Columbia’s Gomez posts personal bests

Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 1, 2010 at 12:12 a.m.

After capturing the 183-pound title at last year’s FHSAA girls weightlifting state finals Columbia’s Celeste Gomez did not touch a weight until the start of this season.

Tigers coach Mitch Shoup said Gomez’s focus over the summer was on softball. The coach also said that Gomez was not where she expected to be at the beginning of the year and that motivated her.

Gomez, a Florida State softball signee, posted three personal records at the Section 4 Qualifying meet on Saturday to capture her third consecutive sectional title at the 183-pound class.

She bench pressed 225 and clean and jerked 220 for a 445-pound total. Gomez’s clean and jerk total of 220 is better than state-finals record of 215, which she holds. Her 445-pound total is also 20 pounds more than the state-finals record of 425 she holds a share of.

“I was really surprised Saturday. I knew she had it in her, but I wasn’t expecting it this weekend,” said Shoup, who had 11 lifters qualify for Feb 13th’s FHSAA state finals in New Port Richey. “She is really hungry and she wants to break her records from the year before.”

Gomez was the state runner-up in the 183-pound class as freshman and sophomore, before winning her elusive state title last winter.

“She has worked hard all year,” Shoup said. “She brings a lot of things to the team. Even though it is an individual sport, she enjoys the team aspect of it.”


BRECKLEY NEALE, OAK HALL: The senior guard compiled 57 points, 25 rebounds, eight steals, five blocked shots and shot 22-for-27 from the foul line as the Eagles went 2-1 last week. The Southeastern University signee had 21 points and 12 rebounds in a win over Keystone Heights to highlight the week.


TORI SMITH, ST. FRANCIS: The freshman forward scored twice and had an assist in the Wolves’ 4-2 Region 1-2A win over Tallahassee John Paul II.


TARA STEPHENS, COLUMBIA: The senior won the 119-pound class at the Section 4 Qualifier with a 315-pound total. It was her third sectional title.

Honorable mention


DALTON CAMPBELL, KEYSTONE HEIGHTS: The junior forward scored 56 points and grabbed 39 rebounds as the Indians went 1-2 last week. His 26 points and 13 rebounds in a loss to Crescent City highlighted the week.

MADALYN MCCRAY, CHIEFLAND: The senior forward netted 36 points, grabbed 36 rebounds and was 11-for-11 from the foul line as the Indians went 1-2 last week. She had 13 points, 13 rebounds and was 5-for-5 from the foul line in a loss to Williston to highlight the week.

JENNI BAXTER, OAK HALL: The senior forward compiled 28 points, 18 rebounds, eight blocked shots and seven steals as the Eagles were 2-1 last week. She had 11 points, six rebounds and four blocks in a win over Keystone Heights.

ED RAY, HAWTHORNE: In the Hornets’ 10-point loss to Palatka, the senior guard finished with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals.

MARQUIS HAYES, HAWTHORNE: The senior guard had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the Hornets’ loss to Palatka

DEVIN WILSON, P.K. YONGE: The junior guard finished with 33 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds in two wins for the Blue Wave last week. He scored 21 points with seven rebounds and five assists in a win over Eastside.

RON FOXX, P.K. YONGE: In two wins for the Blue Wave last week, the junior center had 10 points, 20 rebounds and five blocked shots.

TYLER COURSON, P.K. YONGE: The senior forward had 28 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in two wins for the Blue Wave last week.


SARAH WATERS, P.K. YONGE: The sophomore goalkeeper made 12 saves in the Blue Wave’s 5-1 Region 1-2A quarterfinal loss at Tallahassee Maclay.

AUSTIN GROVES, KEYSTONE HEIGHTS: The senior midfielder scored once in the Indians’ 3-1 District 4-3A semifinal-win over Jacksonville Bishop Snyder.

GRACE CHRZANOWSKI, EASTSIDE: The junior goalkeeper stopped 11 shots in the Rams’ 2-1 Region 2-4A loss to Harmony.

SADIE CURRY, EASTSIDE: The senior midfielder lofted a free kick from 25 yards away that found the back of the net for the Rams’s lone goal in their Region 2-4A loss to Harmony.

JESSICA BRADLEY, ST. FRANCIS: In the Wolves’ Region 1-2A win over John Paul II, the freshman forward had a goal and an assist.

LAURA BEDFORD, BUCHHOLZ: The senior forward did not leave the field and her throw in led to the Bobcats’ game-winning goal in their 1-0 Region 1-5A ovetime-win over Tallahassee Chiles.


ASHLEE CHISHOLM, GAINESVILLE: The senior placed second in the 101-pound class at the Section 4 Qualifier with a 220-pound total.

AMBER THOMAS, COLUMBIA: The senior finished with a 300-pound total to win the 139-pound class at the Section 4 Qualifier. It was her first sectional title.

EMILY KEEN, GAINESVILLE: The sophomore was second in the 169-pound class at the Section 4 Qualifier with a 300-pound total.

BREANNA ANDERSON, GAINESVILLE: The senior finished with a 250-pound total to finish third in the 129-pound class at the Section 4 Qualifier.

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