GREEN COVE SPRINGS – In a battle of weightlifting titans, Clay High School’s girls weightlift team narrowly whisked the Clay County championship crown from Oakleaf High School in the Clay County Championship meet held Saturday at Clay High School.
Both teams traded off top finishes in all but one weight division; Fleming Island taking the 106 pound slot, as the two teams traded barbs leading up to a dramatic finish for the final two weight classes; 199 and heavyweight, where Oakleaf, 11th in Class 2A, featured Gabby Willits, a recent Strongman competitor and 11th at 183 last year (320 total), and Clay, third in Class 1A last year, featured Kaila McKean, a 13th place finisher in Class 1A (355 total).
“Runnerup at the county meet to Clay was a good performance for us,” said Oakleaf coach Benjamin White. “Clay is solid as always. I see Tamira Briley, Gabby Willits and Nicole Masters making to stat with Macy Wyman, Shana Walker and Markayla Green outside shots.”
McKean finished with an impressive 425 total on Saturday to win the unlimited weight class by more than 100 pounds over Oakleaf’s Markayla Green at 315 while Willits placed second by 30 pounds (370-340) to Clay’s Lindsey Brooks, third at 199 last year (350 total) at 199 for the decider for team points with Clay taking the team title at 90 points and Oakleaf second at 70. Fleming Island and Keystone Heights tied for third with 18 points. Orange Park was fourth. Ridgeview and Middleburg did not compete.
Fleming Island got a win at 106 with Teresa Le edging Clay’s Gabby Ethridge (175-160 totals).
At 110, Clay’s Sam Migliore, a state meet qualifier last year, won convincingly with a 255 total to runner Taylor Lawrence at 175.
At 119, Oakleaf’s Tamira Briley, 10th in Class 2A at 110 last year, won over Clay’s Riley Wedford.
At 129, Clay’s Nadyia Jones won a five pound battle with Oakleaf’s Nicole Masters, 275-270, with a five pound better on the bench press, 135-130.
At 139, Clay’s Jamiyah Stevens won with a 255 total with Fleming Island’s Caleigh Perkins at 245.
At 154, Clay went 1-2 with Nayeli Trejo beat teammate Ali Sarman, 290-230 for 12 team points.
At 160, Oakleaf got their own 1-2 finish with Macy Wyman setting a personal best record en route to a 245 total with teammate Shanna Walker second at 230.
At 183, Clay’s Gianna Torres totaled 245 to beat Orange Park’s Shelby Leese’s 230.
For Keystone Heights best finish was a third and fourth, respectively, at 183, from Emily McFarland and Dakota Herring. Katie Gruel finished fourth at 199.
District meets are forthcoming on Jan. 24-25 with Oakleaf hosting district 3-2A on January 24 (11am lift starts0 and Baker County hosting district 5-1A on January 24 (330pm lift starts). Keystone Heights travels to Pedro Menendez for the district 7-1A tournament on January 22 (330pm lift starts).