CHARLESTON — Camille Caskey, who lifts and competes for the Charleston Parks & Recreation Department Weightlifting Club, has been selected to represent the United States at the 15-and-under Pan American Championships.
The event for males and females is to be held this weekend in Shreveport, La.
The 15-year-old Camille, the daughter of Kevin and Winnie Caskey of Charleston, has been training for a little more than three years.
“I am really excited and honored to represent our country, our city, and our club in international competition,” Caskey said. “I am looking forward to meeting my six other teammates and the lifters from other countries. I hope to represent our country, city and club, well, and meet and watch the best young lifters in North and South America.”
What awaits Casey is still to be seen.
“It is not known exactly how many lifters will compete overall nor how many will be in Camille’s class,” Marty Schnorf, the Charleston club’s coach said. “It is possible some countries may show up at the last minute, more or less, but it is known there will be quite a few there, presumably with their best lifters. Without question, this is a great experience for Camille.
Troy Pfeiffer, another coach for the club, said: “It has really been rewarding to watch Camille improve and stay with it. She has paid her dues with hard work in the gym over time, and now she gets rewarded. But, the key is to keep training and keep working and keep improving, and the results will take care of themselves.”
Caskey earned her spot mainly based on her performance at the Youth National Weightlifting Championships in St. Joseph, Mo., this past June.
She finished a close second, making lifts of 52 kilograms or 118 pounds in the snatch and 65 kilograms, 143 pounds, in the clean-and-jerk.
Caskey weighed under the 53 kilograms class limit. Both she and the winner of the class are to represent the USA in this meet.
The third-place finisher, who was only one kilogram behind Caskey, would have made the team and bumped Caskey off had she lifted two more kilograms.
She is tentatively scheduled to lift Saturday afternoon, but that is subject to change based off final entries.
The event is scheduled to be webcast live at www.teamusa.org/USA-Weightlifting/live.
Caskey’s family and Schnorf are expected to accompany her to Shreveport.
Once the schedule is finalized, it is to be posted on the Charleston Weightlifting Club’s Facebook page.
The coaches expressed thanks for support to the club from sponsors including Mediacom, Advanced Auto Parts for our car washes, First Mid-Illinois Bank and Trust and the Mattoon YMCA and Mattoon Tourism Department.
The club has no cost to join and information is available at its Facebook page, by e-mailing email@example.com or else by contacting thee Charleston Parks & Recreation Department at 345-6897.
“This is one of the biggest thrills of my life,” said Caskey believed to be the seventh lifter representing the Charleston club in international competition. “The club has paid for me to fly to San Francisco twice, and I have had some great experiences in weightlifting and have met Arnold Schwazennegger and have traveled from Norfolk, Va., to San Francisco. Next year we have a national meet in Denver, so I plan to travel there, too. I hope to someday travel to Europe or Asia to represent the USA and our city and club. I really feel honored to put on the uniform which says USA on the front.”