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the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Girls weightlifting team is back-to-back district champs

The lady lifters defied expectations and soared to victory for the second year in a row, winning the district title.
Russell Black
Falcons girls weightlifting team after crushing their opponents at districts.

Having a huge collection of hardware is something the Saint Stephen’s girls weightlifting team didn’t expect considering it was a new addition to the athletic program last year. The lady lifters caught everyone by surprise in 2023 by winning districts in both the Olympic and traditional categories as a first-year team. 

This year, the girls lost a few of their best lifters due to members graduating, but although the team is smaller this year, the girls worked extremely hard over the summer and off-season, and they’ve come back stronger than ever. 

On December 16th the girls had almost everyone medal in at least one category during the County Championships held in the Hoagland Arena.  Weightlifting Head Coach Erik Shultz was pleased with the girls’ performances.

“This was a really big accomplishment for us considering this was some of the hardest competition we will see until states.” 

On January 27th, the girls moved on to districts and took home two district trophies, one in each category. Compared to the stats last year, the girls won districts with a major lead, having almost double the points of their opponents. The majority of the team medaled in at least one category, and 20 girls moved on to compete at the regional championship hosted at Lemon Bay. 

Out of the 20 girls who went to regionals, Ashley Black, Priscella Webley, Alaina Christian, Makayla Miles, and Annesley Flint all have the opportunity to go to states and represent their team in both the traditional and Olympic categories.

When comparing the two seasons, Coach Shultz states, “We sent three girls to states last year, and my goal for this year was to send four, and we sent 5.” 

The lady lifters faced some challenges and changes to the roster since their victories last year, but that hasn’t stopped them from excelling this season.

The girls focused this season on working together to teach the new girls the techniques and rules of lifting, and that teamwork aspect has really helped lead the team to victory again this year. 

According to junior Ella Ziegler, during the season, the girls’ muscles weren’t the only thing that got stronger; their relationships with one another did, too. 

“One of my favorite things about being on the weightlifting team is the bonds I’ve made with all of my teammates.” 

Unlike many other sports, there is endless support from all the teams in the area, no matter the school. 

“I always enjoy seeing the friends I’ve made from different schools through weightlifting at the meets; they are always so supportive and fun to see,” junior lifter Ashley Black said. 

According to Shultz, his goals are to keep improving as a team and eventually get everyone to the state level.

“I have hopes that we will have a positive outcome at states this year, even if we don’t win it is all about the experience and getting better for next year so we can send more girls.”

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  • Falcons girls weightlifting team after crushing their opponents at districts.

  • Team members Reese Williams, Savannah Hrubar, and Ashley Black posing together before the county meet starts.

  • Junior Ashley Black hitting her first snatch of districts.

  • Senior Makayla Miles clean and jerking at counties.

  • Senior Savannah Hrubar clean and jerking at districts.

  • Junior Annesley Flint hitting a personal record at counties.

  • 8th grader Charlotte Moll benching at the county meet.

  • 8th grader Marli Engel hitting her second snatch at the county meet.

  • Junior Priscilla Webley hitting her first snatch of the district meet.

  • The girls after winning districts in both olympic and traditional.

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About the Contributor
Savannah Hrubar
Savannah Hrubar, Staff Writer
Savannah Hrubar is a first year senior on The Gauntlet and took on the position of a staff writer. Her favorite color is pink, she has a really cute cat, and she plays volleyball in her free time. Her favorite show is Friends but she doesn't have a lot of time to watch TV.

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