Melissa Cuervo, a 2015 St. Cloud High School graduate and accomplished weightlifter, placed third overall at the University National Championships in Las Vegas in March.
She snatched 78 kilograms (172 pounds) and clean-and-jerked 96 kilograms (212 pounds) in the 59-kilogram (130 pounds) weight class. She won a silver medal in the snatch, a bronze in the clean and jerk, and the bronze medal overall.
Cuervo, who attends the University of Florida, placed third at the state meet her senior year at SCHS when all schools still competed in one classification. She set a school record in the state meet with a 310-pound total that included a 145-pound bench press and a 165-pound clean and jerk while competing at 119 pounds.
“She also was our valedictorian and still a school record holder,” St. Cloud High weightlifting coach Cory Aun said. “In my 20 plus years of coaching, Melissa is one of the finest lifting technicians I have ever coached. Her mechanics are text book and she is unrelenting in training. She is a superhuman in my eyes considering her school schedule and the brutal training that I put her through.
“Melissa is also one of the sweetest and most caring people I have ever had the privilege to meet. She will be taking the MCAT very soon and entering medical school next year. I know she will be an amazing doctor because she is awesome at everything she does.”