We could not have asked more of our two girls that lifted today. Shantel Noel of Texas and Stacie Pomrening of Wisconsin both lifted great and both finished the last lift of their session with the opportunity of winning their weight class and taking overall gold medals.
Shantel Noel lifted in the 75kg class and after struggling a little in the warm up area with her squats hit the platform and went 3 for 3. The last 2 squats looked to be barnburners, but she held on and finished both. After squats she was sitting a solid second place behind Elena Ovcharova, a Russian girl that we were confident we could outlast in this weight class.
Again Shantel struggled in the warm up area, but this time with the bench press. We lowered her opening attempt to ensure she didn't miss, but this would end up dropping our overall total behind the Russian girl to 15kilos. Shantel felt strongly about her deadlift so we went into the deadlift portion of the meet still feeling like we could make up the difference. Shantel opened with the exact same opener as the Russian and Ovcharova would pull right with us up until the final pull. We waited to see what Ovcharova put on the bar for her final attempt and then we would just have to pull 2.5kilos more since Shantel was heavier in body weight.
Ovcharova ended up going 3 for 3 in the deads and finished with a 160kilo pull which put her total at 450 kilos...Shantel had to pull a 177.5 kilo deadlift if she was going to get this victory. With the entire venue cheering her on Shantel grabbed the bar and was able to pull it just above her knees before gravity became a little too resistant. Shantel ended up in 2nd place behind the Russian, but the best ending to this weight class was the reaction of the Japanese team.
You see, when Shantel missed her final pull of 177.5 kilos, that meant Nakayma Mai would take the gold medal in the deadlift with 162.5kilos to her credit and the Japanese girls don't win that often. The entire girls section of the Japanese team decended on Mai and they all hugged and cried to the point of sobbing. It was just one of those moments over here that remind me why I enjoy this so much.
Stacie on the other hand in the 82.5 kilo class just had one of the most frustrating days of lifting a lifter could have. She would not get a squat passed until her final attempt which would still end up being the 2nd highest squat and then even though she pressed the weight she would only get 1 bench press passed as well. Going into the deadlifts Stacie was trailing Ekaterina Tsigankova (another Russian) by 22.5 kilos.
Stacie opened her deadlifts 15 kilos higher than the Russian so after 1st pulls we trailed by 7.5 kilos. We decided Stacie would rest her back, pass her 2nd attempt and wait to see where Ekaterina would finish. We would just have to pull more. Of course we were heavier in bodyweight again so what ever she pulled Stacie would have to pull enough to pass her by 2.5kilos.
Katerina would get here 2nd deadlift, but missed her 3rd and would add another 7.5 kilos onto her lead. Stacie would need to pull a 182.5 kilo (402.5lb) deadlift to overtake the Russian.......Well the gravity gods that had been pestering our lifters today decided they needed a little more work. The weight shot off of the floor but Stacie would not be able to lock it out and we would take second again to another Russian lifter. Stacie's opening lift would earn her a gold in the deadlift and Stacie would take silver medals in both of the other lifts. Stacie finished with 3 passed lifts and in the end she was pulling for a gold medal. It's not too often a lifter gets an opportunity like that with only 3 made attempts. I know if is a big word, but just if she could have gotten that first squat passed, the whole session would have been totally different...maybe next year.
None of our boys lifted today so scoring on the boys side of the team competition would remain the same. The girl's attempt at team gold would end today. We needed a win in both weight classes today to have a chance of earning the gold team trophy. With 2 weight classes left the girls Sub-Junior team scoring looks like this:
Russia - a perfect 72 points
USA - 56 points
Ukraine - 53 points
Japan - 32 points
The Ukraine and Japan do not have any more girls lifting tomorrow so they cannot catch the USA for Team Silver, but we have 3 more girls that will be working hard tomorrow morning to take home their own gold medals and in the 90+ kilo class the USA has 2 girls that we hope will be scratching and fighting each other for that gold medal.