SAN JACINTO – San Jacinto High School alumnus Sarah Robles won the women’s over-90-kilogram title at the USA Weightlifting National Championship this past weekend in Lombard, Illinois.
Robles was successful in all six of her lifts at The Westin Lombard Yorktown Center. She opened the competition by lifting 110 kilograms in the snatch, then 115 kilograms and 120 kilograms. In the clean and jerk she lifted 140 kilograms, 145 kilograms and 150 kilograms.
Each lifter is allowed three attempts at the snatch and three attempts at the clean and jerk. The best lift in each category is combined to determine the overall result. Robles’ 270-kilogram total was 55 kilograms greater than runner-up Shannon Beasley of Knoxville, Tennessee. The 28-year-old Robles won the bronze medal in women’s over-75-kilogram class in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, the first medal by an American woman in weightlifting since 2000.
Robles competes despite Madelung’s deformity, a congenital impairment of a forearm that causes her pain when she lifts or does everyday motions. Robles began weightlifting at San Jacinto High School when her coach Rich McClure had her use the Olympic lifts to improve her performance in the shot put and discus throw. Robles competed in some local weightlifting meets in 2004 and 2005 “and I fell in love with it,” she said. Robles received athletic scholarships from Alabama and Arizona State to compete in track and field, but changed those plans after her first season at Arizona State when she met weightlifting coach Joe Micela in 2008 and decided to abandon her throwing career to concentrate on weightlifting.