Navarre High School’s girls’ weightlifting team on Saturday will travel to Kissimmee hoping finally to wrestle home the first-place state trophy. The Lady Raidershave finished in second place four times in five years, twice by one point and once by two points.
“I am extremely proud of these girls,” coach Garrett Bagley said. “Their work ethic is amazing. They are in the gym starting at 7 a.m. every day, never complaining. They lift for 45 minutes and then run stadium steps for 15 or 20 minutes on their own. They are focused and push each other. They deserve everything they achieve in the state meet.”
To an outsider, Navarre’s winning a state championship may seem to be a monumental task, especially since the Raiders will not have a lifter in the lightest (101-pound) or heaviest (unlimited) weight divisions.
In the state meet, the top six lifters in a weight division earn points. A lifter receives seven points for first place, five for second, four for third, three for fourth, two for fifth and one for sixth.
Lifters throughout the day will be hearing the phrase “go big or go home.” Bagley will have his work cut out for him to calculate the weights each lifter should attempt. If they are successful with their last lift, but they end up in seventh place, they do not receive any points. In order to place, the girls will have to have confidence in the lift amounts given to them by Bagley. “Weightlifting is an individual sport,” he said. “If they each perform as hard as they can, they will end up where they should be.”
The Raiders are relying on the fact that there is only a two-point difference between first and second places. Bagley’s goal is to place all 11 Raiders’ lifters among the top six places in the eight weight divisions.
On Jan. 23, the Raiders won first place in three weight divisions at the state qualifying meet. The three Navarre winners – Amanda Friar, Skye Barber and Praise Pettus – have to be considered a major threat to win their weight divisions. In 2012, Friar placed second at the state meet in the 110-pound weight division. Barber also placed second at Kissimmee in the 119-pound weight class. Pettus has finished third in the last two state meets and hopes to improve her position this year.
The Raiders placed eight girls in second or third place in the state qualifier meet but Bagley said they all will need to increase their combined lifts to place in Saturday’s competition.
Alyssa Jones placed second in the 110-pound division behind Friar. She pushes Friar in practice and her combined weight is within striking distance of a top-three finish.
Sophomore Kylie Shelly placed second in the 119-pound division. Last year as a freshman she finished fifth in the state. Each week Shelley improves her totals and, with Barber, will be a contender in the division.
Savannah Rowell placed second in the state qualifier meet in the 129-pound division but lifted just 10 pounds less than the winner. She easily completed her last clean-and-jerk attempt. A slight improvement could have her competing for a spot on the victory stand.
Chelsea King placed second in the 154-pound division. She was successful on all six of her lifts, which means she may be able to increase her totals at state. Her combined lift at the state qualifier was only 15 pounds less than the division winner. King has made changes in her clean-and-jerk technique recently that has increased her total numbers, which should help her finish at the state meet.
Corrigan Webb placed second in the 169-pound weight division. She was successful in all of her clean-and-jerk attempts and could increase that amount at state. Bagley has a lot of confidence in her ability and believes she definitely could medal for the Raiders.
Heather Lynch placed second in the 183-pound division but missed first by just 20 pounds. Lynch barely missed her last clean-and-jerk of the day. She could easily bump her total up to make a difference in the point total.
Sara Cox placed second in the 199-pound division. She has lot of potential. In most meets she pushes the weight up easily. She is clearly able to medal and Taelor Smith, who placed third in the 199-pound division, has the ability to sneak into the top six