Briley wins state lift title in dominant fashion

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 2/17/21

KISSIMMEE - With a state record bench press, Oakleaf High senior Tamira Briley fulfilled the chatter about her running the table about district, region and state champion with a 15 pound win for the …

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Briley wins state lift title in dominant fashion

Posted

KISSIMMEE - With a state record bench press, Oakleaf High senior Tamira Briley fulfilled the chatter about her running the table about district, region and state champion with a 15 pound win for the Class 3A 110-pound championship at the FHSAA championship weekend in Kissimmee and Live Oak.

“Having lifted 180 during the season, I kind of felt the pressure of having to have a big lift at the state meet,” said Briley, who now returns to the track for Oakleaf High School as a sprinter. “Me and coach (Ben White) knew we had to bench press enough to make the girl from Vero Beach (runnerup Sarah Eisworth) have to attempt a clean and jerk 30-40 pounds above her best.”

Briley, who had lifted 180 on the bench press during the season, which was a regular season best, cleared 175 on Saturday to lift the playoff record of 170 and give herself a 40 pound lead into the clean and jerk.

“She dominated,” said White. “Our entire two week preparation prior to the state meet was to make that girl from Vero Beach clean more than what we thought that she could do. We got up on her by 30 pounds. We could tell psychologically that Tamira was ready to roll. Tamira knew what the target was.”

Ironically, Briley’s return to the state meet came after her precarious near no-go last year after a disastrous region meet.

“Last year, at regions, I missed my first two bench press attempts at 150 and almost didn’t make it to the state meet,” said Briley, who eventually finished ninth at 119 last year. “I was more confident this time, but took nothing for granted and focused on getting back even stronger. We decided to cut weight back to the 110 division and that was tough at first, but my mom and dad, Melvin and Carrie, are both athletes and we just ate right, got strong and maintained.”

In the clean and jerk, Briley hit 140 and 150, but failed at 165 to total 325 while runnerup Sarah Eisworth of Vero Beach, third last year in Class 2A at 110, countered with a 170 lift to finish at 310. Briley’s total was 30 pounds more than her 2020 total of 295. Eisworth’s clean and jerk was top lift for the division. Eisworth benched just 140. Briley set the competition up with a 160 first lift at bench press with a 135 by Eisworth the top competitor open through the entire roster.

“Tamira wanted the record and got the 175 and we set the tone of the clean and jerk,” said White. “In the clean and jerk, on her third attempt, Tamira wanted to break the state record for total, but failed at 165. Bottom line, she grinded and had the meet won at that point.”

Ellie Bronson also competed for the Knights with an 11th place finish in 129.

“Ellie came to the team just two years ago,” said White. “She’s a crossfit athlete and she worked hard to get to the state meet.”

Also in 3A, Fleming Island got eighth from Markayla Madison in the Unlimited division.

In Live Oak, Clay, Middleburg and Ridgeview competed in the Class 2A championship meet on Saturday with the Blue Devils getting third place finishes from 110-pounder Samantha Migliore and 154-pounder Janiyah Stevens as top finishers in Class 2A for area athletes.

Clay also got a fourth from Unlimited Kyleigh Lafary as the Blue Devils finished in eighth place with 10 team points. Arnold won with 22 with Port Charlotte second at 19 and Mosley third at 17.

Also in 2A, Middleburg and Ridgeview got top finishes from Emily Georgiades; 10th in Unlimited for the Lady Broncos, and 13th in 199 from Kenyatte Hogan for Ridgeview at 199.

In Class 1A, Keystone Heights had the lone competitor with Kaylee Wright in the 199 pound division. Wright finished 18th with a 290 total.

For Clay, in 2A, Morgan Greer finished 17th in 101; Riley Ledford finished ninth at 119; Marina McKean finished 19th in 129; Bailey Kumm finished 15th at 139; Gianna Torres finished 13th at 169 and Annalee Harbison finished

13th at 183.

For Middleburg, in 2A, Leslie Catlett finished 10th at 129; Alyssa Cone finished 16th at 139 and Jewel Taylor finished 15th at 183.

For Ridgeview, in 2A, Haley Beardin finished 19th at 169; Ava Haber finished 20th at 169 and London Francis finished 19th at 183.

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