East Tennessee State University’s Shelbie Serpan is gearing up to compete in the Pan American Weightlifting Championships, which will be held June 22-30 in Caracas, Venezuela.
Serpan, one of the inaugural students participating in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site at ETSU, qualified for the Pan Am event through her performance in the National University Championships and World Pan American Championships Qualifier weightlifting meet, which was hosted in April at ETSU. There were over 200 competitors at this meet, which was the first national-level meet ETSU hosted since becoming a designated Olympic Training Site.
Serpan competed in the 75+ kg (165+ lbs.) weight class, winning first place in the snatch, lifting 101 kg (223 lbs.); second place in the clean and jerk, lifting 130 kg (286.5 lbs.); and second place in the total, lifting 231 kg (509 lbs.). ETSU’s Women’s Weightlifting Team placed second in the meet, and the Co-Ed Weightlifting Team placed third.
The Pan Am event will be the fourth international competition for Serpan, who will try to qualify for the World Championships in October.
“It is a blessing to compete in this event,” said Serpan, a senior allied health major from Clearwater, Kansas. “It’s a challenge and a way to take my competition to the next level. It’s also a stepping-stone for my training toward the Olympics.”
Serpan’s goal is to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as well as the 2020 Olympics.