HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Kinsler lifts her way to state


Published: Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 10:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 10:57 p.m.

Jessica Kinsler's high school weightlifting career is a work in progress.

At Saturday's District-4 state qualifying meet at Belleview, the Gainesville High sophomore was in a good place.

She won the 154-pound class going away and qualified for the FHSAA state meet for the second straight year.

"She has really worked hard in the weight room this season to make herself a better lifter," GHS coach Steve Bauer said. "I am happy with her progress but our ultimate goal is for her to win a state title."

Kinsler took a positive step towards her goal. She posted personal records in the bench press, 210 pounds and in the clean and jerk, 160 pounds for a personal-best 370 total. Kinsler claimed her second straight district title, by 60 pounds over Ocala Forest's Marian Mustain.

A year ago, Kinsler won the district with a 315 total and was third at state with a 325 total.

"She has matured very much," Bauer said. "I am proud of what she has done."

Bauer said that Kinsler's 370 total is probably the top total heading into the 154-pound competition at the Feb. 11 state meet at the Kissimmee Civic Center.

"Before it is over, I think she can set some records if she continues to work as hard as she is right now," Bauer said. "I think she can win a state title, but we have to finish the job."

Boys Basketball

JIMMIE TAYLOR III, SUWANNEE: The junior guard had a big week in leading the Bulldogs to three victories. In a 70-54 win over Orange Park Oakleaf, he scored 25 points, to go along with eight assists and eight rebounds. Taylor followed with 20 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists as Suwannee downed Madison County 50-45. He concluded his exceptional week with 26 points, including six 3-pointers, and 15 rebounds as Suwannee edged Greensboro West Gadsden 64-57 in overtime.

Weightlifting

EMILY KEEN, GAINESVILLE: The senior posted a 320 total to win the 183-pound class at the District-4 state qualifying meet. She finished with a bench press of 155 pounds and a clean and jerk of 165 pounds to qualify for the state meet for the third straight year.

Honorable mention

Boys Basketball

DETEREON ROSS, WILLISTON: In a 91-75 win over P.K. Yonge, the senior guard ended with 21 points and 11 assists to go along with four rebounds and four steals. Ross then put up 24 points, eight steals and seven assists as the Red Devils dropped Bradford 69-58 to clinch the top seed and home-court advantage for the District 5-4A tournament.

DAMIEN STRANGE, WILLISTON: The junior guard averaged 19.5 points, six steals and two rebounds as the Red Devils went 2-0 last week.

MARCUS LANE, SUWANNEE: In three wins last week, the senior guard averaged 10.3 points, three rebounds and 2.3 steals for the Bulldogs.

MIKE MULBERRY, SANTA FE: The junior guard averaged 14 points and seven rebounds as the Raiders picked up wins over Gainesville High School and P.K. Yonge last week.

Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Sunday between 4-7 p.m.

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