Sports Editor

OHS GWL Isabella Pancake

Osceola's Isabella Pancake won the 154-pound weight class at the Region 2A-6 meet Saturday in Vero Beach. The win punched her ticket to the Class 2A state meet Feb. 9 in Panama City Beach.

Osceola County lifters won five of the 10 weight classes at Saturday’s Class 2A Region 6 girls weightlifting meeting at Vero Beach High School, and a handful of others will join them at the state weightlifting meet on Feb. 8 at Arnold High School.

The weight class champ from each of the state’s eight regions earn state meet berths, and the 12 lifters with the next heaviest lifts from around the state will fill the rest of the 20-lifter field at each weight next weekend in Panama City Beach.

St. Cloud claimed three of the regional championships. Kaylin White, who was the 2A state runner-up at 101 pounds last year staked a claim for the 110-pound title this year with a 290-pound total (135 bench, 155 clean and jerk). Liana Torres-Rosario hit all six of her lifts to win at 169 (155-165—320), as did both Zyanna Henry (170-165—335) and Meleana McEwan (180-150—330) in finishing 1-2 in the unlimited division.

Osecola’s Isabella Pancake hit her final clean attempt of 175 pounds to win at 154 (150-175—325).

Harmony’s Madison Ewen (185-150—335) was the winner at 199.

Another five earned at-large berths and punched a ticket to the Panhandle next Friday:

St. Cloud’s Maria Sandoval (120-120—240) and Celebration’s Maya Cusumano (110-115—215) at 101 pounds; Osceola’s Jaylah Harris (165-165—330, hit all six lifts) and St. Cloud’s Kiana McCalmon (150-170—320) at 183 and Liberty’s Emmalee Stephens (135-160—295) at 199.

Already strategizing the next lift meet, St. Cloud Coach Cory Aun said there’s success to be had in the Panhandle next week.

“I think Maria can get fifth or sixth if she has the day she's capable of. Kaylin has a very tough competitor from Hagerty,” he said. “This will be a great experience for Zyanna. It's only her first year lifting and she already qualified for the state finals.  She's looking over my shoulder now and telling me she wants a 450 total for next year.  I think she is very capable of doing just that.  She has made a 100 pound improvement since October on her total.”

Osceola Coach Eric Pinellas said Harris and Pancake can end up on the medal stand if they truly “lift like there’s no tomorrow” at state.

“Harris is five pounds away from a medal,” he said “Pancake has a more difficult task, 15 pounds to make up. If we can get five more pounds on the bench, we can let it all hang out on the clean and jerk.”

Vero Beach (75 points), thanks to taking the top two spots in three classes, won the regional team title, followed by St. Cloud (47), Osceola (22), Celebration (15), Liberty (13) and Harmony (13).