The Sun's 2013 Girls Weightlifter of the Year
Published: Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 at 12:14 a.m.
This is the first in a series of The Sun's winter athletes of the year and all-area teams chosen with the help of area coaches.
JESSICA KINSLER, GAINESVILLE
The Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Weightlifting award winner after capturing her second straight FHSAA state title in the 154-pound class with a 400 total, 60 pounds better than state runner-up Torri Bethal of Sebastian River (340). The junior, named The Gainesville Sun's girls weightlifter of the year for the second straight season, topped her own state record in the bench press with a lift of 225 pounds and had a clean and jerk of 175. Kinsler was one of only three lifters, regardless of weight class, to total 400 pounds, which is just 10 pounds short of the state record in the 154 class set in 2009. Prior to Lakeland, site of the state meet, Kinsler won her third straight district title with a 315 total. Kinsler picked up Gainesville's third state title in girls weightlifting and is the school's only repeat champion.
Jessica's younger sister, Janice, qualified for her second straight state meet and finished fourth in the 129-pound class. Their older sister, Jasmine, placed third in the 101 class at the 2007 state meet. Although Jessica had thought she might have to go up a class after last year's state title at 154, according to coach Steve Bauer, she had no trouble staying at that weight. She is current throwing the shot put for the GHS girls track and field team. Kinsler, who was one of the Faces in the Crowd featured in the Feb. 25 edition of Sports Illustrated, said she has received attention from LSU and Alabama and has aspirations of competing in the Olympics.
“I'm doing pretty good, I have to keep it going. My friend Sam (Cook of Bradford, two-time unlimited state champion) said she was wondering who was going to be weightlifter of the year, her or me? We went through that last year too. We have been friends since ninth grade. My goal is to bench 250 and hopefully have a 210 clean and jerk. I'm going to break that record next year.” -— Jessica Kinsler