Girls weightlifting powers through season

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photo by Jessie Burton

Sophomore katelyn Jobs cleans during a meet. The team finished 5-1.

Michael Gibson, Staff Reporter

With a third consecutive district title and a fifth place overall finish at the state championships, girls weightlifting enjoyed its most successful season to date. The team, which finished 5-1, was led all season by sophomore Cheyenne Ducharme, who placed second at states, and senior Kellen Marini, who came in first place in the state finals. However, Ducharme and Marini, who are captains, are just the beginning of this team’s ongoing success.

Winning districts and regionals at the end of the season was a needed confidence boost for Marini and Ducharme, but the nerves and stress of going to the state finals was high. They concentrated on heavy lifting and technique right before to make sure they can hit their marks. Because of that, both were able to beat their personal records at states.

At the state finals on Friday, Feb. 3. Marini won in the 154-pound weight-class with a 380-pound total in bench and clean and jerk. Last year, Marini finished fourth in the state finals with a 345-pound total, but she was able to increase by 35 pounds and win. She is the first girl in school history to win states in weightlifting.

“It’s such an amazing and indescribable feeling to be a state champion and to make school history,” Marini said.

Marini however, was not the only girl who placed in states. Ducharme came in second place in the 101-pound weight-class with a 270 pound total. Senior Francesca Spadaro placed sixteenth along with senior Ciana Revak, who also placed sixteenth. The team as a whole placed fifth.

“It’s exciting to see all the hard work pay off, because I got what I had [deserved],” Marini said. “It makes me optimistic for my future in weightlifting.”

This year the team went through a coaching staff transition, when former head coach Matt Malkovich left, and head coach David Attaway and assistant coach Rob Sauvao stepped up to coach the team. Attaway and Sauvao, both first-year coaches, were able to bring a new life to an already successful program.

“[They are] so amazing. It’s unbelievable what [they] have done for this team,” sophomore Katelyn Jobs said. “We’ve all gotten so close as a family, from working out at [their] gym to coming here. They are always there for us if we need anything.”

The regular season was just what the team expected, as they finished with a 5-1 record and every girl improved. Jobs was able to increase her personal record in both clean and jerk and bench press by over 100 pounds. Like Jobs, the team was able to improve as a whole, as they claimed the top spot in the district for the third straight year.

Although the team has successful young talent with Jobs and Ducharme; seniors make up the team’s backbone. They are an example to the younger girls due to their experience in the four years they have been lifting. They know what it is like to win districts and go to states and they pass that knowledge on to the rest of the team.

“The seniors are the ones who cheer [for us], and for the most part, they are very motivating and they make practice fun,” Sauvao said. “They never bring anybody down and they are really good leaders.”

Marini will continue her weightlifting career at Crossfit Oviedo and train with Attaway. The team finished with the best record in school history and the girls look to continue that pace next season. For Attaway and Sauvao, having a state champion and three other girls in the top 20 in the state is the means to an end of a successful season.

“They all worked really hard every day and they bought into the new system,” Attaway said. “They go to all the practices and they practiced all through their breaks, and that’s why they are successful.”

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