Reagan Henry to compete for national weightlifting team

Reagan Henry poses with her medals after competing at the USA Weightlifting Youth National Championship in Anaheim, California.

WARRENSBURG — Warrensburg-native Reagan Henry has always been strong and has shown it on the biggest stages, competing nationally in CrossFit.

But just under a year ago, the senior-to-be wanted to try something different, so she signed up for the 2018 Kansas State and Open Championship, a weightlifting competition.

She returned home with a title and a new favorite sport.

“I like it because it is one of the few sports that short people can be good in and me being five-one, volleyball and basketball weren’t the best and I’ve always been naturally stronger than most people,” Henry said.

On Monday, July 15, USA Weightlifting announced the team of athletes that will compete at the 2019 Youth Pan American Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on Aug. 23-30. Henry found her name on the roster as one of two female lifters at 64kg.

“I was so excited,” Henry said. “…I was jumping up and down because it is hard to make a team. They only take the top 10 in the country, so to be granted that and locked into that spot, it’s amazing.”

Henry became one of the top ranked lifters following her performance at the National Youth Championship held at the end of June in Anaheim, California.

Henry won the event with a snatch lift of 79kg (174lbs) — the third best lift of the event — and a clean and jerk weight of 101kg (222lbs).

Her clean and jerk was tied for the best in her weight class.

“My strongest move is the clean and my weakest is the jerk, so seeing those two come together and winning things with them, it’s something I enjoy,” Henry said.

While her collection of weight lifting medals continues to grow, it’s not the hardware that keeps Henry coming back to weightlifting.

“Knowing my hard work paid off, I love that feeling,” Henry said. “I enjoy training for it. Other sports I get sick and tired of practicing, but this is a sport where I get up every morning and I am excited to practice and work on.”

Sports Editor Randy Speer can be reached by emailing randy.speer@dsjnow.com, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @RandySpeer_DSJ.

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