1 of the USA Weightlifting (USAW) National Championships has concluded, and it was an historic first day to say the least. Three woman were crowned National Champions, and all three woman clean& jerked double bodyweight on their way to victory. This is a feat only a handful of American woman have ever accomplished in history, and to have three woman on the same day accomplish this feat is astronomical.

(Full results from Friday’s lifting can be found here.)


Alyssa Ritchey of Team Juggernaut won her first National Championship, and she clean & jerked double bodyweight (96KG) on her way to victory with a 174KG total over 2015 National Champion Kathleen Winters of Team Montana, who finished with 172KG. Both women look in good position to earn a trip to Miami for the Pan American Championships this summer. Third place went to junior aged lifted Megan Seegert of Hassle Free Barbell. Seegert set a new Junior American Record in the snatch (77KG) and total (169KG) on her way to a bronze medal.



Caitlin Hogan of Waxman’s Gym won her second National Championship, and she also clean & jerked double bodyweight (106KG) on her way to victory with a 190KG total over two-time National Champion Cortney Batchelor of Team Juggernaut, who won the silver medal with 183KG total. Both women also look in good position to earn a trip to Miami for the Pan American Championships this summer. The bronze medal went to Jessica Saxon of Philadelphia Barbell, who totaled 173KG.


Below is Batchelor’s silver medal snatch:



Jessica Lucero of Catalyst Athletics became the third woman on Friday to win a National Championship and also clean & jerk double bodyweight. Lucero won her third title while clean & jerking 116KG to set a new American Record in the lift, and her total of 208KG ties her American Record. Sarabeth Phillips won the overall silver medal when she made her last clean & jerk attempt to finish the day with a 192KG total, narrowly edging out Jennyfer Roberts, who won bronze with a 191KG total.



Michael Fox of Team Juggernaut won his second National Championship, his first since 2014, when he totaled 238KG. Brian Reisenauer of Mash Mafia Weightlifting finished in the silver medal position with a close 236KG total. Both men attempted American Records in the clean & jerk at 137KG (300lb), showing why 56KG is one of the most exciting weight classes in the country (this author’s biased opinion). Dr. Andrew Cheung of Sensei Gym finished in the bronze medal position with 222KG total.


At 32 years old, Derrick Johnson of Texas Barbell showed everyone why age is only a number, as he won his 6th National Championship. He took two attempts at an American Record in the snatch with 125KG, which would have broken his own record that he set at last year’s National Championships. He finished the competition with 262KG for three gold medals on the day. His younger brother Darrel Barnes of East Coast Gold, also an American Record holder in the junior age group, won silver on the day with 243KG. The bronze medalist is Dean Otsuka of the Lost Battalion Hall Weightlifting Club in New York City, who finished the day at 231KG.



In one of the most exciting competitions of the day, John Stang of Mash Mafia Weightlifting made five of six attempts to win his first National Championship with a 276KG total. California Strength’s Dominic Stolle also made five of his six attempts to total 275KG on the day. Stolle won the gold medal in the snatch with 125KG. Michael Szela of the Little League Weightlifting team won the bronze overall with his 271KG total. Alvin Tajima of Marin Heavy athletics won silver in the clean and jerk with his 150KG lift. He edged out three other athletes for the medal who made the same lift based on new tie breaking criteria which gives the edge to the athlete who makes the lift first. His coach, former US Olympic Training Center resident athlete Jasha Faye, clearly brought his “A game” as well.



Angelo Bianco of Average Broz Weightlifting in Las Vegas showed that he was all business as he won his first National Championship. Known for lifting big weights with his signature mullet hair style, Bianco arrived in Chicago with a clean cut look. At the end of the day: no mullet, no problem, as Bianco totaled 320KG for victory and put himself on the bubble for Team USA at the Pan Am Championships. The silver medal went to Nick Dondzila of Team LAB with 299KG in the total. Jeffrey Jenkins won the bronze medal with a close 295KG total.