Hassle Free BBC

www.hasslefreebarbell.com

Jenny Arthur at the 2016 Rio Olympics

Hassle Free BarbellComment

As I sit here on the cab ride to the airport after a pretty awesome day yesterday with Jenny Arthur, I am struck with the sense of honor and privilege I have for the opportunity I was afforded to help her this past week at the Rio Olympics. It was so incredibly special for me to be able to share that with Ms. Arthur.  I am also struck by the incredible contribution our club has made in order to make this all happen.  Without the phenomenal lifting from David Garcia, Donovan Ford, Chioma Amaechi, D’Angelo Osorio, Ian Wilson and Jenny Lam this opportunity would never had been possible. Having the opportunity to develop and coach elite athletes leads to more opportunities to coach non-team members.  The trust that Jenny put in me for her warm-ups and preparation was directly connected to the same trust put forth in our coaching staff from our athletes at home.

            The nine days in Rio were hectic due to transportation issues, the influx of athletes, coaches, and spectators, and the layout of the venues. For the first time ever, I was only responsible for one athlete so the whole focus was laying out a plan where I could watch her train, visit her in Olympic Village, and watch the weightlifting competition.  I left Wednesday morning, August 10th, and after 24 hours of straight travel arrived in Rio. The transition to my lodging was smooth but that is where the adventure of locating the venue started.  Mattie Rogers and Marissa Klingseis were in the USAW apartment along with Lance Williams so we also had to help map out training for them as well.  All in all, I was able to get into Olympic Village two times with Jenny and was able to watch her train three times.

            All my work with the Hassle Free athletes prepared me so well to work with Jenny. I had an easy time connecting with her and building trust after having helped throughout some of her big meets like the 2013 Jr. Nationals, 2014 Hassle Free Invitational, and both the 2015 Nationals and World Championships.  One of the nice things about only having one athlete was the amount of time I could directly give her in my nine days in Rio.  Attention to detail as well as creating the game plan for the session was so much easier focusing only on a single athlete. The five days we trained were so smooth as Zygmunt, Jenny, and I were able to plan everything together; I felt totally confident about our plan going into competition day.

            Jenny was ready!  The day of the competition was surreal; I met her at the USOC sports medicine center in Olympic Village where she was getting not one but two massages. As she got ready, I was graced with Morghan King’s presence at breakfast; her energy is contagious. Next, we were off to weigh-ins which went smoothly as we had a State Department escort and were surrounded by all the same characters from the previous World Championships. Knowing the French, Spanish, Brazilian and Colombian coaches really helped as we were all fighting to beat the Eastern Europeans.  We began our warm up at 3PM as the session started at 3:30PM and we were going to be up close to the beginning of the session. 3:10PM we began with the bar and took a lift every two minutes up until the introductions at 3:30PM. Once that passed, we took four warm-ups before our first attempt. The French athlete missing her first attempt hurt us the most as it forced us to sit for two more minutes. The French athlete made her next attempt followed by misses from both the Brazilian athlete and Jenny. The Brazilian athlete ended up missing her next two snatch attempts at 103kg; thankfully, Jenny made her second attempt at 103kg and then waited for the increase.

            We decided to go up to match the Chilean athlete from the B session, which coincidently was also the American record at 107kg.  We had to wait five attempts so we took another warm-up after two bar drops on the platform and then waited two more attempts to be up. Her 107kg snatch was the best lift of her life! We all were so exited but also knew we left a couple kilos out on the platform.  We had little time to celebrate as we were going to be up first in the CJ. Strategically it made the most sense to open at 130kg first, as we needed 135kg to beat the B session athlete from Chile. So we decided we would go 130kg for 8th place and then jump to 135kg to move up at least one spot in the rankings. Remember the top 8 get paid and the Brazilian athlete was out of the competition as she missed all her snatches; the opener at 130kg would set her up for a good day. She made her opener at 130kg solid but a little shaky and then bumped straight to 135kg. The clean and jerks moved quickly as we only had enough time for one lift in between the six attempts we had to wait. 135kg looked strong and moved Jenny to 5th! Then we waited. We declared 138kg, then bumped to 139kg, and finally to 141kg as everyone missed in front of us after Jenny’s second attempt at 135kg. 141kg would have moved us to 3rd place at the time; Jenny ended up missing the clean but competed amazingly overall.

