American Open Recap

by Rob on December 15th, 2014

Coach Hillary and Coach Sarah both competed this past Sunday with the country's best Olympic weightlifters at the American Open Championships (The "AO") in Washington DC.  This was the third national-level meet for Hillary and fifth for Sarah - and thanks to the newly increased national qualifying standards (and the resulting smaller, more competitive pool of athletes present at the meet) it was the first time that both ladies got to compete on the same day (hooray for that!).
Coach Hillary during her session's athlete introductions
Hillary had a fantastic day on the platform, going 4 for 6 and a setting both a clean & jerk PR (93kg/205lbs) and a competition total PR (163kg/359lbs).  To set new PRs on the sport's national stage, with the pressure on and the bright lights shining, is a huge accomplishment - and it earned Hillary a 3rd place finish in her weight class session.  It reminded me again of what many of us already know about Hillary - she's a gamer who always delivers under pressure.  It still amazes me how calm, cool, and collected Hillary stays in the biggest moments on the grandest stage... and following her performance at this year's AO it's safe to say that she's one of the most clutch performers I've ever seen compete.

A BIG THANK YOU to our very own (and Hillary's very own) Liz "The Unstoppable" for all her help and support leading up to the AO, and during the competition weekend.  Her thoughtful support and vocal cheering was in full force at the meet, and it's always helpful to have someone experienced there (who is also a high-level competitor) to help ease the stress of game day.  In addition, Hillary had quite the cheering section of family and friends on hand to witness her awesome performance: 
Coach Hillary and her entourage!
Sarah also went 4 for 6, taking home 3 silver medals (snatch, clean & jerk, and total) to add to her 2 bronze medals from the 2012 National Championships.  While she did not PR on her lifts, she did show an amazing amount of guts and determination in posting a competivie total on a day when she felt miles from her best.  Followng a week of interrupted training, and a weight class cut that had her in a state of delirium at times, I was concerned she might not have the energy to post a total at all - especially on game day when during her normally routine warm-ups she looked like she was fighting to find any semblance of gas in the tank.  Regardless, she pushed through like a fighter and produced some clutch lifts that secured her three silver medals.  It was inspiring to watch an athlete at the highest level compete so fiercely on a day when she felt absolutely horrible.  To me, that's what separates truly great competitors from the rest - the ability to literally will herself to success when others would simply decide that the circumstances have made it impossible to do so.

I'm so proud of her.  I'm not sure she even understands how proud I am of her for that type of competitive effort.  It was incredible.
Coach Sarah wins 3 silver medals at the American Open
A big congratulations to both Hillary and Sarah for their amazing accomplishments.  We are so lucky to have them as coaches, training partners, mentors, and friends.  They are a huge part of what makes our Arena Ready community like no other. 

We are all so proud of you two ladies!  Now go celebrate, and enjoy the post-competition-weight-cutting holidays!
Bringing home some shiny hardware!

WOD for 12-16-14:

Every 90 Seconds for 7 Rounds:
2 Front Squat


Hang Power Clean Ladder @ 75% of Bodyweight

For the ladder pattern, perform one rep the first minute, two reps the second minute, three reps the third minute, continuing as long as you are able. Use as many sets each minute as needed. Score is number of minutes completed.

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