Diminutive, Yet Fast-Rising Weightlifter from WCU Chosen for World University Games

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Image of Shannon McNames via Jennifer Corbett, Wilmington News Journal.

From the moment she was born, Shannon McNames has defied stereotypes and exceeded expectations.

Back then, she survived a premature birth, weighing less than two pounds, with a healthy body and sharp mind.

Now, in spite of her 4-foot-11, 105-pound frame, she has earned a spot as a weightlifter on Team USA for the 2017 World University Games.

“She had to fight her way at that young age,” said her mother, Kim Reighley, for a report in The Wilmington News Journal by Kevin Tresolini. “That spirit and perseverance carried through all her life. She was an athlete at a very early age.”


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McNames transitioned from gymnastics to weightlifting just a year and a half ago, but already the West Chester University sophomore with a 3.8 GPA in exercise science is excelling.

“Not only was she chosen,” said CrossFit West Chester coach Ryan Marciniszyn, “she’s the first-ranked girl on the team. They have a formula, and of all the weight classes, she has the highest medal potential.”

For the World University Games, she and her fellow weightlifters will go to Chinese Taipei from Aug. 19-30.

Read more about the weightlifting adventure of WCU’s Shannon McNames in The Wilmington News Journal here.

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