            The happiness Jenny felt was palpable and the pride I felt for my small contribution to her success was enormous.  She fought for four long years to earn her spot to represent her country on the biggest stage, competed with the best athletes in the world, and conquered an American record along with taking 6th place in the women’s 75kg category. After her session, we watched the men’s 85kg A session, took about 100 pictures, and then we went to eat a victory meal at the Village! I couldn’t be more proud of Jenny Arthur, her accomplishments, and the way she represented her country.

            Love,

            Coach D

Reflection on the history of Hassle Free BBC

Hassle Free BarbellComment

Starting in the Spring of 1999 with the intent of helping my younger brother Paul Doherty get better at football we began the implementation of the Bigger Faster Stronger program along with Plyometrics and the “Leaper” program for the football guys at my alma mater. Those things worked that spring as the kids were accountable to workouts and improved their explosiveness with all the legwork in the different workout modalities. The strength gains from two hour-long workouts waned as the fall of 1999 closed in and we no longer could spend hours in the weight room. Not knowing what to do I ventured into a strength and conditioning talk with Tony Ciarelli from Huntington High school. What struck me was the strength level of his average players and how simple the program was with Olympic weightlifting and how those simple progressions translated to the field.  I remember asking him where to go to learn this style of lifting and he led me to Jim Schmitz

            My brother had graduated and we went to train with Jim that spring and summer down on Valencia St. When the summer was over I began to implement better snatches and clean and jerks into the program at my alma mater. We had tremendous success on the field over the four years as well as the beginning of a weightlifting team. Coincidentally, In 2002 I took four kids to the Junior Nationals hosted by Tony Ciarelli. That first group went to the Youth Nationals in St. Louis later that summer and was the last group to do so from my alma mater. After a 9-1-football year with the first victory over their cross-town rival and the first Division 1 football recruit, I moved onto my new team at Lincoln High School and in the spring of 2003 we began to train under the dilapidated bleacher along a 250-foot strip of concrete!

            That first summer we opened up a strength and conditioning camp, which brought the likes of David Garcia, Philippe Lewis and Alexander Ng. Fall of 2003 brought to Lincoln a playoff appearance for the first time in years and a runner-up squad on the JV’s. We moved into a weight room inside the school and began taking trips to local meets in the spring of 2004. The fall of 2004 brought a JV championship and the arrival of the Tiongson family to Lincoln.  Those two factors led to our return to the Youth Nationals that next summer in 2005 with the team of Jsymel and Melvictor Tiongson, David Garcia, Philippe Lewis, Alexander Ng, Mike Laulu and Brian Hurwick.  Medals were won that third summer at Lincoln and a varsity football championship followed that third fall on the gridiron.  That first Youth Nationals set off a Quadrennial that laid the groundwork for our next two.  The first Quad was spent learning how to coach at my alma mater but this second quad from 2005-2008 was an explosion of terms of National level experience.

            My older brother Paul had graduated from college in 2004 and competed nationally at American Opens and Senior Nationals.  2006 brought our first trip to Junior Nationals after my achieving my Level II certification in December. The likes of Daniel Camargo, Tom Bennett and Jesse Reynolds convinced me to go to Florida with four kids (Garcia/Tiongson/Tiongson/Hurwick) setting the stage for a big crew and medals from almost everyone at the Youth Nationals in Detroit. Christian Calub set a Youth American record in the 50kg class and David Garcia made the 17- under Pan Am team along with Brian Hurwick. Our first female, Kate Corbin, also made the trip as she was training at FIT in Los Altos where Paul began to work after college and had brought on myself and Robert Earwicker to help develop a Youth program in 2004.  I was working full time at Lincoln, which made it easier to coach and recruit. 2007 brought about some change as my brother had moved to Sacramento and was ready to bring the second branch of Hassle Free to Youth Nationals. We had gone to Juniors in Merrillville Indiana with a bigger group in the spring and now had 19 athletes at Youth Nationals in Missouri. My brother’s contingent included Kyle Saelee, Brandell Sampson, Sae Vang and Donovan Ford. A young Ian Wilson also joined us I believe as a 13-under lifter. Not a bad first group! All of those boys made international teams with Jsymel Tiongson, Christian Calub and Chris Tiongson. Not to be outdone that summer, the girls started rounding out our squad at Lincoln and Sacramento High School. Mia Tiongson began lifting and a boy named D’Angelo Osorio tried out for football that fall. 2007 ended with our first collegiate lifter qualifying for the American Open. David Garcia lifted at the American Open with Christian Calub and my brother in Mobile Alabama.  I happened to also meet my wife at that meet!

