Eight Raiders qualify for state weightlifting meet

The Raiders easily won the Regional (also called the sectionals or state qualifying) meet at Navarre on Jan. 19. The Raiders scored 103 points in the meet. The next closest team was Pine Forest, scoring 26 points.

“The Florida High School Sports Association changed the method girls’ state competitors are chosen,” Coach Garrett Bagley said. “The new methodology is the same used by the boys.”

Under the old method, the top-three lifters within each of the 10 weight divisions from the Regional meet, advanced to the state qualifier.

“Under the new method, there are 20 lifters at the state competition within each of the 10 weight divisions,” Bagley said. “The 10 first-place lifters in each of the eight Regional meets advance to the state finals,” Bagley said. “The other 12 lifters within each weight group are chosen from a lottery of the next-best lifts at all of the Regional meets.”

At the Regional meet held in Navarre, eight Raider lifters won their weight category and automatically qualified for the state meet. There are 12 other Raider lifters that placed between second and fourth that have been added to the lottery. The lottery lifters will be notified this week of their fate.

The first state qualifier was Payton Watson in the 101-pound weight division. Watson broke the meet record with a bench press of 135 pounds. Her 120-pound clean-and-jerk gave her a 255-pound combined lift. Savanna Bitler placed third with a 215-pound combined lift.

Rabiya Emruli qualified for state by winning the 110-pound weight division. She had a 120-pound bench press and a clean-and-jerk of 130 pounds. Emruli’s 250-pound combined lift tied her with another competitor. Because Emruli weighed less than her competitor, she was awarded the win. Katie Wells placed fifth in the division with a combined lift of 215 pounds.

Savannah Diel punched her ticket to the state meet by winning the 119-pound weight division. She had a 165-pound bench press followed by a 160-pound clean-and-jerk, giving her a combined lift of 325 pounds. Cat Henry placed third in the weight division with a combined lift of 245 pounds.

Read more in the Jan. 28 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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