Led by Region 6 champion Kailen White, who won the 110-pound division by 30 pounds, the St. Cloud girls weightlifting team earned a second place finish at the Class 2A, Region 6 Championships. The Lady Bulldogs won a total of four weight classes in the meet to tally 49 points, second only to Vero Beach – which won the Regional Championship with 69.
In all, Osceola County lifters accounted for five individual regional champions, and will send a total of 14 lifters to the FHSAA State Championship that will be held in Panama City Beach on Feb. 14-15.
“We had an amazing meet,” St. Cloud Head Coach Cory Aun said. “Kailen posted the top total in her weight class. We had some other impressive performances and qualified six for the state meet. While we probably don’t have the depth needed to compete for a state team championship, we have some individuals that can compete in their weight class.”
White’s 145-180-325 total easily outdistanced Vero Beach’s Sarah Eiswerth’s second place total of 135-160-295. It was also 20 pounds heavier than the second best lift total in all regionals this year, topping Region 8 champion Madison Shephard’s total of 175-130-305. The 180-pound clean and jerk total also tied a state record for that weight class. After she placed second in the state last year with a 145-165-310 total at the same weight class, White certainly has to be considered one of the favorites to capture a state championship this year.
As expected, St. Cloud’s Zyanna Henry won the unlimited weight class with a 210-190-400 total, and Hannah Wagner won the 183-pound weight class with a 190-175-365 total. The Lady Bulldogs had a surprise winner at 190, where Mylie MacDonald’s 135-170-305 two-discipline total edged Liberty’s Emma Stephens (135-165-300) and Vero Beach’s Aleeka Anderson (160-140-300).
Both Wagner and Henry will contend for all-state honors, as Wagner’s total was tied for the third highest total among all state qualifiers and Henry’s total tied for fourth best among all state qualifiers.
In addition to the four regional champions from St. Cloud, the county had a fifth regional champion as Osceola High School’s Isabella Pancake won the 154-pound division with a 170-180-350 total. Pancake will also be among the favorites to place in her weight class as her total was the third best among all state qualifiers.
All eight regional champions earned automatic berths to the state championships; while the next 12 best totals across all regions in each class earned at-large bids.
Other qualifiers from Osceola County included Osceola’s Kealone Vega and Harmony’s Hannah Debrecht at 105 and Alliann Johnson (Osceola) and Jasmine Elliotte (Liberty) at 129. Aimee Saotta from St. Cloud qualified at 154; while St. Cloud’s Savannah O’Neill and Celebration’s Maria Hincappie earned atlarge spots in the 169-pound weight class. Stephen’s tie for second earned her an at-large bid at 199; while the Storm’s Victoria Kyles also picked up at at-large spot for her second place regional finish behind Henry in the unlimited class.
“We were hoping to get a few more of our girls qualified for the state meet,” Aun added. “But we had one girl not make weight and another who was unable to post a total. Still to have four regional champions and six girls total advance to the state meet is truly a testament to the hard word and dedication our team put in this year.”