2008 ended the Quadrennial but for Hassle Free was a series of firsts. We had our first Senior National qualifiers from our kids. Christian Calub won a gold medal in the 56 kg class and Jsymel Tiongson lifted extremely well in the 69 kg class Clean and Jerking 132, which was his last competition until 2015. We closed out the quad with Donovan Ford going 6 for 6 and totaling 300 kg at the American Open during freshman Year in college. Looking back, that Quad had so many lifters that made international teams it stands out as the foundation to the next eight years.

Hassle Free’s third Quad was mind-boggling! So many lifters, so many trips, marriage, a baby and heartbreak pushed me to become a better man.  2009 began with Jenny Lam, Krislin Li, Chioma Amaechi, Brandell Sampson, Sae Vang and Ian Wilson all making the first Youth World Championship team and Youth Pan Am team. They travelled to Thailand in May for the Youth Worlds that year and performed well then followed up with a trip to Chile for the Youth Pan Ams. It also marked the biggest Youth Nationals Trip. We took 40 kids to Georgia that year and had so much success on the platform it catapulted our team to the top. Those trips would not have been possible without Dave Swanson and the Wilson family and I would be naïve in thinking that the kids we have still lifting today would be chugging along without all their help on and off the platform. Growth continued in 2010 with a monster group in Foster City at Youth Nationals hosted by Robert Earwicker and Dave Corbin who were still at FIT holding down the foothold of Olympic Weightlifting started by Paul six years previous. That summer also marked out first two Junior World competitors in Donovan Ford who had come back from a shoulder injury and an up and coming Chioma Amaechi who was going to be a freshman at UC Berkeley.  D’Angelo Osorio made his first international trip qualifying for the Youth Pan Ams. 2011 was the craziest year to date as we had kids on the Youth World, Junior World and Senior World teams. Michelle Cai and Ian Wilson went to Peru that year for Youth Worlds with Ian Wilson placing 2nd. I believe it was the first World Championship medal by an American male in over 10 years. Ian, Chioma and Sae Vang went to Junior Worlds that year as I was the head coach and my wife had to step in for me at Youth Nationals in Georgia. That crew of girls and boys did really well as well as Paul was working on the second wave of kids from Sac High and I was on my third wave at Lincoln.  Chioma followed up Junior World with an epic Senior Nationals performance and a 141 kg CJ to win a spot on the Pan Am Games and Senior World team.  After a tough meet in Guatemala, we went to Paris for the World Championships and Chioma helped secure a second spot for the women’s team with a clutch third clean and Jerk at 140 kg. 2011 ended with a trip down to Alabama with David Garcia, Ian Wilson, D’Angelo Osorio, and Jenny Lam all performing well at the American Open. 2012 was a combination of ups and downs; we had a strong team at Juniors as Jenny Lam and Chioma Amaechi made the Junior World team along with Ian Wilson. Tragically Chioma’s younger sister passed away from liver cancer on the day she lifted at Juniors. She honored her sister by lifting and performed admirably. Unfortunately Chioma’s next six weeks were a roller coaster of emotions and despite a heroic effort she fell short at the Olympic Trials; though she did bounce back and win Junior Worlds that year. Ian Wilson did fantastic at the Olympic Trials, which were the Senior Championships for the men as well as he won Gold in the 94’s and earned a spot on the Senior Pan Am team. 2012 ended with the American Open in Palm Springs where we had a strong contingent, propelling us to a strong beginning in 2013.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get crazier, 2013 brought another Youth World, Junior World Senior World combo. Mia Tiongson and Melvin Peete made the Youth World Team with great performances at Youth Nationals in Missouri. Ian Wilson and D’Angelo Osorio went to Junior Worlds in Peru and Donovan Ford, David Garcia and Chioma Amaechi went to Poland for the Senior Worlds! We hosted juniors in Foster City and Ian Wilson broke the Junior American record in the CJ! Most importantly Donovan Ford snatched 170 kg and won a silver medal in Venezuela at the Senior Pan Ams, marking first ever Senior international medal for Hassle Free.

