Roach earns ticket to Olympics Weightlifting grabs spot with top marks at trials

Melanie Roach’s long and painful journey is over. She finally is going to the Olympics.

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 7:04pm
  • Sports

Melanie Roach’s long and painful journey is over. She finally is going to the Olympics.

The 33-year-old mother of three from Bonney Lake secured one of four spots on the U.S. women’s weightlifting team for the Summer Games in Beijing, China, with a solid performance in the Olympic trials at Atlanta on Saturday.

Roach, an Auburn High graduate and former gymnast, fulfilled her dream eight years after missing the Sydney Games with a back injury and less than two years after surgery ended the pain.

“This is far better than anything I expected,” said Roach, an eight-time U.S. national champion. “I made the team in 2000, I wouldn’t appreciate it nearly as much as I do now.”

Roach, the top-rated lifter at the trials, will join Carissa Gump, Natalie Woolfolk and Cheryl Haworth for Beijing in August.

Competing in the 53-kilogram (117-pound division), Roach made all three of her lifts in the snatch, the heaviest at just over 178 pounds. In the clean and jerk, she easily cleared 229 pounds before clinching her spot on the Olympic team with a lift of nearly 240 pounds on her second attempt. She failed in her final lift at 244 pounds, but already had locked up a spot.

For Roach, it was sweet satisfaction.

She left the sport five years ago to start a family and business, and successfully campaigned for her husband, Dan, who now is in his fourth term as District 31 State Rep. But three years ago, she decided to give the sport another try. Only after major back surgery did she begin to feel better and stronger.

Roach, under Coach John Thrush, now wants to make some noise in Beijing.

“It’s not just about getting there,” she said. “I want to put myself in a position that a medal may be an option.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

Emerald Downs changes opening day to June 24

Live racing to return at Auburn track but without fans

COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22

No fans initially at Auburn track; fans can wager from home

FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds issue ticket refunds, exchanges for cancelled games in Kent

17,000 tickets sold for three March contests at ShoWare Center

T-Birds select 13 players in Bantam Draft

Seattle trades goalie Roddy Ross to Regina for three draft picks

Auburn Riverside’s Camden Heilborn to play volleyball at Western Washington

Will join sister Calley Heilborn at Bellingham school

High school stadium lights will go on across the state, including Kent and Auburn, on Friday night to honor the Class of 2020. COURTESY PHOTO
No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

Emerald Downs still plans to have horse racing season in 2020

Horse training continues at Auburn racetrack

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

T-Birds select Dauner, Mackie in Western Hockey League U.S. Prospects Draft

Dauner is a center from Fargo; Mackie is a defenseman from Anchorage