Wewahitchka girls weightlifters pose at the regional competition. [ David Peavy ]
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13 Wewahitchka girls weightlifters advance to state meet

Hosting the FHSAA 1A Region 1 girls weightlifting contests on Saturday, February 4, Suwannee High School in Live Oak dominated the competition with 54 points in Olympic lifting and 56 points in Traditional. 

David Peavy’s Wewahitchka girls lifted their way to a second place finish in the Olympic championship with 28 points. 

Blountstown won silver in the Traditional event with 21 points, while the Lady Gators earned fifth place with 17, only four points away from the runner-up spot. 

“If we would have hit our lifts in a few key situations, we would have easily been runner-up in Traditional to go along with being runner-up in Olympic,” said Peavy. 

“It was still a historical day for Wewahitchka girls weightlifting,” he added. “We have never brought a trophy home from regionals, and we qualified more than twice as many girls for State as we ever had, with 13.” 

Port St. Joe failed to place in either part of the day’s competition. 

By weight class, here is a list of how the Gulf County girls finished: 


  • 101: Abigail Levins, PSJ, 7th place with 130 lb 
  • 119: Ashley Thompson, Wewa, 9th place with 200 lb 
  • 129: Riley Book, Wewa, 3rd place with 265 lb; Anniston Gainer, PSJ, 9th place with 225 lb
  • 139: McKenzie Hatcher, Wewa, 4th place with 285 lb; Hailey McDaniel, Wewa, 6th place with 275 lb
  • 154: Ashlyn Ake, Wewa, 2nd place with 295 lb; Kaitlyn Kemp, Wewa, 6th place with 265 lb
  • 169: Jalyan Badillo, Wewa, 2nd place with 265 lb; Zoey Ake, Wewa, 3rd place with 260 lb
  • 183: Bryanna Robison, Wewa, 8th place with 220 lb; Harley Boyatt, Wewa, 10th place with 215 lb
  • 199: Sarah Bailey, Wewa, 2nd place with 300 lb 


  • 101: Abigail Levins, PSJ, 10th place with 140 lb 
  • 119: Ashley Thompson, Wewa, 6th place with 255 lb; Hope Thompson, Wewa, 10th place with 240 lb
  • 129: Riley Book, Wewa, 5th place with 265 lb 
  • 139: McKenzie Hatcher, Wewa, 6th place with 295 lb; Hailey McDaniel, Wewa, 9th place with 270 lb
  • 154: Kaitlyn Kemp, Wewa, 2nd place with 335 lb 
  • 169: Emma Rustin, Wewa, 3rd place with 290 lb; Zoey Ake, Wewa, 7th place with 275 lb
  • 183: Harley Boyatt, Wewa, 8th place with 255 lb 
  • 199: Sarah Bailey, Wewa, 3rd place with 310 lb 

“As a team, we did not have our best day, and have not had our best day yet,” said Peavy. But, “with 13 of our 15 girls (advancing) to the State meet is absolutely incredible!” 

“I am super proud of how far this program has come, and I’m also proud of the fact that we know we can be even better,” he said. 

The FHSAA girls weightlifting finals will be held at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, with weigh-ins on Friday, February 17, and the heavy lifting on Saturday, February 18.