Raiders take third at own invitational

Navarre weightlifting coach Jay Walls wants his team to compete against the best and his Raiders had an opportunity to do just that March 2 at the Navarre Invitational.

The Raiders finished third in the five-team invite, scoring  52 points. Choctaw won with 69 points and Fort Walton Beach was second with 56 points.

“This area is really competitive and Choctaw and Fort Walton are two outstanding programs,” Walls said. “As far as we are concerned, we are getting better. We are very competitive and getting better every week. That is what it’s all about.”

Navarre had one weight division champion as Xavier Fernandez took first in the 183-pound division with a total lift of 595 pounds.  Michael Sandle was second, recording a total lift of 560 pounds.

Chandler Mapoles and Derrick Smith had strong performances in the 199-pound division. Mapoles was second with a total lift of 600 pounds and Smith placed third with a lift of 595 pounds.

Tyler Morton took third in the 219-pound weight class, coming through with a total lift of 540 pounds, and Hasaan Williams finished third at 169 pounds with a total lift of 525 pounds.

Several other lifters finished in the top five, including Nathan Crews, who was fourth at 119 (265).

Noah Melendez took fourth at 139 with a total lift of 305 pounds and Isaac Vega placed fifth (280) in the same division.

Lee Jones was fifth at 169, coming up with a lift of 485 pounds and Bo Hering finished fourth in the 219-pound division (540). Nick Brahms earned a fourth-place finish in the heavyweight division (630).

Walls noted his lifters continue to make improvements.

“We’re seeing increases still,” Walls said. “You see a lot of increases in the clean-and-jerk because it’s about technique and the more we practice, the more that goes up. We see gains in the bench, too, but not like in the clean-and-jerk.”

Read more in the March 10 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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