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Gulf County girls weightlifters compete at state tournament

Having 13 of his weightlifters advance to the FHSAA girls State Finals on Saturday, February 18, gave coach David Peavy confidence that Wewahitchka would have a good day. 

Although the team did not capture first place in either Traditional or Olympic lifting – Suwannee High School took the top spot in both – Peavy was quite pleased with the finish, as the Gators ended up fifth in Traditional and seventh in Olympic. 

“To finish in the top 10 as a team in both disciplines is an outstanding accomplishment,” said Peavy. 

Leading the charge for Wewa was Katlyn Kemp, who won the gold medal in her 154 lb division with a total lift of 370 lb in Traditional competition. 

Other Gators who finished in the top 10 in Traditional are: 

  • 129 lb: Riley Book, 3rd place with 280 lb 
  • 139 lb: McKenzie Hatcher, 8th place with 305 lb 
  • 169 lb: Emma Rustin, 9th place with 295 lb 
  • 199 lb: Sarah Bailey, 8th place with 315 lb 

Gator lifters who finished in the top 10 in Olympic competition were 

  • 129 lb: Book, 4th place with 275 lb 
  • 139 lb: Hatcher, 6th place with 295 lb 

Hailey McDaniel, 7th place with 280 lb 

  • 154 lb: Ashlyn Ake, 5th place with 295 lb 

Kemp, 8th place with 285 lb 

169 lb: Zoey Ake, 7th place with 275 lb 

Jalyan Badillo, 8th place with 270 lb 

  • 199 lb: Bailey, 4th place with 300 lb 

These Gators also competed at the State Finals: 

  • 119 lb: Ashley Thompson, Traditional 

Hope Thompson, Traditional 

  • 183 lb: Harley Boyatt, Traditional 

Bryanna Foster, Olympic 

Port St. Joe eighth grader Anniston Gainer is another Gulf County athlete who lifted at the State Finals in her 129 weight class in the Olympic competition. 

“I couldn’t be prouder of our team and the direction in which we are heading,” said Peavy, who will have 11 of the 13 state finalists returning, losing only Sarah Bailey and Hailey McDaniel to graduation.

The top 10 finishes are “a testament to the hard work and dedication of these student athletes,” he added.