LECANTO — The Lecanto girls weightlifting team won nine out of 10 weight classes Wednesday at home for a 73-12 victory over county rival Crystal River.
With the host Panthers having more than twice as many lifters competing as the Pirates, the meet result was never in doubt. Because of that, both programs were more concerned with seeing individual progress in the early part of the season.
“We have a good group of girls coming back and we have a good influx of girls who are really doing a nice job and starting to understand the sport,” Lecanto head coach Greg Harper said. “The numbers keep going up every week and that’s what you want to see.”
For Crystal River, it was a first chance for many on the team to experience the pressures of a meet.
“This is our first meet. I’m proud of them. A lot of freshmen and sophomores, first time they’ve ever competed and done anything like this. They were nervous and a little scared,” Pirates head coach Randy Owens said. “This was the first meet, so we’re just getting our feet wet. Some of these other teams have two or three meets in, so I was really proud of them.”
Taking first place for the Panthers were Anjli Deven (75 pounds on bench, 75 pounds on clean and jerk, 150 pounds total) at 101 pounds, Kimberly Flores (95-105—200) at 110, Victoria Lantzy (105-95—200) at 119, Allison Wilson (145-150—295) at 129, Brianne McKinney (95-85—180) at 139, Makenzie Marsh (115-110—225) at 154, Isabella Schieferstein (115-120—235) at 169, Jacquelyn Finch (110-100— 210) at 183 and Essence Cokely (165-135—300) at unlimited.
Crystal River’s champ was Alissa Millen (85-95—190) at 199.
“She’s excitied about that. She can still do better and she will as the year goes on,” Owens said of Millen.
The Pirate head man added that a lot of the lifters are still in the initial stages of learning the techniques in both the bench and clean and jerk.
“A lot of the new girls need to learn the clean and the jerk, so we’re just teaching that to some of them. They’re just learning the techniques now,” he said. “Bench, they need to learn what they can and can’t do and what judges are looking for, that kind of thing. And they will get that as we go on and mature as they go.”
For the more experienced Panthers, it was a good opportunity to get a feel of competing in the gym where the two biggest meets of the season will be held.
“Our girls did a good job competing today,” Harper said. “It was nice to get to lift in our gym like this, because the county meet and district meet are going to be here. So the opportunity to get them a feel in here was good as well.”