GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING

GHS off to strong start, poised to make state run


Gainesville's Jessica Kinsler is off to a fast start this season. The senior has already topped her state winning total in her first dual meet.

Bruce Ackerman/staff photographer/FILE
Published: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 25, 2013 at 10:36 p.m.

Led by the return of two-time defending state champion Jessica Kinsler at 154 pounds and fourth-place state finishers in sister Janice Kinsler (129) and Breanna Thomas (169), the talent is certainly there at Gainesville to make a serious run at a state title in girls weightlifting come February.

But as longtime coach Steve Bauer puts it: “Talent doesn't get it done, working hard and being dedicated gets it done.”

The Hurricanes (1-0 on the season) went 7-0 last year and finished fourth at state in 2013, their best showing since placing third in 2007.

But to beat the likes of Spruce Creek, which has won eight of the 10 state titles, or last year's champion Navarre or third-place finisher Orlando Timber Creek, Gainesville needs more lifters to reach state and score points.

Jessica Kinsler is off to an impressive start, surpassing her state record bench press by 25 pounds (250) and already topping her state winning total (400) in her first dual meet of the season (165 clean and jerk) against Buchholz.

“She went for 265 last Thursday in the bench and barely missed it,” Bauer said. “The sky's the limit for her.”

He is also expecting big seasons from fellow senior Breanna Thomas (169-pound class), who has already matched her state total in one match, and junior Janice Kinsler (129), who topped her 2013 state total with a 335 (175 bench, 160 clean and jerk) total. Also junior Megan Neal (110/119) and senior Rachel Reid (199), who both have topped their state showing by 20 and 35 pounds, respectively.

“I think we can make a run at it (state title),” Bauer said. “We have a very good chance of doing it. But we have to work very hard for it.”

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING CAPSULES

Bronson Eagles

Coach: Judy Beauchamp

District: 4

Returning lifters: 110-Christian Coughlin, 7th grade; 110-Morgan Sheffield, 8th grade; 119-Jamie Mullin, 8th grade; 119-Brenae Williams, 7th grade; 129-Diamond Sheffield, 8th grade; 154-Kayse Chorvat, Jr.; 169-Jasmine Parker, Jr.; 183-Crystal Short, Jr.; Unl.-Virginia Strough, Sr. (5th at district).

Other expected contributors: Sarah Conquest, Fr.; Angelina Harris, 6th grade

Chiefland Indians

Coach: Ginger Fuller

District: 4

Returning lifters: 119-Eliza Renaud, Sr.; 119-Taylor Sikes, Jr.; 129-Bre Acevedo, Jr.; 154-Ashley Long, Jr.; 169-Caitlan Fuller, Sr.; 183-Christina Chapman, Sr.; Jodie Santerfeit, So.; Jenny Caudill, Jr.

Other expected contributors: Emily Hallman, Fr.; Rieley Beauchamp, 6th grade

Columbia Tigers

Coach: Doug Peeler, third season

District: 2

2012 accomplishments: 5-1 on season

Returning lifters: 110-Kayla Carman, Sr. (2-time state finalist, 22nd at state in 2013, district runner-up, 2nd team all-area); 129-Charline Watson, Sr. (state finalist)

Gainesville Hurricanes

Coach: Steve Bauer, 11th season (68-2)

District: 4

2012 accomplishments: 7-0 on season; 4th at state

Returning lifters: 101/110-Jordan Moretta, Sr. (11th at state, district and section runner-up, first team all-area); 110/119: Megan Neal, Jr. (20th at state, district and section champion, first team all-area); 129-Janice Kinsler, Jr. (4th at state, district and section champion, first team all-area); 139-Shelby Jester, Sr. (25th at state, 3rd at district and section, 2nd team all-area); 154-Jessica Kinsler, Sr. (two-time state champion, 400 total in 2013, topped her previous state record in bench press with 225 lift, district and section champion, two-time Girls Weightlifter of the Year, Faces in the Crowd feature in Sports Illustrated in 2013); 169-Breanna Thomas, Sr. (4th at state, district and region champion, first team all-area); 169-Emerald Ferguson, Jr. (21st at state in 183 class, 3rd at district and section, 2nd team all-area); 199-Miranda Bass, Sr. (19th at state in 183 class, district and section champion, first team all-area); 199-Rachel Reid, Sr. (21st at state, district and section champion, first team all-area).

Other expected contributors: 110-Tara Thomas, Sr.; 119-Kaitlyn Frening, Sr.; 139-Josanna Levy-Davis, So.; 169-Elizabeth Bairley, Sr.; Victoria Sweat, Sr.

Santa Fe Raiders

Coach: Sammantha Welch, 4th season

District: 4

Returning lifters: 139-Nicole Caroline, Jr.; Unl.-Courtney Jones, So.

Suwannee Bulldogs

Coach: Steve Stebbins

District: 2

Returning lifters: 101-Katie Hutchins, So.; 110-Sarah Anderson, So.; 139-Logan Boss, Sr. (21st at state, 3rd at district and sectional, first team all-area).

Other expected contributors: Unl.-Briana Shearer, So.

Union County Tigers

Coach: Bryan Griffis and Steve Hoard, fifth season

District: 4

2012 accomplishments: 4-3 on season

Returning lifters: 129-Samantha Redmond, Fr.; 154-Jessica Brown, Jr. (16th at state, 3rd at district and sectional, 2nd team all-area); Unl.-Kaylee Findley, Jr.; Unl.-Amber Nelson, So.

Other expected contributors: 119-Coral Leffew, Sr.; Kayla Geraghty, Fr.

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