This was an important meet for Caleb and Jon, as neither had yet qualified, and both needed to make PR lifts to qualify.
Jon need to both beat Big Phil from ECG’s total of 323 from American Open, and beat anything Big Phil did at this meet to get on the team. We opened at 141 in the snatch, for a stupid miss, the strength was there, but the bar was not in the right place. Jon made the lift on his 2nd attempt, then missed 146 on his third about the same way he missed his opener, not great snatches but luckily Phil also only made his opening weight of 145. If he had had a good day snatching, his lead would likely have been out of reach.
We new we had to total at least 324 going into the clean and jerk, and this meant a 183kg clean and jerk, 6kg over anything Jon had made in competition before. We also knew that if Phil ended up totalling over 323, our number would go up. We opened at 175, Phil ended at 179 for a 324 total, one more than he had made at the AO. This meant that we needed 184, we called for it and Jon went out and made it, 7kg more than he had ever made in competition, and 4kg more than he had ever made in training. What a day.
Caleb needed to make a 356 total to beat Zack Schluender for the second superheavy spot. Before the competiton, we had pretty much decided to open the snatches at 153, take 158 as a second attempt, then 161 as a third, as long as nothing major was wrong. I had also decided to take whatever he needed to make 356 as his second attempt on the clean and jerk, that would be 203 if he only made 153 snatch, 198 if he made 158 on snatch, and 195 if he made the 161… and to open with something around 10kg less than what he would need to qualify.
Well the warmups were great, with Caleb looking stronger than ever. 153 was a joke, 158 was even better, and 161 looked like a great pull with a great lockout, till it rolled behind him about 2 seconds after he locked it out. Very disapointing as Caleb had snatched 160 in training but has yet to break through that mark in competition.
In the clean and jerk, he finished warming up with 180, opened with an easy 190, then took 198 to make the Pan Am team. It was an easy success, the jerk was particularly impressive. I think Caleb drove the bar better than I have ever seen him before. We decided to try 203 for a new Junior American Record for his new third attempt. I knew he could do it but was worried about him having the same level of confidence. I shouldnt have worried, Caleb blew the weight away with one of the most awesome clean and jerks I have ever seen.
This was a great day and means Cal Strength has 3 men on the mens Pan Am team, since Donny had already qualified and didnt need to come to this meet. I couldnt have been more happy with the positive attitude and effort level of the lifters. I would also like to thank Rob Earwicker, who helped us out a ton in the warmup room by counting attempts and helping with the coaching. Thanks a lot Rob!