Weightlifters capture medals in competition

Laura Conway

Last weekend on Thursday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Dec. 1, the USOEC weightlifting team brought home two medals from the 2012 American Open in Palm Springs, Calif.

Taking home a gold medal at the 63 kg was Vanessa McCoy who also set personal records with during the competition. Head coach Vance Newgard said he was very pleased with McCoy’s performance.

“She looked strong during warm ups then lifted very well,” Newgard said. “This was important because it was her first national meet back from a year and a half injury.”

McCoy had a shoulder injury that put her on the bench for over a year. She said she was glad to compete again and do so well.

“It’s a good feeling to come back after being out for so long,” McCoy said. “To come back on top though, makes it even more special.”

McCoy had a total score of 183 kg with a snatch of 84 kg, a personal record, and a clean and jerk of 99 kg.

There were attempts for 103 kg, but a judges called her for an elbow lock; meaning an illegal jerk.

“I didn’t want to challenge the call initially, but now I wished I had,” McCoy said. “I really wanted a higher total score, but I will get it next time.”

Newgard said going into the clean and jerk session, McCoy was already ahead of the second place lifter so they were just trying to keep the lead.

“Even though she missed her second clean and jerk and the judge disqualified her third lift, she was still able to pull the gold medal,” Newgard said. “She performed very well under pressure.”

Another lifter bringing home a medal was sophomore Ryan Borges at 62 kg. Totaling at 218, Borges was able to leave with a bronze medal.

Newgard said that Borges had a good warm-up and was shooting for second place after the snatch session.

“The first place lifter was a little out of reach and after his 98 kg snatch, Borges was in a tie for second,” Neqgard said.

Borges made his opener clean and jerk at 120 kg but was unable to make his 125 and 126 attempts.

“The bar got out in front of him in the last two jerks but we are still happy with his overall results,” Newgard said.

Newgard said he is looking for continuing improvements from Borges even though he is younger than most of his competitors.

“He is a very strong lifter,” Newgard said. “Even though he is young, he is a veteran performer and he will be successful.”

Other athletes that traveled to compete were junior Holly O’Dovero, junior Kendra Miller, senior Daniel Gorelik, and junior John McGovern.

Even though these athletes did not place, they all lifted national competition personal records.

Newgard said the team has shown a lot of improvements as a whole since last year and the results at the U.S. Open have only proved that.

“The fact that all the competitors opened this meet with personal records shows you how far they have come since collegiate last march,” Newgard said. “Everyone got some much needed experience and now we can move onto next semester’s competitions with another meet’s experience under our belt.”

The USOEC weightlifting team will be training straight through winter break for the 2013 National Junior Weightlifting Championships on Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17, in Foster City, Calif.