Yesterday was my third time coaching at a weightlifting national championship. It was Taylor's first national meet, and only her 5th meet ever. Taylor has been competing in weightlifting for almost a year, after coming to the sport from a gymnastics background. From day 1, I could tell that Taylor was a strong competitor. Her first national championship was no exception.
Taylor's strength as a competitor showed right away when she found herself further from her weight class than expected. After checking her weight on meet scales Thursday, we knew that Taylor was going to have to follow a very specific nutrition and hydration routine to compete in her weight class on Sunday. Over those 4 days she was incredibly disciplined, and it payed off. Taylor successfully made weight in what I can only describe as the most impressive attempt I have seen. And, she did it the right way, staying healthy and safe.
After a successful weigh-in, Taylor got to work nourishing and hydrating her body, and preparing to have her best meet yet. While nerves may contributed to missing her first snatch attempt at 58kg, Taylor refocused and made a solid 2nd attempt at the same weight. She then went up to 61kg for her final snatch and made that look even easier than 58! Sixty one was a meet PR and only 1kg shy of her best snatch.
Clean and jerks started off a little better than snatch, making 71kg on the first attempt, also a meet PR. We went up to 75kg, a PR match, and Taylor stood up well with the clean. She locked out the jerk, but pushed it a little out front. After holding onto it for a second, she couldn't quite stick it there for the down command. With such a close miss, I took a bit of a gamble and raised Taylor's 3rd attempt to 76kg. This would have given her a shot at beating her closest competitor in her session by 1kg. Again, Taylor stood up with the clean, requiring a little more fight this time. Unfortunately, after a tough effort standing up, she only got the jerk to her head before missing it.
Despite making only 3 of 6 lifts, Taylor ended up with meet PRs in the snatch, clean and jerk, and total. Taylor managed to overcome a challenging weigh-in process, bounced back from missing her first lift in the biggest meet of her life, and took a solid attempt at a clean and jerk PR. She ended up placing 11th overall out of 31 competitors, and 9th in the snatch. I'm incredibly proud of her and know that this is just the beginning of Taylor's weightlifting success!