Raider weightlifters capture regional title in convincing fashion

Navarre’s girls weightlifting team keeps raising the bar.

Just when it seems like the Raiders can do no more than they already have, the two-time reigning state champions dominated the 2A regional Tuesday afternoon at Fort Walton Beach, scoring 98 points to win the crown.

2016 state champions Payton Watson and Savannah Diel led the way. Watson broke the regional bench record with a 155-pound bench press and set the school record with a 285-pound total in the 101-pound weight division.

Diel crushed the state record at the regional with a 355-pound total, a record previously held by former teammate and two-time state champion Kylie Shelley. In the 119-pound division for the second consecutive year, Diel is one of six lifters to qualify for the state meet.

In addition to Watson and Diel, Rabiya Emruli won the regional crown in the 110-pound division. Melanie Johnson took home the crown in the 139-pound division and Julie McMasters won the title at 169 pounds. Hanna Stapleton is the regional champion at 183 pounds and Kristen Dyer won the unlimited weight division.

The Raiders, who have won three state titles in the past four years under the direction of head coach Garrett Bagley, will compete at state Feb. 2 at Belleview High School and it’s likely more lifters will qualify. Navarre will know how many state qualifiers it has by the end of the week.

Read more in the Feb. 2 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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