[UPDATE: Alyssa Ritchey has announced via Instagram that she is moving down a weight class to compete as a 48kg lifter.]

I never ever thought this is where I would be today. I cannot stop lifting up my shirt and starring at those six little bumps. But it's more than just six little bumps. It was two months of pure dedication, mental struggles to keep going, and not a single cheat meal. It was fighting to stay away from eating more carbs and wanting to have just more food in general. This is the first cut I have ever done. Dang it, it's been such an incredible journey that has been so successful but very tough at times. I am a week out and this week is the hardest yet. I still have a few pounds to go before weigh-ins. Don't ever tell me you cannot do anything because I am here to tell you everything is possible! I started off at 121lbs and I am down 11lbs since I started this journey. Yes I am competing in the 48kg class at the American Open, surprise! I have put my heart and mind through so much these past ✌🏼️months but they have held on like champs. I proved this girl wrong because she didn't know this was possible. Everyday I focused harder & encouraged myself until the day ended and that's all it took. Am I proud of what I did. I couldn't be more proud. I am excited to lead Team Juggernaut in a team victory! Let's crush this! #bittystrong @rpstrength @juggernauttraining Head over to alyssaritchey.com to check out what companies I used to make this all possible! It's still under construction so hang tight!

A photo posted by Alyssa Ritchey (@alyssaritchey1) on

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 48kg
Men’s 56kg

The 53kg Session A is set to take the platform at 6:30pm EST on Friday, December 9.

Last year’s Women’s 53kg champion was Charis Chan. Chan set a new American Record Snatch at 86kg and totalled 187kg, besting Melanie Roach by 10kg. Since the meet, however, Chan has been rumored to have failed a drug test at the event. Chan was disqualified from the 2016 CrossFit Games season in advance of a confirmed positive test. There has still not been an official statement or ruling from USA Weightlifting regarding Chan’s status.

Last year’s medalists were:

Place  Snatch Clean & Jerk Total
1 Charis Chan (86) Melanie Roach (101) Charis Chan (187)
2 Jourdan Delacruz (77) Charis Chan (101) Melanie Roach (177)
3 Ellen Kercher (77) Kaija Bramwell (92) Shantai Dickerson (166)

Here’s who to look out for this year…

Cortney Batchelor

Cortney Batchelor at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Andy Blaida)

Cortney Batchelor competed as a 58kg in the 2015 American Open finishing 6th with a 178kg total. Batchelor moved down to the 53kg weight category in 2016 to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials, but failed to post a total. Her 86kg snatch was the best in the 53kg weight category and her 105kg clean and jerk attempts would have been good for first as well. With a successful day at the American Open, Batchelor should be competing for the top of the podium.

Jourdan Delacruz

Jourdan Delacruz at 2016 U25 Championships
Photo Credit: Lifting Life (Andy Blaida)

Jourdan Delacruz is one of the best junior lifters and currently holds the Junior American Record Snatch (79kg), Clean & Jerk (95kg) and Total (174kg) in the 53kg weight category. All of these records were set at the 2016 USAW National University & Under 25 Championships in September. That total will likely put her in the running for a spot on the podium.