Morgan McCullough has been around gyms since the tender age of six. Now, at just 13 years old, he holds three American records in weightlifting.
McCullough’s first taste of training started at a baseball gym where he worked on speed and agility. When the facility became a CrossFit gym, he began participating in kid’s CrossFit classes.
Later, when McCullough’s father Charles was assigned to Fort Reilly, Kansas, he began working with a weightlifting coach who started teaching him how to powerlift.
When the Family moved to Fayetteville, McCullough began training with Coach Don McCauley at Mash Elite Performance and began to compete.
In December, McCullough competed in his second national competition, the 2016 USA Weightlifting American Open, in Orlando, Florida. McCullough competed in the youth category in the 94 kilogram (207 pound) weight class.
During the competition, each participant completed three attempts of their lift. McCullough’s snatch lifts were 85 kilograms (187 pounds), 89 kg. (195.8 lbs.) and 92 kg. (202.4 lbs.). The last two attempts were American records for his weight class.
His clean and jerk attempts were 111 kg. (244 lbs.), 115 kg. (253 lbs.), and 118 kg. (259.6 lbs.). He broke the clean and jerk record with each of his three attempts.
The lift totals combined gave him his third American record.
His mother, Crystal, who is also a competitive powerlifter and avid CrossFitter, said it was surreal yet stressful watching her son compete.
“I was probably more stressed on the side hoping that he hit it, not for the record but for him,” she said.
McCullough said he loves competing, even if it’s just competing against his teammates during training and hopes to attend the International Weightlifting Federation Youth World Championship competition. He has long-term aspirations to compete in the 2020 or 2024 Summer Olympics.
Charles, who also does CrossFit with his wife and son, said it’s important to him that his son is having fun while he is competing in the sport.
“The Army takes us away so much, so it’s a good way for the three of us to do something together. Its great to have a Family activity,” he said.