With 14 teams competing on Dec. 4, the Choctaw Invitational is the area’s first big meet of the year. The Raiders won the first-place team trophy with a 91- point total. The second-place team, Pine Forest, had 31 points and Niceville placed third with 26 points.
The Raiders captured first place in seven of the 10 weight divisions. They also had two second places, five third places, three fourth places and one sixth place.
“It was a good meet for us,” Coach Garrett Bagley said. “However we have a lot of areas in which to improve.”
Nerves affected most of the competitors and very few lifted weights equal to their personal bests. With only two more meets before the district championships, this meet provided a benchmark in each weight division. In each of their remaining meets, the competition will improve, the judging will be stricter and there will be more pressure.
In the district championship meet, only the top-three finishers in each weight division move on to the state qualifying meet. In the few weeks remaining before the district meet, the girls will have to increase their focus. They will be increasing their personal-best lifts while adjusting their body weight in order to lift in other weight divisions to assure a finish in those top-three places in the district meet. Once they get through the districts, they will be in a constant battle with the scales.
Payton Watson was the first winner of the day for the Raiders. Her 135-pound bench press was the best in the 101-pound weight division. Combined with a 110-pound clean-and-jerk, it gave her a 245-pound combined lift and first place. Teammate Savannah Bitler placed third with a 215-pound combined lift.
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