MARQUETTE– The National Collegiate Weightlifting Championships hosted by the United States Olympic Education Centerkicked off with a bang today with four sessions of lifters naming champions in six weight classes.
USOEC resident and Northern Michigan University graduate student Breanne Carlson (Peshtigo, Wis.) set a personal record in front of a home crowd. With a snatch of 59 kilograms, clean-and-jerk of 71 kg and a total of 130 kg she beat her best by over 10 kg in the first session of the day.
Carlson stated, “I’m happy with my total but it could have been higher.” Her record earned her the silver medal in the women’s 53 kg weight class. Jacque Payne (Pikes Peak Community College) was awarded the bronze medal with a total of 129 kg and Cortney Batchelor (Univ. of Southern Alabama) earned gold with a total of 144 kg.
Both Breanne and her sister, Britta (Peshtigo, Wis.) a freshman at NMU and USOEC facility user, competed in the event, and remarked about the set up of the lifting area. Britta commented, “It’s a nice set up here at the Berry [Events Center]. It’s awesome to have such a large hometown crowd.”
Session one also saw women compete at 48 kg. Gina Guide (Northern Illinois University, NIU) took gold with a total of 134 kg, Alison James (Yale University) earned silver with a 128 kg total and Suzanna Sanchez (Louisiana State University at Shreveport, LSUS) won bronze with a 114 kg total. Britta Carlson finished in fourth place.
Session two started with a presentation to USOEC elite development athlete Josh Barnett for breaking the American Collegiate record at a previous event. Barnett, an NMU sophomore, was the lone competitor in the men’s 56 kg weight class taking home gold with a 190 kg total. Barnett said “It feels great to be a [collegiate] record-holder, but it wasn’t really a goal of mine. I just wanted to beat my personal best.” When asked what it feels like to lift twice his weight, Barnett responded, “It’s heavy.”
The men’s 62 kg weight class saw Sean Hutchinson (LSUS) take home gold with a 242 kg total. Second place finisher Mack Brunson of Lindenwood University finished with a 237 kg total besting bronze medal winner Jordan Miller (University of Florida) by over 20 kg. Miller finished with a 215 kg total.
The women’s 58 kg weight class had some friendly competitors vying for gold. Hilary Katzenmeier (LSUS) came out on top with a total of 174 kg. Her partner in training for three years, Samantha Turnbull (LSUS) took home silver with a total of 166 kg. Turnbull stated, “This is the first time I competed in the 58 kg weight class against Hilary and she and I were going back and forth [on attempts].” Sara Cowles (Daytona Beach, Fla.) rebounded in the clean-and-jerk after a missed snatch attempt to earn bronze with a total of 157 kg.
The day ended with a fight for gold in the men’s 69 kg weight class where Alex Lee (Arizona State Univ.) edged out Derrick Johnson (Lindenwood Univ.) who was awarded silver. Both lifted a total of 275 kg, but Lee had the upper hand with less body weight. Lee stated “I feel awesome. This is the first gold medal I’ve won in a national competition and now I’ve just got to keep winning.” Aaron Adams (LSUS) earned bronze with a total of 263 kg.
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