I was introduced to strength training early in life. At the age of 12, my father, a former power lifter, started me out with a broomstick to learn the proper technique in the bench, squat, and assistance exercises. The training I went through with my father developed a strength foundation and I became a great all-around athlete. I was later introduced to the Olympic movements by Greg Kustra, a strength coach from Carroll, Iowa. By adding the snatch and clean & jerk to my strength training program, I became a much more explosive and powerful athlete. During high school I participated in four sports but one of my greatest passions in sport was track & field. I firmly believe that the strength training and Olympic weightlifting I had been working on gave me an advantage over all other athletes. I became a two-time Iowa High School State Champion in the shot put as well as a two-time Drake Relays Champion in the high school shot put division.
As the result of my success in the shot put ring, I attended the University of Iowa where I had a phenomenal throwing career. I became the Big Ten Champion in shot put, Big Ten runner up in the discus, a two time NCAA Qualifier in shot put, and was twice selected as team captain. My best throws are ranked on the Iowa All-Time Track & Field Records. I hold the 3rd All-Time Best Indoor Shot Put with a throw of 61’2”, 3rd All-Time Best Outdoor Shot Put with a throw of 62’2 ¼”, and 9th All-Time Discus with a throw of 178’7”.
While competing at Iowa the Olympic weightlifting movements were still a vital part of my strength training program. It was originally my college strength coach, Damon Davis, who got me interested in pursuing weightlifting as a competitive sport.
After graduating from Iowa in 2008, I made my way to the northern suburbs of Chicago where I began training with Roger Nielsen, a two-time Olympic Head Coach. Since my first national meet in December 2008 at the American Open Championship, I have made continuous gains in the snatch and the clean & jerk as well as my overall total. I have placed in the top three in several national competitions and rank among the top lifters in the US. My ultimate goals include capturing a national title and qualifying for upcoming international competitions.
Most recently I was selected to represent Team USA at the 2012 Pan-American Championships in Antigua, Guatemala May 11th-19th where I succeeded in making it onto the podium by clean & jerking a personal best 212k to take 3rd overall in the clean & jerk! I took 4th in the snatch and placed 4th overall. I am very happy with my performance and see this as the jumping off point for bigger lifts in the future! Check out my picture and video pages to see my performances!
**UPDATE!! At the 2012 Rodger DeGarmo Memorial I was able to snatch 175k, an all-time personal best. I was hoping to take some attempts at clean & jerking 220k but ended with a 205k clean & jerk. You can see my performance on the video page! Overall though I feel my training is right on track and I look forward to putting up some huge numbers and taking home the gold at the 2012 American Open in Palm Springs this December.
***AMERICAN OPEN UPDATE!! I came home with some GOLD hardware after taking first place overall. I hit 165k and 205k for a 370k total. Unfortunately I got red-lighted on a 215k clean & jerk attempt but it was so close! It's keeping me hungry for more and I'm looking forward to big lifts in 2013. Check out my video page to see my lifts from the American Open.
I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for all the support they have shown me in my pursuit of Olympic weightlifting greatness. I thank you for the continual love and support you have shown me over the years. I cannot wait to see what the future brings and look forward to having all of you there to support me. Thank you!
If you have any questions or want to learn more about weightlifting, send me an email at email@example.com!