Brisilda Bejte

Charlotte, senior, 101-pound weight class

After a second place finish to teammate Madison Shepard at Districts, where she bench pressed 135 pounds and clean and jerked 115 pounds; Bejte placed first at the Regionals with a bench press of 125 pounds and a clean and jerk of 130 pounds, totaling 255 pounds.

She would tie for second at States, losing a tie-breaker at the weigh-in following the competition, eventually placing third. Bejte bench pressed 105 pounds, with her clean and jerk lift of 150 pounds to total at 255 pounds for the competition.

“Brisilda was extremely impressive and went from being toward the bottom of State competitors last year to being five pounds away from being State champ this year,” said Matt Galley, Charlotte High School girls weightlifting coach.

Ameijha Jones

Port Charlotte, junior, 183-pound weight class

Jones took first place at the Class 1A District 14 meet in January at Port Charlotte High School, bench pressing 145 pounds, with her best lift in the clean and jerk at 150 pounds.

Jones placed second at Regionals, bench pressing 150 pounds, matching her bench press total in the clean and jerk, totaling at 300 pounds.

The Lady Pirate would bench press 155 pounds and clean and jerk the same total at States at Arnold High School in Panama City Beach.

“Ameijha developed quickly as she comes from a very strong and athletic family,” said Dave Hoffer, Port Charlotte girls weightlifting coach.”She’s extremely coachable and has an exceptional work ethic. She was limited with practice time because she also competed in basketball at the same time. Taking that into consideration, we were quite pleased with how much she improved her technique and strength.”

Ariana Kerr

Venice, junior, 183-pound weight class

Kerr was a dynamo, capturing Districts by bench pressing 200 pounds, followed by a 165-pound best in the the clean and jerk. She followed that performance by winning Regionals by matching her district bench press total and by lifting 160-pounds in the clean and jerk.

Kerr’s consistency was evident at States where she finished second, once again bench pressing 200 pounds and recording a 165-pound total in the clean and jerk.

“She only lost to one person this year, and that was at the State meet to the eventual State champion,” said Sascha Hyer, Venice girls weightlifting coach. “All the girls fought hard this year. It’s getting kids to buy-in that it’s not only an individual sport but a team sport.”

Sara Reid

Lemon Bay, senior, 101-pound weight class

Reid placed first at the 1A District 14 meet, bench pressing 100 pounds and lifting 100 pounds in the clean and jerk.

She would follow that performance eight days later at Regionals in the 1A meet at River Ridge High School, placing second matching her totals at Districts, earning a trip to states.

“I coached Sara the past two years and she has really grown both mentally and physically,” said Dawn Hall, Lemon Bay girls weightlifting coach. “She didn’t have much confidence her junior year, and I think that’s where she really developed as an athlete. She also became a strong team leader, trying to put the team first and take care of her teammates. She’s a tough competitor and because of her being so tiny, probably came as close to her potential as anyone. She continued to perfect her technique over the last two years, and it was a pleasure being able to coach her.”

Bri Sepulveda

North Port, senior 110-pound weight class

Sepulveda won her division at both Districts and Regionals, bench pressing 135 and lifting 145 in the clean and jerk at the 2A District 16 meet; she would improve her collective total by 25 pounds at Regionals, bench pressing 155 pounds and lifting 150 in the clean and jerk phase.

The North Port senior will be lifting collegiately and placed third at states, bench pressing 140 pounds and lifting 165 pounds in the clean and jerk.

“Bri is a driven workout warrior, who uses every training session as an opportunity to improve,” said Wayne Skelton, North Port girls weightlifting coach. “Coach Luis Morales deserves the credit for making her the mechanical technician she is today. He impressed upon her training that technique is everything, weight will follow. Sound advice considering all she has accomplished. She also accepted a scholarship to Lindenwood University, where she will continue her education in the classroom and on the platform as a collegiate weightlifter.”

Britney Williams

Charlotte, senior, unlimited

Williams put up incredible numbers. At the District meet, she bench pressed 260 pounds and followed that total with a a 185-pound lift for the clean and jerk, cruising to the District title.

At Regionals, Williams would earn another title by matching her total in the bench press and lifting five pounds more in the clean and jerk, to total at 450 pounds.

At States, Williams would bench press 255 pounds, but her clean and jerk lift of 200 pounds, found her totaling at 455 pounds, good enough for fourth place at States.

“Britney became significantly stronger this year,” said Galley. “Both she and Brisilda’s benches jumped drastically. Britney broke her own school records several times.”

Honorable Mention

Anabelle Anderson, Charlotte; Kareine Dejean, Charlotte; Tatiana Wilburn, North Port; Tiffany Crady, Lemon Bay; Nicholette Moss, Port Charlotte; Javi Quiles, North Port; Kylie Flahrety-Cohn, Venice; Jayce Tippman, Venice; Alicia Kowalski, Port Charlotte; Sarah Hamsher, Lemon Bay; Erika Lane, Charlotte; Kylie Kaufman, Port Charlotte; Lauren Meddaugh, Charlotte; Kayla Jarrett, Port Charlotte; Leanna Thompson, Port Charlotte; Aryana Haynes, Charlotte; Zoeie Kaufman, Port Charlotte; Kayla Vaughan, Lemon Bay; Zoey Daniels, North Port and Cheyenne Warren, Charlotte.

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