A year older, stronger, versatile and more accomplished, Baton Rouge native Brynn Catalano is back in the spotlight as the youth weightlifter and CrossFit athlete has embarked on a new journey.
“The first lift I was kinda nervous because you have to get it off your chest because it’s the first lift,” Brynn said. “But then the other lifts, they were just fine.”
Last weekend, 9-year old Brynn competed in the USA Youth Weightlifting National Championships in Anaheim, California, winning multiple gold medals in the 11-and-under category.
“It felt really good because it’s my first time doing it, and it’s a different feeling because there are more people than just a regular competition,” Brynn said.
Brynn’s dad and workout partner, Chase Catalano added, “The experience is what we cared about most. Putting her in the spotlight, letting her thrive and see a lot of other little girls from around the United States that love it just as much as she does. I didn’t really have an expectation that she would win or get a medal. I really wanted her to see and get in the spotlight and feel the pressure of a competition setting. And she obviously exceeded my expectations by a lot.”
Having trained with former Olympic Weightlifting Alternate Matt Bruce in Baton Rouge, Brynn also earned national champion status after beating top competitors from across the country, including girls three and four years older, far exceeding all expectations.
“Some friends are like mind blown with what I’m doing,” Brynn said. “Others are like oh my gosh, oh my gosh. How did you get onto this? I’m like, it’s just what I’ve been doing. CrossFit started and now weightlifting.”
Coming off her recent success, Brynn is inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, including her workout partner.
“She talked me into signing up for the Louisiana state lifting championship,” Chase said. “The lifting that comes up in August, so she’ll be stepping into that competition for her first time and it will be my first competition as well.”
Brynn will continue to pursue weighlifting and will also run track for her school next fall. She also has her eyes on a longterm goal, pursuing her passion all the way to the Olympics.
Catch the full story tonight on FOX 44 at 9:00 and NBC Local 33 at 10:00.