All-Area weight lifting: Cay Amatulli, Ariella Garrett, lifters of the year
Monday, March 28, 2011
by Paul Ivice
Seminole Ridge senior Ariella Garrett and junior teammate Cayla Amatulli earned silver medals this year at the state girls weight lifting tournament, the best any Palm Beach County girl has ever finished.
Garrett, whose fourth-place state finish as a junior tied for the previous best, was sectional champion in her 129-pound weight class all four years of her career. Amatulli, meanwhile, competed in the 101-pound class.
Seminole Ridge coach Ben Kenerson said the only difference between the two is they are in different weight classes.
"Pound for pound, they are as strong as each other," Kenerson said.
He said they both have a Body Weight Strength Index of 2.5 (total weight lifted divided by body weight).
Garrett's 315-pound combined total at state was 15 pounds shy of the champion's total, but she finishes her high school career with no regrets.
"I know in my heart I did everything I could do and tried my hardest," Garrett said. "There is always going to be people stronger than you, so all you can do is accept where you place, and I'm happy with that."
Garrett said her experience in weight lifting taught her more about leadership and self-determination.
Amatulli's 240-pound total was 55 pounds short of the 101-pound champion, Mimi Ho of Palatka, whose 155-pound bench press set a state record.
After finishing 10th at state as a sophomore, Amatulli said, "My goal was to make the top six and get a medal."
Amatulli has another shot at a title, but Ho is also a junior.
"I didn't really expect to place as high as I did," Amatulli said. "I hope to place first next year, but we'll see what happens."
COACH OF THE YEAR
In his sixth year at Seminole Ridge, he led the Hawks to a tie for sixth at state, by far the best performance by an area school since Florida became the only state to recognize girls weight lifting eight years ago.
Palm Beach Gardens, Junior
Was fifth at sectionals after placing third and qualifying for state last year.
Boynton Beach, Senior
Lifted a career-best 205 pounds to take second at sectionals, then added 5 pounds to her total for 19th at state.
Seminole Ridge, Sophomore
Finished second at sectionals with 220-pound combined lift. Improved to 245 at state to place 11th.
Four-year competitor made it to state for first time as a senior. Overcame injury to lift a combined 250 pounds.
Lake Worth, Junior
Accomplished personal bests in both bench and clean-and-jerk to place 25th in her class.
Boynton Beach, Senior
Increased her combined lift by 50 pounds to a 245-pound total, good for fourth place at sectionals.
Her combined 240-pound lift at sectionals was best in the county, but just shy of qualifying for state.
Benched 140 and lifted 145 in clean-and-jerk for ninth at state after taking second at sectionals.
Boca Raton, Freshman
Qualified for state with 255 total, then lifted 270 at state to finish in 17th place.
Seminole Ridge, Junior
Won sectionals with a 300-pound combined lift, then lifted 305 at state to place 17th.
101: Rachel Shahin, Wellington, So.
110: Vickie Wong, Palm Beach Central, Jr.
119: Kesann Dormand, Palm Beach Gardens, Sr.
129: Sharnesia Robinson, Boynton Beach, Sr.
139: Sakoya Alexander, Boynton Beach, Sr.
154: Shakira Moss, Boynton Beach, Sr.
169: Brianne Cook, Royal Palm Beach, Fr.
183: Jenna Bellach, Royal Palm Beach, Jr.
199: Genna Joseph, Boynton Beach, Sr.
Unlimited: Theresa Samstag, Jupiter, Sr.
BEST OF THE TREASURE COAST
Jensen Beach: Noel Jadon; Fort Pierce Central: Courtney Hoyt, Jessica Gordon, Jimisha Walker, A'Shanti Hughes, Kieara Copeland, Treasure Ingram; Port St. Lucie: Nicole Berry, Breanna Altizer; South Fork: Savanah Resnik, Mallory Johnson, Nikki Terranova, Jackie Ault. MVP: Jessica Gordon, Treasure Coast.