December 8, 2016
There hasn’t been much time to celebrate her accomplishments, which continue to build up.
It’s not because Carroll native, Maddie Stenbo isn’t proud of her accomplishments, throughout her high school career, the 17-year-old has been working hard for her accomplishments. It’s that hard work, and deep focus, that has kept her from celebrating the accomplishments.
Her latest? Setting a new United States snatching record on the biggest stage of her young career.
About a month ago, Stenbo was representing team USA at the Youth World weightlifiting competition held in Malaysia. There, Stenbo was able to solidify her name in the record books when she snatched 87 kilos, which is about 192 pounds.
“I hit that number for the first time in practice,” Stenbo said about the record. “I wanted to hit that at the youth championship.”
She was able to do just that as she recorded a clean snatch of 87 kilos during the competition, doing something that no other youth USA women’s weightlifter has done before.
In the first round of the snatch she easily lifted 84 kilos. In the second attempt she added three kilos and tried to get the record, but couldn’t complete the snatch.
After her rest period, Stenbo walked back out on the stage and cleared 87 kilos to set the record.
Overall Stenbo finished fifth in her division in the Snatch at the World Championships. She also finished eighth in the clean and jerk with a best of 100 kilos.
Stenbo finished eighth overall in the total of snatch and clean and jerk. She tied teammate with a total weight lifted of 187.
“I had a great time,” Stenbo said about her week spent in Malaysia. “Our team was really close. It was really cool to meet other teams and get to prepare with them. We talked to Great Britain and other English speaking teams, overall it was a lot of fun.”
It doesn’t hurt that Stenbo helped team USA walk away with several new records from the World Championships.
Although Stenbo knew she could snatch 87 kilos or more, there was some concern that the weather conditions could keep her from the record.
“It was very humid,” Stenbo remembered about the venue. “It was sticky almost because of all the humidity. It was interesting and made it hard.”
With the high humidity, the metal bar almost slipped out of any grip that the weight lifters had on the bar. Although it presented a challenge, Stenbo knew how to overcome the conditions.
After participating in Mexico earlier this year, Stenbo knew how to keep hydrated and focused on what she needed to do. It also helped that while the outside was sweltering with high heat and humidity, inside the competition gym it was cool, thanks to air conditioning.
Although the competition gym was air conditioned, the training gyms were not, so Stenbo had to work extra hard to focus on her lifts.
“It was cool to see my teammate get a new world record,” Stenbo said about JR Cummings who set a new world record in the clean and jerk at 182 kilos at the World Championships. “It was awesome to be a part of the United State success.”
Although she had a top-10 finish at the World Championships, there hasn’t been much time to enjoy being a record holder.
Almost as soon as she came back, Stenbo started preparing for her next, and final weightlifting tournament as a youth.
Tomorrow, Stenbo will be in Orlando for the American Open. There she will compete against only Americans, but some of the athletes in her class are twice as old as the youthful Stenbo.
“It will be my last youth meet as a lifter,” Stenbo said.
For her last youth meet, Stenbo would like to be able to break her own record in the snatch. She knows that she is capable of doing it.
“Try and beat my own American record,” Stenbo said. “My best ever in the snatch happened in July at a mock meet in at the Olympic training center, where I was able to snatch 90 kilos.”
In order to prepare for possibly breaking her record in Orlando, as soon as Stenbo returned from Malaysia, she started to prepare for the next meet, leaving very little time for training.
“Once I got back, three weeks or so I did a lot of endurance,” Stenbo said about her training the last month. “Now we are backing off the weights. I think I’ll be ready for the competition on Thursday.”
After the American Open she will no longer be considered a youth weightlifter. Starting in the new year, Stenbo will start to enter the junior division of weightlifting which is for lifters that are under 21-years of age. That division, Stenbo has said is much more competitive.
It also means that Stenbo will have to work her way back up through the rankings.
“Now I have to work my way back up to the top,” Stenbo said. “I want to continue to grow and make the junior world and junior pan-am team and try and get stronger.”