The success kept coming in 2014 as Ian Wilson won a medal at Jr. Worlds in Russia, another first for Hassle Free. Ian, Chioma and D’Angelo also won medals at the Senior Pan Am Championships and D’Angelo and Chioma made the Senior World in Kazakhstan. We had a huge Junior presence in Colorado where the women won the Junior Nationals and Ian Wilson set three Junior American records in the 105 kg class snatching a phenomenal 170 kg and clean and jerking 205 kg.  He then followed up with a senior American record 173 kg in the snatch during his medal wining performance at the Pan Ams.  The Youth contingent was smaller that year in Florida but the quality stayed high; I began to re-evaluate what steps to take to continue the pipeline of phenomenal athletes but be more efficient with who we brought to the national trips. We added some remote team members for the first time with the addition of Megan Seegert and Erin Amos and Mary Peck; Megan and Erin made the Youth World Team that year. Donovan also went to the Russia Grand Prix just 9 months after shoulder surgery! Seth Tom capped the year off at the 2014 Hassle Free Record Breakers where he set the first in three sets of American records in the 35 kg weight class.

2015 did not get any easier as our team was busy and Paul transitioned to a new high school in Rocklin. Karine Tran and Eric Gibeault took over in Sacramento after Paul’s departure and have settled in to Midtown Stength and Conditioning coaching a couple of former Sacramento High school kids and a slew of new members.  The whole goal of 2015 was training for the 2015 World Champioships hosted in Houston. Unfortunately Ian Wilson was hurt and D’Angelo and David did not perform well enough to make the team. Donovan made the team but hurt his back before the meet and was unable to participate. David did perform remarkably well at the Arnold and posted the biggest total by a 105 kg lifter in years. Mary Peck also made a big total which put her on her first international team as she represented our country at the China Grand Prix in the fall. David returned to the Bay Area after Nationals and began to coach as well as train at Crossfit West owned by his high school teammate Daniel Jahanguard. The one positive at the end of the year was David and Ian getting back out on the international stage and competing in Chechnya at the Russian Grand Prix, making them eligible for the Olympics.  Not to be outdone by the Seniors, Seth Tom, Claire Mackey and Kuinini Manumua made the Youth 15-under international camp and Megan Seegert and Erin Amos went to Youth Worlds and performed great.  Seth Tom ended up breaking all the Youth American records in the 39 kg class and Megan Seegert broke all the Youth American records in the 48 kg class.  The entire team ended on a high note at the American open where Seth Tom and Megan Seegert continued to break more American records, D’Angelo Osorio medaled, and the entire club helped contribute to running a successful meet.

