Today was the Attitude Nation Last Chance Qualifier for the American Open. Scuba Steve, Hayden Dupont and I were representing the MashMafia. Scuba absolutely killed it! He hit 117k/258lbs in the Snatch, and he hit 149k/328lbs in the Clean & Jerk to qualify. He actually Cleaned 153k/336lbs, but he missed the jerk. I am so proud of this young man. He has come along so quickly in a short amount of time. Just two weeks ago he competed in the NC State Championships, but fell short of the qualifying total. Today he looked like he was good for plenty more. Not only is he a freak athlete, but he is a Math Major at Wake Forest University with a 3.6GPA. He will be attending Law School next Fall, so MashMafia has a freak athlete for at least three more years.
Hayden Dupont was trying to qualify for the Youth Nationals, but he fell just a little short. I think that he did awesome because he took a month off. Hayden is another brain child in the 9th Grade taking all honors courses, so he needed a little time to adjust to high school. I fell a little short hitting 120k in the Snatch, and missing the 157k Clean & Jerk that would have qualified me. I’m still very happy because I weighed 94k/207lbs for the first time since 1999. I owe it all to my wife’s famous cooking. Go Mash Potatoes! I feel so much better, and I am moving much better. I just need to get acclimated to this body weight strength wise, and then I believe that next year I will hit some much bigger weights. We all owe my wife, Emily Drew and Brealon’s girlfriend, Haley for not only putting up with us, but they ran the table at the meet. They both helped out in all aspects of the meet. Thank you both!
None of this would have been possible without Coach Brealon. He helped with the meet, and coached all of us. He truly is a huge asset to the MashMafia Weightlifting Team. I think that he will be one of the best coaches of all-time when he has a little more time under his belt. I don’t say this lightly. He has three great things going for him: education, experience, and heart. He is an Exercise Science Major from Appalachian State University, and he is around all the right people. He’s only twenty-two, and he has met and friended: me, Jon North, Donnie Shankle, Glenn Pendlay, and Coach Joe Kenn. That’s not to bad for 22! He is a lifter too! He gets it! I believe that without a doubt he will be on the National scene next year. He is assistant coach at MashMafia as well, so he’s getting that experience daily. More importantly than all of this, his heart is in the right place. He cares about his lifters and his teammates. He loves them, and we love him. This is why he will be great!
I must also give a shout out to MashMafia’s sister gym, The Attitude Nation Weightlifting Team. Justin Lovinggood also qualified for the American Open with 125k Snatch and 152k Clean & Jerk. Jacob “Rabbit Wyatt totaled enough for the American Open A Session hitting 105k Snatch and 126k Clean & Jerk. Rabbit is a MashMafia Original, and I am very proud of him. He has come along way as an athlete since I first met him. I look for him to medal on the National Stage real soon. I don’t know what I would do without the Attitude Nation. When I say that, I mean Jon and Jessica, their team, and the many people who listen to Jon and me on Weightlifting Talk. I feel without a doubt that we are all close family, and I truly love them all.
I’m excited for the American Open as I will be one of the announcers, and I will be coaching Scuba Steve and the Attitude Nation lifters. I will have three athletes that I have coached in the AO: Scuba, Rabbit, and MDUSA’s Rebecca Gerdon. December is going to be an exciting month, and I am excited to watch all my MashMafia and Attitude Nation lifter go at it!
For any questions regarding Learn 2 Lift Seminars or Online Coaching, go to:
Or if you are interested in hosting a Learn 2 Lift Seminar on the topics of Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, or Athletic Performance, email me at: