Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 USA Weightlifting American Open Championships!

Team Catalyst @ Americans!

Last Saturday I competed in the 2013 USA Weightlifting American Open Championships in Dallas, Texas.  I competed in the 48kg A session and as a part of the Catalyst Athletics women's team!  My first time at Americans!

This year there were over 400 registered athletes, making 2013 the largest American Open to date.  Many weight classes had C and D sessions!  On Friday, there were three platforms and on Saturday and Sunday, there were two platforms running simultaneously.  It was very chaotic, both on the platform and in the warm-up area.  That being said, the venue was a huge upgrade from Nationals!  It was nice to walk from my room to the venue with no coat and slippers in icy, freezing-cold Dallas!

We had a larger crew represent Catalyst Athletics at Americans this year, 11 lifters total!: me (48kg), Heather Snethen (48kg), Audra Dunning (53kg), Alyssa Sulay (63kg), Chyna Cho (59kg), Kara Doherty (75kg), Tamara Holmes (75+), Tamara Solari (75+), Blake Barnes (69kg), Zack Height (85kg), and our coach, Greg Everett (105kg), himself!

My Experience at the Meet.
Coming into my session, I felt like I had everything going for me.  My friends flew in to support, the entire team was there, my coach was there, we made it to Dallas on time, I was injury-free, and the day before I received some of the best news this year.  I was calm, excited, and distracted by the many awesome things surrounding me.

At showtime, I made all my snatches: 50-52-54, a meet PR for me!  Immediately after my final snatch, I could feel the 120 total goal I made after Nationals for this meet, coming true.  It was mine and I felt in my bones I was going to make it.  My plan was make my opener at 63 and worst case, I would have two shots at 66 to seal the deal.  As I warmed up for clean and jerks, I felt awesome and moved well.  After I cleaned my opener, I felt something I've never felt before: my entire body was tingly and numb, if that even makes sense.  My head was spinning since I could not feel any part of my body, not my legs, my arms, not anything.  When I got off the platform, I told Greg I had no idea what happened, and then apparently collapsed on him.  In practice, I've gotten dizzy from a heavy or bad clean and didn't do the jerk since I saw stars, but this feeling was totally different, and worst.  All kinds of thoughts were racing through my head.  What the hell just happened?!  Am I going to scratch on a trivial weight?  Shit, I might bomb out!  Then, somehow I made my 2nd attempt feeling perfectly fine, and then I missed my final attempt at 66 for the same reason as the first.

When I missed 66, all I felt was sadness and disappointment.  At that moment, I wanted to hide in my room and cry.  It was the first time I truly felt disappointment in something other than school or work.  I was so bummed out that I didn't eat the ice cream that was ready for me after my final lift; I had no appetite.  Just 30 minutes prior, I had smoked my snatches.  My final warm up lift at 62 was easy and I felt good.  My opener for clean and jerks was supposed to be a no brainer.  I've done it so many times, for reps, as my backoff weight, and on bad days.  I have no idea what happened out there on the platform.  Maybe I lost too much weight.  I weighed in at 46.7 with all my clothes on.  Maybe I didn't hydrate or eat enough.  Maybe the bar was crushing my air valve, or maybe, a combination of all the above.

Now that it's been a few days and I had time to decompress, reflect, and let everything out, I feel a lot better.  It really could have been worst.  In that situation, I easily could've not totaled.  Instead, I totaled 117, which is only 1kg off from my best.  I made all my snatches after weeks of really bad snatch training days.  I got to lift in the same fully packed session as international-level lifters Kelly Williams and Morghan King.  But best of all, my friends were physically there to listen to bratty me and help put things in perspective.  It was a great learning experience and for the next meet, I'll know I can do it.  

The Catalyst Lifters:  
As a team, this was a great meet for us!  Everyone made it to Dallas despite the flight cancellations and bad weather.  No one bombed out.  A few people PRed.  Kara took bronze for the snatch.  Tamara took bronze for the snatch, clean and jerk, and total.  Our ladies team took second place overall.  I would say, we kicked some booty!  I'm so proud of our teammates for dominating on the platform!

Me, 3/3 on snatches!  54kg @ 46.7kg BW

My first attempt at 63kg.  Check it out from 10 seconds.

Heather, 72kg Clean & Jerk @ 48kg BW.  Check out that jerk!

Audra, 70kg clean & jerk @ 53kg BW

Easy clean & jerk opener @ 88kg for Alyssa, 63kg BW

Chyna making a 94kg clean & jerk @ 69kg BW.  15kg higher than what she finished at last year!

Kara, post-baby 85kg snatch PR @ 75kg BW!

Tamara H. 84kg Clean & Jerk

Silver-medal, Tamara 120kg Clean & Jerk!

Blake 135kg Clean & Jerk @ 69kg BW

Zack, Snatch @ 85kg BW

Greg, 140kg Competition Snatch PR @ 105kg BW!


The best coach ever, Greg Everett!

Best support crew ever.

Best BBQ ever.

2013 USAW American Open Championships: Results 2013 | 2013 Info
Greg Everett's 2013 American Open Recap 

What made Americans my most awesome meet experience to date was the support crew I had, from my teammates, to my coach, Greg, to all the other coaches who helped out, to my friends flying out to Dallas to watch, and those who watched the live stream at home.  I'm so lucky and thankful for the tremendous amount of support I had for this competition, and always.  Thanks for being my #1 fans, even when I'm being brat.  Everything I learned from this meet, I'll take it to the next one and do even better.

Great job to all the competitors!  I know, at Catalyst, we all put a lot of hours and hard work for this competition.  After watching a weekend full of weightlifting: from the battle for gold between Morghan and Kelly in the 48kg A session to athletes pushing their limits, I'm excited to get back to the gym and train with the team.  As for that 120 total, I'll come get it next time!

Other Olympic Weightlifting Competitions: 2014 Cal Strength Meet | 2014 Senior National Championships2014 Hassle Free Open & Invitational | Ensign Grey Invitational | 2013 Senior National Championships | 2013 Fall Classic | 2013 PWA Senior Open2012 Redwood Empire
Other Comps I Participated In: Occupy Strength NorCal | 2013 CrossFit Games Open | 2013 Sac Town Throwdown | NorCal Regionals -Team | 2012 CrossFit Games Open2012 Sac Town Throwdown | 2011 OktoberFit