ST AUGUSTINE - Clay High took big step in their ascension into the Class 2A ranks with a first-time district title in the new district 6-2A girls weightlifting championships held Wed, Jan. 20 at St. …
ST AUGUSTINE - Clay High took big step in their ascension into the Class 2A ranks with a first-time district title in the new district 6-2A girls weightlifting championships held Wed, Jan. 20 at St. Augustine High School.
Clay, with six individual titles, out lifted county rival Middleburg High, who finished with two titles and two runner-up finishes.
At Ridgeview High, the Lady Panthers won their second district title, district 5-2A with an 84-39 win over Orange Park. Ridgeview had three individual titles; Orange Park two.
All four teams will be at St. Augustine High on Wed., Jan. 27 for the region 2-2A championship.
For Clay, titles were earned by Samantha Migliore at 110 pounds with a 40 pound best of runner Sabrina Stephens of Gainesville, 280-240 with Clay teammate Gabriella Etheridge third and Middleburg’s Aniston Leach sixth.
At 119, junior Riley Ledford, maybe the most improved lifter of the team, best Andie Tice of Matanzas, 265-250 with Middleburgs Cheyna Kidson third at 210.
At 139, Clay sophomore Bailey Kumm was in the tightest battle of the day with Middleburg’s duo of Alyssa Cone and Kendall Bryan with Kumm and Cone tying at 265 total, but Kumm winning by weigh-in weight 133.8-134.1. Bryan was in at 255 for third.
Clay High powerhouse Jeniyah Stevens at 154, just a sophomore, had the battle of her season with her and Gainesville senior Deborah Lee tying at the weight at 345 total with Stevens getting the win via weigh-in weight 146.5-150.9. In the duel, Lee dominated then bench press, 190-155, while Steven controlled the clean and jerk, by the same numbers, 190-155.
At 169, Clay junior Gianna Torres won by 15 pounds over Matanzas Lucie Dudley, 300-285, with a decisive 150-135 bench press win.
In the Unlimited class, Clay sophomore Kyleigh LeFary won by 45 pounds, 390-345 over Middleburg’s Emily Georgiades with Blue Devil teammate Kenya Tinajero third at 335.
Middleburg got titles from Leslie Catlett at 129 with a 270-255 win over Marina McKean of Clay and Jewel Taylor at 183 who bested Clay’s Annalee Harbison by just 10 pounds 300-290. Taylor took control in the clean and jerk with a 150-135 margin over Harbison.
Back in their home gym, the Lady Panthers, who graduate a handful of seniors state meet qualifiers and lost Kylie Zitkus near the season’s end, the lone returning state qualifier, coach Trentin Davis got titles from Brianna Adams, a freshman, at 101; Jolie Dresner, a junior, at 110; Leela Puliafico, a junior, at 119; Tyra Sulph, a junior, at 129; Abigail Tennant, a senior, at 154, and Haley Beardin, a senior transfer from Orange Park, at 169.
“Our regional we hope to get six to eight girls to state with 10-12 region winners,” said Davis. “This group has come on strong at the end with our technique improving each week of the season. They knew we were the defending champions and that motivated them through the season to peak at the right time.”
Orange Park got titles from seniors Demia Harris at 139 and Shelby Leese at 183.
In Class 3A, Oakleaf finished as runner-up to Bartram Trail in district 2-3A led by Tamira Briley, a top state contender.
“We had 14 of our 19 lifters qualify for regionals; a record at Oakleaf,” said Oakleaf coach Ben White. “I think we have a few girls who can make a push to make state. Jada Perry (UNL), Lilly Jones (119), Ellie Bronson (129) & Taylor Lawrence (110) all placed in the top three in their class which leads me to believe they have a shot to qualify for state. We are lead by Tamira Briley who again won the district in 110 class and is a favorite to win state.”
Keystone Heights, in district 5-1A, got individual titles from Kenslee Phillips, a seventh-grader, at 101; Rozlynn Sames, a senior, at 139; with 12 lifters advancing to region with top six finishes.