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Proud of Team USA
I am on a plane again. By the way I am deathly scared of flying, but obviously I am forced to do way more than I like. Luckily I love traveling more than I am afraid of flying. Anyway I have never been more proud to be a part of Team USA than right now. If you guys didn’t watch it, you missed an amazing competition.
First I want to say that I am so darn proud of Nathan Damron placing 8th in the World, hitting a monster PR Clean & Jerk of 201kg and a PR Total of 358kg. Brian Reisenauer placed 9th in his first World Championships, so that’s pretty darn good. Our coaching staff of Don McCauley, Vinh Huynh, and me has had the opportunity to watch this team develop over the last couple of years into something very special.
When MuscleDriver USA closed down, it was my dream to continue with a professional team. My company isn’t near the size that MDUSA was, but thanks to our amazing sponsors and all of you that buy our products, I have been able to continue supporting these athletes with stipends, the best coaches, travel expenses, and more. Most people consider me crazy, and at times I start to agree with them. However after this week, I know that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do.
Jordan Cantrell was originally on the starting eight lineup, but the final team was chosen based on the strength of each class and potential of placing highly. He happened to be in the hardest and deepest weight class of the entire competition. However he did hit a monster 162kg Snatch PR in the training hall, and a PR Clean & Jerk of 193kg. He’s about to crush it at the American Open next weekend. He’s definitely the most improved athlete in America.
Yes our team killed it, but on Saturday two amazing things happened. First my man Harrison Maurus, the 17-year-old phenom, absolutely killed it. He Snatched 155kg for a meet PR, and he Clean & Jerked 193kg for another PR. Now let’s see if I can get all the accolades correct. The Clean & Jerk was a new Youth World Record, Junior American Record, and Senior American Record. His Snatch was a Junior American Record and a Youth American Record. His total was a Senior American Record, Junior American Record, and Youth American Record. There’s probably more, but this is what I know.
His performance brought tears to my eyes. I have hung out with Harrison and his amazing coach Kevin Simons for the last couple of years now, and it’s safe to say that they are family to me. I love them both, and they’re families. I was as nervous for Harrison as I was for my own athletes. Anyone that has followed this blog and my podcast knows that I have been calling this moment for a longtime. Their moment came this past weekend.
Right after Harrison competed, the beauty queen of weightlifting, Mattie Rogers, took the stage in the Women’s 69kg competition. Her performance was equally dominating. I am not sure of the records that she might have broken, but I know that she won three Bronze Medals. Do you believe that? It was amazing, and she was actually in the hunt for Gold. I couldn’t believe that I was watching an American battle for Gold. Here’s something that I want all of you to hear. She did all of this while studying like a maniac for her college Finals. She’s much more than just a weightlifter; she’s a driven young lady as well. She’s also very nice as I finally got to talk to her a bit this weekend. Her coach Danny Camargo is definitely one of the best in the business.
As I am typing this Team USA still has a few opportunities for Medals, so it’s not over yet boys and girls. So far I call this a massive success. Yeah we had one tough day that caused a lot of recliner coaches to come out of the wood works to give their unsolicited advice, but dang it Team USA came to the event with one thing on their mind; to battle. We came into this event wanting to gun for medals. When you do that sometimes things go awry, but here’s the thing that they don’t know. Team Points are worthless this year. We can’t earn points for the Olympics, so this was the year to go big or go home.
With that strategy, I’d say so far that it has been a huge success. I know that Jessica and CJ are going to come back stronger than ever. They are both tenacious competitors, but it was just a rough day for both of them. No one knows better than me. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what’s on the bar. It’s just not going to happen. That doesn’t make their coach a bad coach and doesn’t make them a bad lifter. Here’s the way you really judge them and their coaches. You wait and see how they respond. Do they come back and absolutely shred the competition, or do they fold? I am 100% confident that no one wants to compete against either one of these athletes the next time that they compete.
You know I sure hope that other coaches out there have my back like this the next time that one of our lifters bomb out. Instead of talking crap about each other, we should support one another. Remember at this level it’s Team USA not Team Mash, or Team Cal Strength, or whatever. I felt that camaraderie with the other coaches this weekend, and I can’t wait to see all of them next time.
Also guys and gals Team Mash Elite is a non-profit serving to help this young men and women reach their goals, while serving out community with our ‘at risk program’. You all can help this team immensely by donating to our cause at:
I will offer a consultation via telephone for any donation over $50. I appreciate all of you supporting us day in and day out. We couldn’t do it without you!