2016: the last year in the Quad, Juniors, the Arnold, Olympic Trials, Youth Nationals, Junior Worlds and Rio developed in sequence and provide an opportunity to reflect on the body of work which is Hassle Free BBC. We now have a thriving post graduate community at Lincoln HS, continued youth development in San Francisco, Youth program at Whitney HS, junior and senior program at Midtown, our Crossfit affiliate at Crossfit West in Santa Cruz, and our elite remote athletes like Megan Seegert in Chico, Erin Amos in Colorado and Mary Peck. We hope to continue this matriculation of talent into Northern California and hope that the performances in 2016 set up our road to Tokyo 2020.  We carried the momentum from the 2015 AO in Junior nationals where Megan Seegert and Erin Amos earned a spot on the Junior World team.  The Arnold followed and provided an opportunity for D’Angelo Osorio to shine and go 6 for 6 posting the highest CJ in the last three quads. His 210 kg clean and jerk puts him at the top of the 105’s and qualified him along with Donovan Ford for the Olympic Trials.   Donovan went to Russia for his second Grand prix of the Quad and performed well tuning up for trials after his back injury from Worlds. They both performed decently with Donovan gutting out his last CJ at 206 kg to make the last spot on the Pan Am team.  Megan Seegert broke the American Record in the snatch at the Nationals and Jenny Lam posted a monster 176 kg total, clean and jerking 100 kgs!  Not to be outdone, Mary Peck set all new personal records along with a big total that puts her back on the map for all the international teams in 2017. The Pan Am championships followed and Donovan Ford came through with a lifetime best 373 kg total helping Team USA secure a spot for Rio and earning him a silver medal.  Ending the Quad on a high note was so impressive after the turbulent injury riddled four years. I only hope that the big four 105’s can get healthy and stay healthy all at the same time!  We are now on our way to Texas for the Youth Nationals and the last National event on the calendar before the Olympics. Megan and Erin are in Tiblisi Georgia at the Junior Worlds with Ben Hwa who is the head coach for the women and is slowly taking over more and more of the coaching duties at Hassle Free.  In Texas we won top three in 7 out of 8 categories and brought home the National Championship in the 16/17 girls and 13-under girls. Julia Yun highlighted as our only triple gold winner posting the highest total in the 13-under age group. Claire Mackey and Kuinini Manumua are now ranked in the top 15 for the girls and most of the kids did well and set personal records. Paul’s crew had 35 athletes compete! Lazaro Enriquez finished 1st overall in the 11-under subdivision in the 39 kg class as well.  Over in Tiblisi, Megan Seegert set two American records with a 88 kg clean and jerk and a 160 kg total finishing 6th and Erin Amos finished 14th going 4 for 6.  The ladies and Coach Hwa did great.

All in all, it’s amazing to look back on the progression of our club from its original birthplace at the old bleachers outside to where we are now. I couldn’t be more proud of all our athletes and thankful for the immeasurable support we’ve had along the way. I can’t wait to see our American athletes compete at Rio and get geared up for another successful quad.

 

Love,

 

Coach D

2016 Junior Worlds Recap

Hassle Free BarbellComment

I’m currently right in the middle of my 36hr travel back home from the 2016 Junior World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia.  Although a day and a half of airplanes and airports seems like a long time, it’s a perfect amount of time to allow myself to decompress from such an amazing opportunity. 

After destiny ran it’s course, I was assigned as the Women’s Head Coach only about two weeks before the team was set out to leave. I was filled with extreme honor and pride to have been selected for the coaching position. It was the validation and opportunity I had been looking for to prove to myself that I was worthy of coaching in the “Big Leagues.”

Megan Seegert was USA’s first athlete who competed in the 48kg B session. She made her first snatch at 69kg, missed her second attempt at 72kg, then came back and made 72kg on her final snatch attempt. We opened up at 85kg in the clean and jerk which was a competition PR. She missed her first attempt at 85kg, but made her 2nd attempt at 85kg. We then moved to 88kg to win the B session and set an American Record in the clean and jerk and total. She crushed it and ended up finishing 6th overall. 

While her performance was impressive, it was 100% deserved. She did all the little things along the way that a professional weightlifter should do. She was very communicative with her coaches all the months leading up to the event. She kept her weight in check along the way. She even packed an ice chest (with dry ice) with food from home in case the meals in Tbilisi weren’t conducive toward cutting weight. There’s a lot more in the tank and I’m excited to see how far she can go in the next four years in San Francisco. 

Erin Amos was Hassle Free’s second lifter in the 58kg B session. She made her opener at 73kg, crushed her second attempt at 75kg, and just barely missed her PR attempt at 77kg. Clean and jerks looked just as good; 91kg looked like a joke so we moved to 94kg, and that looked just as easy. We took 97kg as a 3rd attempt, which would have been a PR had she stood up with it. 

