Clay High, Briley power up at Christmas Lift Tourney

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 12/29/21

LIVE OAK - Oakleaf High defending state champion weightlifter Tamira Briley showed off her dominance at the Power of Christman Invitational held at Suwannee High School on December 17; one of the …

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Clay High, Briley power up at Christmas Lift Tourney

Posted

LIVE OAK - Oakleaf High defending state champion weightlifter Tamira Briley showed off her dominance at the Power of Christman Invitational held at Suwannee High School on December 17; one of the more revealing state-level weightlifting competitions prior to lifters preparations for a state meet run.

Briley was joined in a power show by her Oakleaf High teammates and such area powerhouses as Clay, Middleburg and Ridgeview; all with a host of returning state meet qualifiers from last year. St. Johns Country Day School, in their first year of FHSAA eligibility after fielding a first-ever team last year, also competed. Host Suwannee High School is the defending Class 1A champion. Clay was eighth in Class 2A, Ridgeview 31st in 2A and Middleburg 31st in 2A. Oakleaf was 10th in 3A last year.

For the competition, two separates meets occured with the newest an Olympic Snatch competition; new to the FHSAA and a separate scoring entity for teams. The Olympic Snatch competition preceded the typical bench press and Clean and Jerk disciplines. The Olympic Snatch is executed with a straight lift from floor to overhead while the bench press is a horizontal lift from the chest to extension off a rack and the Clean and Jerk is a two-step lift from floor to collarbone, then collarbone to overhead.

In the two-event; Bench Press and Clean and Jerk, team competition Clay High finished a whisker into third with 28 points; just behind champion Navarre’s 51 and runnerup Sun Lake’s 30 points. Ridgeview and Oakleaf tied at sixth with 14 team points while Middleburg finished 10 with five points. Navarre is the defending Class 3A state champion while Sun Lake was fifth in Class 2A. Clay was eighth in 2A. Oakleaf, with Briley’s title, finished 10th in 3A.

In the Olympic Snatch event, Clay won with 31 team points over Sun Lake’s runnerup 28 and Suwannee’s third place 24 off champion titles to Heck, Stevens and Lafary, all underclassmen. Middleburg’s Griffin won the 199 division with St. Johns’ Addison Frisbee third at 119 in a tie broken by incoming body weight. Haber, a 2A qualifier last year at 169, won the 183 division with Harbison third while Clay’s Gianna Torres took third at 169. Torres was 13th last year in Class 2A at 169.

In the Bench Press/Clean and Jerk competition, Briley, who, at 110 pounds, finished a record setting junior season last year with state records in the bench press, powered to a 40 pound win in the 119 pound division to join with Clay’s three champions; Janiyah Stevens, freshman sensation Emma Heck and veteran Anna Harbison as champions.

Heck has stormed into the Blue Devil’s power regime under coach Rodney Keller with a state title aspiration as a first year lifter, Heck beat out Navarre’s Rivera Mylanda with a 350 total in the 129 pound division.

Stevens, third last year in 2A at 154 pound, has maintained her 154 pound weight division and won by 35 pounds with a 370 total in the Olympic Snatch.

Harbison, a junior for Keller, eeked out a 10-pound win over Sun Lake’s Samantha Tapanes; 355-345.

Districts begin Jan. 18-22 for area lifters with regions Jan. 26-29 and the state championship to be held in Port St. Joe Feb. 10-12.

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