First Aurora Sports Festival launches this weekend

January 29, 2014

The inaugural Aurora Sports Festival will be held this weekend, Jan. 31-Feb. 2, in conjunction with the USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships. Participants of all ages will gather for this U.S. Olympic Committee-sanctioned competition at the Crowne Plaza, Denver International Airport Convention Center.  Several Colorado youth athletes will be competing for the Junior Champion title, including:

  • Erin Amos – Colorado Springs, (16-17 age group, 48 kilograms);
  • Paige Holman – Pueblo West, (14-15 age group, 48kg);
  • Ellen Kercher – Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, (junior age group, 53kg – Junior American Record holder at 48kg);
  • Ruby Haman – Colorado Springs, (16-17 age group, 58kg) – trains in Denver;
  • Rosa Jad – Denver, (junior age group, 63kg);
  • Darren Barnes – Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, (junior age group, 56kg – Junior & Senior American Record holder at 56kg);
  • Dalton McGregor – Colorado Springs, (junior age group, 77kg – trained by 1992 Olympian Paul Fleschler).

Additionally, Olympic coaches Jim Schmitz and Dennis Snethen will attend the Aurora Sports Festival along with Robin Goad, the last American to set a world record at the Olympic Games in 2000, and Michael Cohen who competed in the 1980 Games. Goad’s daughter, Sydney, will compete in the 48kg class, and Cohen’s sons Michael and William will compete in men’s categories.

In addition to the 2014 USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships, the Aurora Sports Festival also will feature:

  • Colorado State High School Powerlifting Championships (Saturday);
  • North American Powerlifting Federation Pro Invitational Benchpress Championships (Saturday);
  • Rocky Mountain Lifting Club Powerlifting Championships – sanctioned by USA Powerlifting (Sunday);
  • “Survival of the Fittest” CrossFit Competition, hosted by Devil Dogg CrossFit (Friday – Sunday).

“USA Weightlifting is thrilled to hold our 2014 National Junior Championships in Aurora this year,” said USAW CEO Michael Massik. “These young athletes work so hard and are truly an inspiration to all athletes and aspiring Olympic qualifiers.”

Admission for the Aurora Sports Festival is $8 daily for adults, or $20 for a three-day admission ticket. Kids ages 12 and under are free.

For more information on Aurora, upcoming events or meeting facilities, visit or call 303-326-8698.

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