She had been struggling with an injury and had a very tough time keeping her weight up. So to take cracks at PRs in both lifts and matching her PR total is an A+ performance in my book. She’ll be starting her senior year in high school this coming fall so time is certainly on her side. I’m excited to be along for the ride and am 100% sure she’ll be better than ever coming into next year’s national and hopefully international competitions. 

This was my first time coaching at the international level so I was a bit nervous. I felt at ease with Ray Jones (Beaufort Weightlifting) and Travis Mash (Mash Mafia) in my corner generously sharing their insight and philosophies about their success in weightlifting. I counted for all the female and male athletes including CJ’s World Record performance so I appreciate their confidence in my technical ability. I picked up a lot of skills that I know will serve me well in future. 

And a special “Thank You” has to go to Kevin Doherty and Jenny Lam. Kevin continually goes above and beyond for Hassle Free BBC and I’m lucky to have learned much of what I know from him. I’m thankful and honored he’s trusted me with some of the best lifters in the country. Jenny has been monumental in Megan Seegert’s success as a teammate/coach. Her commitment to balance her life as a competitive full-time athlete as well as full-time teacher continues to impress me. While she doesn’t know it, she provides a halo effect in the weight room that encourages everyone to try just a little harder. 

I’m excited to continue this journey I’ve started. Thank you to everyone at Hassle Free BBC for being a part of it. 

Love, 
Coach Ben

 

2016 Junior Nationals Recap

Hassle Free BarbellComment

Hassle Free had the great privilege to send a pretty big group to the Junior Nationals this past weekend in Philadelphia.  We had kids representing five different high schools: Lincoln HS in San Francisco, Whitney HS in Rocklin, and Burbank HS in Sacramento, Chico and the Olympic training center at Colorado Springs. Additionally, athletes from Sacramento City College and Cal State East Bay made it a busy weekend (an awesome problem to have)! If that wasn’t enough to keep our hands full, Ben Hwa, Jenny Lam and myself were asked to help some of the top athletes in the country (besides our own) and fill in for vacant coaches.  Dave Swanson was the rock of our proverbial ship as he took care of our two youngest athletes, two newcomers to Hassle Free, and some of our athletes with arguably the most potential.

            The team traveled to Philadelphia on Thursday and the girls kicked off the competition Friday with Megan Seegert in the 48kg class. She finished 1st in the snatch and 2nd in both the C&J and total with a tough by gutsy 2/6 performance. We opened Megan up with 68kg and 82kg in the snatch and C&J respectively in order to put her in a position to break the American records but a tough miss on her first snatch disrupted the plan. Megan did bounce back and set some training PRs the next day front squatting 95kg and jerking 100kg and she is still 2nd on the Junior World rankings! Following Megan on Saturday, we had Melvin Peete who went 3/6 but gutted out a huge PR Snatch at 118kg and put together a 258 kg total to qualify him for Junior Pan Ams!

            Saturday was the busiest of the three day; first, we had Devon Brochinni from Whitney in the Men’s 77kg B session, who made a PR CJ at 112kg. Next, we saw Marc Vanchiasong from Burbank compete in the Men’s 85kg B session and set personal records across the board in the snatch, C&J, and total. If that wasn’t enough, Marc is still only a Youth lifter who will be going to Austin for the 2016 Youth Nationals! Following Marc was Erin Amos in the Women’s 58kg A session who crushed PRs all around while going 5/6; the highlight being a 95 kg CJ! The Women’s 63kg A session was a bit of a roller coaster as our youngest performer Claire Mackey put a total together and had two great C&Js while Mia Tiongson, the veteran, had a tough day failing to total.  Her bomb out was especially tough as she has been lifting since she was 12 and is such a tough young woman; however, her college schedule caught up with her and in the end it just wasn’t her day. 

            Following up that slight disappointment, we saw a phenomenal performance by Kuinini Manumua who moved her ranking up with three huge PRs, snatching 82kg and C&Jing 95kg with an unbelievably close miss at 100kg! She is now the highest ranked female lifter in the country with a birthday in the year 2000! She, along with Claire Mackey, who shares the same birth year, will make quite a duo for the years to come!

