Team Juggernaut American Open Preview

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For the first time, Juggernaut will take an official USAW Club into competition and compete under the Team Juggernaut banner. This group of athletes are all coached by Max Aita and train at JuggernautHQ, as well as remote athletes all over the country. We are excited to introduce you to our scoring team for this weekend:

48kg Women

Alyssa Ritchey, a name well known in CrossFit and Grid circles, has turned her attention full-time to weightlifting and is about to make her name very well known there. At the 2015 Arnold, Alyssa posted a 170kg total at 53kg opening a lot of eyes, but now under the guidance of Coach Aita, she has posted a 178kg as a light 53kg in qualifying for the AO and with plenty of hard work and guidance from our friends at RP, she is looking lean and ready to make big waves in the 48kg class. At the AO, expect Alyssa to add her name to the list of American Women to have Clean & Jerked double bodyweight.

Alyssa has gotten shredded under the guidance of RP and is going to make lot of noise in the 48kg class.
Alyssa has gotten shredded under the guidance of RP and is going to make lot of noise in the 48kg class.

53kg Women

In the 53kg class, the leader of the Team Juggernaut women, Cortney Batchelor, is seeded #1 with a 180kg entry total. We are very excited about Cortney’s progress technically, mentally and in her strength since moving to Orange Country to train full-time at JuggernautHQ in September. Cortney will be looking to add to her American Record snatch and put up the kind of clean and jerk you’d expect to see from her amazing recent squatting efforts like this 150kg x3 at just over 54kg bodyweight:

A video posted by Cortney Batchelor (@im53batch) on


63kg Women

In the 63A session, new Juggernaut athlete Kristin Pope, will take the platform. Kristin has come to JuggernautHQ for two training camps in the past few months and will be relocating from Georgia to Orange County to train here full time. Kristin has made a lot of progress in her leg strength and technique under Coach Aita and we are looking forward to her making a solid scoring performance in the 63 class and building momentum towards future meets.

69kg Women

We have two members of our scoring team in the 69kg Women’s class, Jilly Jaworske and Nicole Capurso. Both remote athletes under Coach Aita, Jilly and Nicole have been making strong progress. Jilly is an experienced competitor out of San Antonio, TX and will be lifting in the A session. We are excited at the prospect of her making a full-time move to Southern California soon.

Nicole Capurso competed in the Team Division of the 2016 CrossFit Games and is a Grid competitor. Nicole has made massive improvements in her leg strength under Coach Aita and is primed for PRs all around.

90kg Women

The final competitors on the scoring roster for Team Juggernaut, will be Quiana Welch and Maika Goodwin in the 90kg class. Q, a remote athlete out of Reno, NV, is relatively new to Weightlifting, with only 1 meet under her belt but has snatched over 100kg several times in training, including 102kg as part of the CrossFit Liftoff. Maika trains at our sister gym, Max’s Gym in Oakland, CA under the guidance of Jo Ann Aita.

The Team Juggernaut Women’s squad is rounded out by:

Jo Ann Aita, 58kg

Megan Farrell, 69kg

Leslie Macedo, 69kg

Sarah Loogman, 69kg

Laura Barito, 75kg


56kg Men

Leading things off for the Juggernaut Men is Michael Fox, the 2014 National Champion, has looked stellar in recent training, several times surpassing the American Records in both lifts. We look for Mike to get our Men’s team off to a strong start.

A video posted by Michael Fox (@mafox56) on


62kg Men

Jonathan Mendoza will represent Juggernaut in the 62kg Class. He comes in ranked in 10th by entry total and will be relied upon to be a solid point scorer for us. Undoubtedly, Jon will have the best hair of the competition.

A video posted by Jonathan Mendoza (@ohheyjon) on


85kg Men

The 85kg class is a stronghold for Team Juggernaut with 2 potential podium finishers in Anthony Pomponio and Travis Cooper. Pomp has flourished under Coach Aita since moving home to Southern California in June, including posting a lifetime PR total of 342kg at the Caffeine & Kilos Invitational in September.

Travis Cooper is one of the most decorated and experienced lifters in all of USAW. A recent move from North Carolina to Rhode Island has set his training back a bit, but we all know that Travis is a consomate competitor and will bring a strong performance to the platform.

94kg Men

Our team is rounded out by a strong duo in the 94kg class. Leading the way is 2014 National Champion Colin Burns. Colin moved to JuggernautHQ from the Olympic Training Center in September and has looked strong throughout training including snatching 173kg during a competition in Finland. Often considered a ‘Snatch Specialist’ Colin has made great strides in his leg strength and the Clean & Jerk, with multiple Clean & Jerks over 200kg in training and a 207kg Clean. Look for a statement performance from Colin.

A video posted by Colin Burns (@burnscolin) on

Competing in his first national level meet will be James Townsend. You may know James aka @youngtonym from his incredible exploits on Instagram including massive hang snatches, 63″ box jumps and more. James has been battling some injuries but should place in the Top 10 of the 94kg class. We are excited to see his growth as a lifter.

A video posted by James Townsend (@youngtonym) on

Rounding out the Juggernaut Men’s Team are:

Jacob Heighes, 77kg

Sam Ernsrt, 85kg

Jeff Rother, 94kg

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