Windermere Prep’s girls weightlifting team came into Trinity Prep with a mission, and just like the previous five times the team competed so far this season, it came away with a dominant victory in the Class 1A, District 10 championships.
Windermere Prep scored 89 points in the bench press/clean-and-jerk competition to edge out second-place Trinity Prep, which had 62 to win the team title. The Lakers also scored 52 points in the snatch competition.
“We have an unbelievable group of girls,” head coach Micah Kurtz said. “One of my main goals as a coach is to give my athletes the tools to succeed. When they put in the work, and they shine, it’s one of the best feelings as a coach. They put in the work. It’s awesome to see their recognition.”
The Lakers won 12 individual titles in the bench press/clean-and-jerk and snatch competitions. Four girls won both in their respective weight classes: Alexis Beaulieu for 129 pounds; Danielle Work, 154 pounds; Cati Camilli, 169 pounds; and Carissa Ruiz, 199 pounds.
Other winners for the Lakers included Liza Thompson at 119 pounds; Ashlyn Loper, 183 pounds; and Haner Evy in the unlimited weight class. Sidney Provencher won the snatch at 101 pounds.
For Kurtz, the victories were the culmination of three years of hard work when the team first started.
“When we started the team three years ago, my goal was to get girls to buy into the benefits of the weight room,” Kurtz said. “They’ve taken and ran with it. Now, we’ve got over 40 girls on the team, and it’s awesome to see their success.”
The district championship gave the Lakers their sixth win in six competitions this season. Kurtz added that with states coming up Feb. 10, some of his athletes are in prime position to return to the competition. Last season, Beaulieu, Work and her sister, Natalie Work, competed at the state finals.
While the latter has graduated, Kurtz is confident that the two formers would qualify once again.
“Their numbers have gone up since last year, so they have a good chance to qualify,” Kurtz said. “We’ve also got three or four other girls that also have a good shot to qualify. You never know what will happen, but it’s exciting.”
With the district championship now in the bag, the Lakers set their sights on the regional championship Jan. 28 at The Village Charter School. Along with that comes the chance to compete against schools they otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to face during the season.
“It’ll be great competition,” Kurtz said. “I’m excited for the girls. They’ve done an unbelievable job this season.”
Foundation Academy finished third in the competition and had a district champion in Elena Friedman in the 139-pound division. Anna Sircy and Anna Rampage took second and third in the 183-pound division. Last year’s district champion Riley Winters took fourth in the 154-pound class.
The state competition for girls weightlifting will be held Feb. 10 to 12 at Port St. Joe High School.