Wewa girls weightlifting has strong showing at holiday invitational

On Friday, December 16, Wewahitchka’s Lady Gator weightlifters competed at the Power of Christmas Invitational in Live Oak, and “had an incredible day,” said Coach David Peavy, with several placing in the top ten in their weight classes. 

Co-Captain Sarah Bailey finished third in Olympic and fourth in Traditional, while co-captain Hailey McDaniel placed sixth in Olympic. 

Here is the complete list of top ten Gator finishers: 

  • Ashlyn Ake: sixth in Olympic, 10th in Traditional 
  • Jalyan Badillo: seventh in Olympic 
  • Riley Book: seventh in Olympic 
  • McKenzie Hatcher: ninth in Olympic, sixth in Traditional 
  • Katelyn Kemp: eighth in both Olympic and Traditional 
  • Emma Rustin: ninth in Traditional 
  • Ashley Thompson: ninth in Traditional 

Peavy also noted that Harley Boyatt had increased her Olympic total by 15 lbs and Traditional total by 10 lbs in the last two weeks. 

The next competition for the Lady Gators will be at Marianna High School on Thursday, January 5. Wewa Boys Wrestling 

Meanwhile, Coach Tracy Malcolm and the Gator grapplers have had a flurry of activity since the end of November, most recently at an 18-team tournament hosted by Yulee High School in Jacksonville the weekend of December 16-17. 

Wrestling 10 duals, the team finished 4-6, but each wrestler won at least one match during the weekend. 

Zeke Cooper (106/113 lb), Wesley Spencer (120 lb), and Luke Bryan (132 lb) each went 4-6, while Calvin Carpenter (170/182 lb) and James Hardy (220 lb) were 5-5. 

Jarrett Spencer (145 lb) had a 7-3 record, with Jake Parker (126 lb) and Conner Roberts (160/170 lb) each compiling 9-1 marks. 

The highlight of the weekend came when Roberts, ranked 15th in the state, defeated Florida High’s Dean Wright Friday night by a score of 4-3. Wright was ranked number eight in 1A at 160 lb..

On Thursday and Friday, December 22-23, the Gators competed at the Beast of the Beach tournament, hosted by Ft. Walton Beach High School. 

“We didn’t do too bad, (but) definitely not as good as I expected,” said Malcolm, as the team finished with a 2-6 record. 

“Conner (Roberts) went 5-1, losing only to the 3rd ranked kid in the state at 160 by a score of 4-0. Jake (Parker) wrestled tough and went 4-2,” he added. 

In addition, Cooper and Hardy both had winning records, going 5-3 during the tournament. 

In the two team wins, the Gators defeated Choctawhatchee 36-15, and then clinched 5th place with a 36-30 win over Ft. Walton Beach.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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