            Big thanks to Paul Doherty, Eric Gibeault, Karine Tran, Camillo Gutierrez, Larry Hutchinson, Brenda Seegert, Zigmunt Smalcerz for the coaching of these wonderful athletes at home; the future certainly looks bright for Hassle Free and USA Weightlifting as whole. Check out the video below for the highlights!

            See you in Salt Lake!

            Coach

2015 in Review

Hassle Free BarbellComment

            Holy smokes, its Christmas Eve and hopefully I will be done with this short synopsis before Santa comes down my non-existent chimney. This past year has had ups and downs and so much change it was hard to hold everything together but in the end the entire coaching staff in four locations pulled it off and supported all of our athletes. My first big thank you is to the coaches at Whitney, Crossfit West, and now Midtown Strength and Conditioning. Paul and Dave have 300 kids in the weight room up at Whitney, Daniel Jahangard has started a barbell club in Santa Cruz, and Karine and Eric are coaching two potential World Youth and Junior team members at Midtown. I also would like to thank the 7 coaches at Lincoln: Ben, Steve, Jenny, Collin, Jsymel, Larry and Mia who hold it down when I am not there. We have over 60 non-High School kids working out now after school!

            We have so much to go over from 2015 leading to this upcoming year’s Olympic Trials; I must begin with the five athletes that are eligible currently for The Rio 2016 Olympics!

·         David Garcia – David recovered from shoulder surgery to post a huge 376 kg total at the 2015 Arnold and made himself eligible for Rio by competing at the President’s Cup in Chechnya.

·         Ian Wilson – Ian also recovered from an injury and is eligible for Rio as he competed in the President’s Cup in Chechnya.

·         Donavan Ford – Donavan became the Senior National Champion in the 105 kg weight class and qualified for the World Championship roster in Houston but unfortunately had to withdraw due to injury. Donavan is eligible based on his participation at The 2014 President’s Cup.

·         D’angelo Osorio – D’angelo took home bronze at both the 2015 National Championships and American Open in the 105 kg weight class. D’angelo consistently improved his total over the course of the year and is eligible for Rio based on his participation at the 2014 World Championship.

·         Mary Peck – Mary posted a huge total at the Arnold which qualified for her the Grand Prix event in China and made her eligible for Rio.

            I am looking forward to having all these wonderful athletes compete for a spot at the Olympics and couldn’t be prouder. This has been a 13-year process for some of these athletes and is proof that perseverance pays off.

The biggest events this year were the World Championships, Youth Worlds and Pan Ams, and the China and Russia Grand Prix’s internationally, the American Open in Reno, Youth, Junior, University and Senior Nationals nationally, and the PWA Championships, Golden West, Record Breakers and Spring Breakers meets locally. At all these meets, the coaches and athletes pushed themselves and represented the team and country well as both volunteers and athletes. There are so many highlights and records we cannot go over all of them individually but I wanted everyone to know that your effort has made all of these meets and trips this year worth it; our club keeps producing high level athletes, coaches and most importantly people!

I will point out that Seth Tom and Megan Seegert became Youth National Champions and set American Records in doing so, Erin Amos from the Olympic Training Affiliate went 6 for 6 at the Youth Worlds and became a National Champion. Kuinini Manumua along with Claire Mackey made it to the prestigious youth development camp at the Olympic Training Center after finishing first and second respectively at Youth Nationals.     

Lastly, we had a lifter and coach finish top ten at both Senior Nationals and the American Open with some big personal records while also graduating from college. Jenny Lam graduated with a degree in early childhood education and is working full time at Genentech and in between working and graduating had personal records in the clean and jerk (95 kg) at Nationals and snatch (77 kg) at the American Open finishing 8th and 9th respectively.  We love seeing our athletes succeed both on and off the platform as they become leaders in our community. Nothing could be more exiting!

I look forward to having your support and love in this upcoming Olympic Year.

Love and Respect,

Coach