Team USA had an exciting final day of action at the Pan American Championships in Cartagena.
Kendrick Farris (Shreveport, La.), Wes Kitts (Knoxville, Tenn.), Donovan Ford (Sacramento, Calif.), and Caine Wilkes(Chesapeake, Va.) stepped up to the platform for the United States. Norik Vardanian (Colorado Springs, Colo.) did not lift due to an injury earlier this week.
The men’s team, who tied for third, needed to place seventh or higher to secure a spot for the United States in the Olympic Games this summer.
Farris earned the berth after an impressive gold medal finish in the 94kg category. He went three for three in the snatch with successful attempts at 158kg, 162kg, and 165kg, placing first in the category.
In the clean and jerk, he missed his opener at 194kg but came back to nail 195kg on his second. He finished with a successful 199kg, finishing first in the clean and jerk category as well. He totaled at 364kg to win the Pan American Championships.
Farris will bring his Olympic expertise to Rio this summer; he competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, where he placed eight and tenth, respectively.
Going into this week, Wilkes was in close battle with Farris for the Olympic berth. In the snatch session for +105kg, he made his opener at 170kg but missed his second and third attempts at 177kg, finishing second in the category.
In the clean and jerk, Wilkes missed his opening lift at 215kg and came back to successfully complete that weight on his second attempt. He went for 236kg on his final attempt, which would have earned him the Olympic spot, but was unable to clean the bar. Wilkes finished second in the clean and jerk category and second overall for the +105kg weight class.
Wes Kitts (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Donovan Ford (Sacramento, Calif.) lifted in the 105kg weight class.
In the snatch session, Kitts missed 152kg and came back to make that weight on his second. He finished with a strong 165kg, placing fifth in the category. Ford nailed all three snatch attempts at 152kg, 160kg, and 166kg to place fourth in the category.
Wes successfully completed his first clean and jerk attempt at 188kg but missed his next two at 201kg and 208kg. He finished seventh in the clean and jerk category and fourth overall.
Donovan continued his strong momentum from the snatch session with another three for three performance in the clean and jerk. He completed 189kg, 200kg, and 207kg to finish second in the category and second overall with a 373kg total.
While no U.S. women lifted today, team placements were solidified at the conclusion of competition. The women’s team placed second overall – a very strong showing on the international scene.
Kathleen Winters (48kg): 75kg snatch (fourth), 93kg clean and jerk (third), 168kg total (third)
Kelly Rexroad-Williams (48kg): 70kg snatch (fifth), 86kg clean and jerk (seventh), 156kg total (sixth)
Morghan King (53kg): 85kg snatch (third), 100kg clean and jerk (seventh), 185kg total (fourth)
Caitlin Hogan (53kg): 78kg snatch (sixth), 102kg clean and jerk (sixth), 180kg total (sixth)
Jessica Lucero (58kg): 85kg snatch (ninth), 114kg (seventh), 199kg total (eighth)
Alex Lee (69kg): did not total
Travis Cooper (77kg): 137kg snatch (sixth), 172kg clean and jerk (seventh), 309kg total (sixth)
Mattie Rogers (69kg): 106kg snatch (second), 133kg clean and jerk (third), 239kg total (second)
James Tatum (85kg): 150kg snatch (sixth); 180kg clean and jerk (eighth); 330kg total (sixth)
Marissa Klingseis (+75kg): 107kg snatch (third); 135kg clean and jerk (third): 242 total (third)
Kendrick Farris (94kg): 165kg snatch (first); 199kg clean and jerk (first); 364 total (first)
Wes Kitts (105kg): 152kg snatch (fifth); 188kg clean and jerk (seventh); 340kg (fourth)
Donovan Ford (105kg): 166kg snatch (fourth); 207kg clean and jerk (second); 373kg total (second)
Caine Wilkes (+105kg): 170kg snatch (second); 215kg clean and jerk (second); 385kg total (second)
BY ANNA RESMAN