Perez vs. Pena:

Round II goes to Perez

By Randy Lefko
Posted 1/31/18

SPRUCE CREEK – After a tension-filled district weightlifting showdown a week ago, Oakleaf High weightlifter Lexi Perez and Middleburg High weightlifter Jay Pena again put up staggering numbers at …

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Perez vs. Pena:

Round II goes to Perez


SPRUCE CREEK – After a tension-filled district weightlifting showdown a week ago, Oakleaf High weightlifter Lexi Perez and Middleburg High weightlifter Jay Pena again put up staggering numbers at the region 3-2A championships on January 20 at Spruce Creek High.

Area lifters will be heading to Arnold High School on Feb. 2-3 for the state weightlifting championships.

In Class 1A, Clay will send three lifters; Brooke Berger, Carlie Mcrae and Sabrina Huete, that are currently ranked in the top five for the state while Ridgeview sends sophomore Aysia Hill.

In Class 2A, Perez and Pena are joined by Fleming Island’s Jaeden Fernandez at 169, the sixth seed. Fernandez finished second to Flagler Palm Coast’s Anisa Zwolinski in the region 3-2A championships.

Perez and Pena staged a 1-2 duel at the district meet a week ago and continued the battle to a second/third finish behind a 10-pound winning total from New Smyrna Beach’s Hannah Goodrich in the 154 pound division. Goodrich was second last year at 139 with a 345 total.

With Goodrich out-lifting Pena on the bench press segment by 10 pounds with a 190 press, Perez, who benched just 150, again, had to go to her clean and jerk prowess for a shot at the gold medal.

Perez, who defeated Pena at districts with a 205 clean and jerk, was successful on 200 with Goodrich good at 175. Goodrich totaled 360 to Perez’ 350 with Pena at 335 with a 155 clean and jerk. Goodrich, Perez and Pena are the top three lifters at 154 pounds in the state meet rankings.

On the Class 2A rankings list, Middleburg’s Makita Esdale, fourth at region 3-2A, advances at 110 pounds with a top 20 state finish. Oakleaf’s Hadassah Davis, third at regions at 139, is 16th ranked. Fleming Island’s Tanzania McKay, fourth at regions in Unlimited, is 14th ranked with Middleburg’s Payton Mahon, third at regions, ranked 12th.

On the Class 1A rankings list, Clay’s Sereniti Forkey, second in region 3-1A, is ranked 17th at 101 pounds. At 110 pounds, Clay’s Hannah Forbes, second at region 3-1A, is ranked ninth. Joining Hill at 119, Clay has two lifters; Kamerin Peters and Katie James, ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, with Peters third and James fourth in region 3-1A.

At 129, Brooke Berger, the district champion, finished as region champion ahead of Ridgeview’s Crystal Hunter, and is ranked fourth with Hunter 13th.

Mcrae, returning to the state meet, won the region title at 139 and is ranked third in the state.

At 154, Clay has two lifters; Sabrina Huete, the region champion, and Jade Berger, second to Huete. Huete is ranked fifth with Berger seventh on the state list.

At 169, Ridgeview’s Sidney Davis is ranked sixth in 1A after winning the region title.

At 199, Ridgeview’s Grier Burrows, second at regions, is ranked seventh.

In the Unlimited class, Ridgeview’s Naja Hall returns to state ranked 13th after a third place region finish.

In district 7-1A, where Keystone Heights competes, the Lady Indians did not advance lifters to state, but did have top finishes of second and third in 110 from Hannah Forshee and Kamrey Dowdy; fourth in 119 from Zoe Dearborn; third in 129 from Isabella Hanna; fourth in 154 from Kayley Dailey; third in 169 from Isabella Woodell; fourth and fifth at 199 from Kayla Goodin and Makayla Smith.

At region 4-1A, Hannah Forshee was sixth at 110.


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