Weightlifters from the TRI-STATE area and The 2016 American Open Championship

If this is the first time visiting the website, here is a quick introduction.  Hi, I'm Viv and this is a place to feature everyday athletes.  :)  The idea behind Everyday Lifters is to 1. bring more attention to the sport of Olympic Weightlifting 2. Share stories of people who compete in all sports.  :)

Last weekend I had the very awesome opportunity to help photograph the 2016 USA Weightlifting American Open Championship.   I photographed 2 sessions with the good people from LiftingLife.  The rest of the time I walked around, snuck in some shots and cheered on local athletes.   Also, I got to see Mattie Langtor Sasser lift.  I was looking forward to seeing her compete! 

The people you are about to see below have worked so hard over the last year to qualify for the AO.  All in between school, working a full time job and some set backs, they all managed to pull through and qualify to compete.

Enjoy the pictures!

Mark Sheppard Coach: Sebastian Medina

Mark Sheppard

Coach: Sebastian Medina

Brittany Trains out of TFBL Crossfit. Coach: Sebastian Medina

Brittany Trains out of TFBL Crossfit.

Coach: Sebastian Medina

Claire:  "Last year I started this weightlifting journey and went to the AO with zero confidence in myself and the same experience. This year I cleaned 93kg with confidence with my signature "kissy-faced" clean.  I'm prepared to do this all over again.  That girl that bombed  and didn't have a total last year managed to stay focused and place 2nd in her session this year.  Overall, putting me 24th out of 55 more experienced women in my weight class. Words cannot express how much I am grateful for the support I received this time around.  I'm excited to see what 2017 has in store for me." Trains out of: Coliseum Strength and Conditioning in Monroe, New York. Coach: Bryant Llenberg 

Claire:  "Last year I started this weightlifting journey and went to the AO with zero confidence in myself and the same experience. This year I cleaned 93kg with confidence with my signature "kissy-faced" clean.  I'm prepared to do this all over again.  That girl that bombed  and didn't have a total last year managed to stay focused and place 2nd in her session this year.  Overall, putting me 24th out of 55 more experienced women in my weight class. Words cannot express how much I am grateful for the support I received this time around.  I'm excited to see what 2017 has in store for me."

Trains out of: Coliseum Strength and Conditioning in Monroe, New York.

Coach: Bryant Llenberg 

Bryant Llenberg  Trains out of: Coliseum Strength and Conditioning in Monroe, New York.

Bryant Llenberg 

Trains out of: Coliseum Strength and Conditioning in Monroe, New York.

Kris: Trains out of Crossfit Redzone in Newtown, Connecticut

Kris: Trains out of Crossfit Redzone in Newtown, Connecticut

Ken: "This years american open was such a great experience! Last year was my first one and I was a 77kg lifter and went 113/135 for a 248 total. This year I went as an 85kg and went 125/160 for 285 total. Besides the fact that I hit PR comp total and clean+jerk (which also happened to be the heaviest in my session! Yay!) I got to come out here with a huge group of my closest friends and teammates! Being able to help them out in the warmup area and hang out with them was easily the best part of the whole experience! Oh I almost forgot, romy gold and I were competing at the same and also managed to be on our platforms at the exact same time! Super cool!" Trains out of Crossfit Redzone in Newtown, Connecticut Coach: Kurt Kling

Ken: "This years american open was such a great experience! Last year was my first one and I was a 77kg lifter and went 113/135 for a 248 total. This year I went as an 85kg and went 125/160 for 285 total. Besides the fact that I hit PR comp total and clean+jerk (which also happened to be the heaviest in my session! Yay!) I got to come out here with a huge group of my closest friends and teammates!
Being able to help them out in the warmup area and hang out with them was easily the best part of the whole experience! Oh I almost forgot, romy gold and I were competing at the same and also managed to be on our platforms at the exact same time! Super cool!"

Trains out of Crossfit Redzone in Newtown, Connecticut

Coach: Kurt Kling

Michela: "American Open went pretty well... I didn't bomb out! But I went 5/6 in the Crossfit world and 4/6 in weightlifting. I was most nervous for snatching because in warm ups I missed my last 3 lifts, but there's something about being up on that platform that makes you pull it together. In the back my coaches and I just kept a positive attitude and I was happy to stand up all of my cleans. I walked away with a 1kg PR on my total! Overall American Open was a great experience, can't wait to be back!" Trains out of Crossfit Redzone in Newtown, Connecticut  Coach: Kurt Kling

Michela: "American Open went pretty well... I didn't bomb out! But I went 5/6 in the Crossfit world and 4/6 in weightlifting. I was most nervous for snatching because in warm ups I missed my last 3 lifts, but there's something about being up on that platform that makes you pull it together. In the back my coaches and I just kept a positive attitude and I was happy to stand up all of my cleans. I walked away with a 1kg PR on my total! Overall American Open was a great experience, can't wait to be back!"

