Kaylin White, who successfully fulfilled a fouryear mission of being a state champion, is the Osceola News Gazette’s Athlete of the Year in girls’ weightlifting.
White, who competed in the 110-pound weight class, won the Class 2A FHSAA State Championship last month, where she benched 150-pounds and recorded a 160-pound clean and jerk for a 310-pound total, edging New Smyrna Beach’s Kacie Stouffer’s 155-150-305 total. Whites 150-pound bench press was a personal best
“Winning state has been the goal for the last three years:’ White said. “To come so close in both my sophomore and junior seasons was just really frustrating. Fortunately we went in with a good game plan and were able to execute it.”
After posting her career best on the bench, White hit the 160-pound lift on her first attempt at the clean and jerk. Her goal was hit 185, but she missed on those attempts and was forced to wait out the other competitors to see if her 305-pound total held up.
“We had a lot of momentum after the bench press:’ White said. “It would have been nice to hit a heavier lift in the dean and jerk, but it didn’t work out.”
White became interested in the sport as a freshman, when her teacher Cory Aun-who serves as the sport’s head coach at St. Cloud - kept encouraging her to give the sport a try.
“A lot of kids never knew it was a sport:’ White said. “I decided to give it a try and just fell in love with it:’
She credits Aun for her development as a lifter.
“Coach Aun is so supportive and encouraging to all of us:’ White said. “It doesn’t matter whether you are all-state performer or someone just trying to learn the sport. He pays so much attention to each individual and just wants to make everyone better. There’s no way I could have reached this point without him:’
She added that during her career, her classmates -especially the guys-were both surprised and shocked at how much the diminutive White could lift.
“It’s always been kind of fun to mess with the guys in school who don’t really know anything about the sport. When they find out I can bench press more than I weigh, they are usually shocked at first, then they think it’s pretty cool:’
White, who also dives for the St. Cloud swimming team, says she is not sure what her future holds in the
“I would love to continue lifting at the college level, but few schools currently offer the sport. What I do know is that I will continue in the sport one way or another whether it is in college or in the Club USA Weightlifting Program.”
Also in consideration for the Osceola News Gazette’s Athlete of the Year was White’s teammate Hannah Wagner, who won a state championship in dramatic fashion. She passed out on her first clean and jerk attempt and had to be cleared by medical personnel before being allowed to continue in the competition. She posted a 190-180-370 pound total, which tied Haggerty’s Katy Enot’s 175-190-370 for the top total. Under FHSAA rules, ties are broken by body weight of the competitors and Wagner entered the competition at 170.5, 1.6 pounds light than Enot (172.1).