The 2016 USAW American Open Series will take a look at two weight categories every weekday through Wednesday, December 7, the day before the start of the American Open.

Take a look at the previews already posted:
Women’s 48 | 53 | 58 | 63 | 69 | 75 | 90 | +90
Men’s 56 | 62 | 69 | 77 | 85 | 94 | 105 | +105

The Men’s 85kg A Session is scheduled for Saturday, December 10, at 6:30pm EST. In 2015, Anthony Pomponio won the 85kg weight category with a 336kg total. But with James Tatum moving up to the 85’s this year, the stakes have been upped. It will most likely take a 340+kg total to win the 85kg class this year and better than 330kg for a medal.

Last year’s medalists were:

Place  Snatch Clean & Jerk Total
1 Anthony Pomponio (155) John McGovern (184) Anthony Pomponio (336)
2 Frankie Murray (143) Anthony Pomponio (181) John McGovern (322)
3 Nathan Stemo (143) Michael Nackoul (180) Frankie Murray (318)

Here’s who to look out for this year…

James Tatum

James Tatum at 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Andy Blaida)

James Tatum made the jump from the 77’s to the 85’s look effortless. After winning the 77kg category at the 2015 American Open, Tatum transitioned to the 85kg for the push to make the Olympic Team. At the U.S. Olympic Trials, Tatum went 4-for-6 with a 341kg, easily beating Anthony Pomponio’s 330kg total as the other 85kg lifter.

Tatum has changed his initial entry total of 295kg to 310kg. The 295kg total would have put him in the B Session, but the change has bumped him up to the A Session. The 310kg entry total is still well below where Tatum should be, but it is enough to get him on the same platform as his main competitors.

Anthony Pomponio

Anthony Pomponio at 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Andy Blaida)

Anthony Pomponio crushed the 85kg field at last year’s American Open with a 336kg total. The year before that in 2014, he won with a 328kg total. In 2016, Anthony Pomponio made the headlines at the U.S. Olympic trials as he wore a prototype of the still yet-to-be released Nike Romaleos 3. He went on to go 3-for-6 for a 330kg. Pomponio will need to improve upon these totals if he wants to win for a third consecutive year.

Travis Cooper

Travis Cooper at U.S. Olympic Trials
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Andy Blaida)

Travis Cooper is looking to do the same as his former MDUSA teammate, James Tatum, did earlier this year. Cooper is moving up to the 85kg weight category after competing as a 77kg at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Cooper won the 77kg weight category at the 2017 National Championships with a 326kg total. Cooper totaled 320kg at the FISU World University Championships last month so he will need to find another 10-20kg to compete with Tatum and Pomponio, but he should be in contention for a medal.

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