Trains out of Crossfit Redzone in Newtown, Connecticut 

Coach: Kurt Kling

Romy trains out of Crossfit Redzone, Newtown, Connecticut  Coach: Kurt Kling

Romy trains out of Crossfit Redzone, Newtown, Connecticut 

Coach: Kurt Kling

Emily: "It was my second time qualifying for the American Open and it was an awesome experience this year! I went 5/6 and was able to come out with a PR total at 174.. 7 weeks before the AO I had an elbow injury keeping me out of training anything overhead until three weeks before the AO and I was just happy I was able to make it, lift, and total! Excited to start training for nationals 2017!"                Trains out of: Crossfit Buffalo Barbell Club in Buffalo, New York Coach: Steve Titus (Team Western New York)     

Emily: "It was my second time qualifying for the American Open and it was an awesome experience this year! I went 5/6 and was able to come out with a PR total at 174.. 7 weeks before the AO I had an elbow injury keeping me out of training anything overhead until three weeks before the AO and I was just happy I was able to make it, lift, and total! Excited to start training for nationals 2017!"               

Trains out of: Crossfit Buffalo Barbell Club in Buffalo, New York

Coach: Steve Titus (Team Western New York)     

Alexa: "It was not my best day in the snatch and I missed my first two attempts.  I made stupid technical errors and had to save my butt and hit my third snatch in order to put up a total. The old me would have freaked out, cried, and most likely got in my head and not made the third snatch. But instead I blocked out the first two misses and showed 72kgs (a number I have not missed in months) no respect! Made that shit on the third attempt. Clean and jerk. At university nationals I got called for a press out on 92kgs and it brokeeee my heart. I fought for it so hard and wanted it so bad. So going into the AO I knew I wanted redemption. And that's exactly what I got!  I hit 92kgs with ease and I know there is more in the tank for me to hit. jerk.  I REALLY wanted 95 kgs but it just wasn't in the cards for me especially due to the adversity at national meets with 20 min long wait times between lifts All in all it was an amazing experience and took it as more room for growth and improvement. I totaled 164, which is 1kg below my best total. I know I am good for more but that's the beauty of weightlifting!! Never being satisfied, and sometimes being ok with even one kilo of improvement at a time. This sport just always leaves me wanting to be better than I could have ever imagined."          Trains out of: Crossfit Buffalo Barbell Club in Buffalo, New York Coach: Steve Titus (Team Western New York)           

Alexa: "It was not my best day in the snatch and I missed my first two attempts.  I made stupid technical errors and had to save my butt and hit my third snatch in order to put up a total. The old me would have freaked out, cried, and most likely got in my head and not made the third snatch. But instead I blocked out the first two misses and showed 72kgs (a number I have not missed in months) no respect! Made that shit on the third attempt.

Clean and jerk. At university nationals I got called for a press out on 92kgs and it brokeeee my heart. I fought for it so hard and wanted it so bad. So going into the AO I knew I wanted redemption. And that's exactly what I got!  I hit 92kgs with ease and I know there is more in the tank for me to hit. jerk.  I REALLY wanted 95 kgs but it just wasn't in the cards for me especially due to the adversity at national meets with 20 min long wait times between lifts

All in all it was an amazing experience and took it as more room for growth and improvement. I totaled 164, which is 1kg below my best total. I know I am good for more but that's the beauty of weightlifting!! Never being satisfied, and sometimes being ok with even one kilo of improvement at a time. This sport just always leaves me wanting to be better than I could have ever imagined."         

Trains out of: Crossfit Buffalo Barbell Club in BuffaloNew York

Coach: Steve Titus (Team Western New York)           

Ben:  "I was in the 85B session. This is my second AO. I've been lifting for 2 years. I thought everything leading into the competition went amazing, as far as training, feeling prepared, nutrition, just overall very confident. I ended up going 5/6 just missing my last snatch attempt. In the process hitting a 300 total for the first time ever in competition and PR cnj with 171kg which I've never even attempted before, finished 10th overall." Coach: Steve Titus (Team Western New York) 

Ben:  "I was in the 85B session. This is my second AO. I've been lifting for 2 years. I thought everything leading into the competition went amazing, as far as training, feeling prepared, nutrition, just overall very confident.
I ended up going 5/6 just missing my last snatch attempt. In the process hitting a 300 total for the first time ever in competition and PR cnj with 171kg which I've never even attempted before, finished 10th overall."

Coach: Steve Titus (Team Western New York) 

Vinny THIS HERE... is the reason why I love what I do.  While waiting on line to get my pass I spoke the father of the weightlifter pictured above.  We were talking a bit about the flight to Florida, the cost of competing etc.  He said, he would rather spend money on his son competing than bailing him out of jail.  He made a joke but partly serious because it is a challenge to raise kids.  He told me he was proud of his son and he is just so happy what the sport has done for him.   Thank you Mr. Hoffman for sharing your story.  

Vinny

THIS HERE... is the reason why I love what I do.  While waiting on line to get my pass I spoke the father of the weightlifter pictured above.  We were talking a bit about the flight to Florida, the cost of competing etc.  He said, he would rather spend money on his son competing than bailing him out of jail.  He made a joke but partly serious because it is a challenge to raise kids.  He told me he was proud of his son and he is just so happy what the sport has done for him.  

Thank you Mr. Hoffman for sharing your story.  

Not listed here: Celia, Gina and Lou from CF Redzone. Jacob from Team Western New York. 

Thank you all for letting me take some pictures. Looking forward to what 2017 has in store for you!  A special thank you to coaches above Kurt (pictured left) and Steve (pictured right). Also, below coaches Bryant (bottom left) and Sebastian (bottom right.)


Happy training and see you at a platform near you! ;)

Your Biggest Fan,

Viv from Everyday Lifters