Liberty County Panther weightlifting and track and field coach Keith McGee coached 5 competitors, all who placed tenth or better at the National School Age Weightlifting meet in Gainesville June 19-21.
The USA Weightlifting sanctioned meet spotlights the best lifters in the clean and jerk and snatch lifting techniques.
McGee coached Brittney Guilfo, Britany Brown, Taylor Michalowicz, Tatiyana Jennings and Nzingah Ford.
According to the coach, the girls were under enormous pressure as they nearly missed an
opportunity to compete when 4 of the 5 competitors were slightly above their weight class. With 24 hours to weigh-in McGee said the team drew on each other’s strength to get through the training and preparation necessary to meet the weight class standards.
"I’m extremely proud of them," McGee said. "The pressure was on and they came through big time."
McGee said it was the first time the 5 were on a national level stage.
In the 48K weight class, Guilfo made her weight class by just two-one hundredth of a point, weighing in at 47.98k. For the snatch she lifted 35k, 37k and 40k in her three attempts. She cleared 47k in the clean and jerk, failing to hit 52k and 55k.
She finished with 87 points, earning 10th place, according to the updated results posted on the USA weightlifting Web site (http://weightlifting.teamusa.org). She earned one team point.
Weighing in at 52.01k Brown competed in the 53k weight class. She snatched 38k and 40k, but missed 43k. In the clean and jerk she cleared 51k and 53k before missing 56k. She got 93 points for third place and a bronze medal. She earned 8 team points.
Jennings also competed in the 53K weight class, weighing in at 52.94k. In the snatch lift she cleared 35k, 38k and 40k. She clean and jerked 50k, but missed 53k and 55k. She got fifth place with 90 total points and 6 team points.
In the 69k weight class Michalowicz, weighing in at 68.49k, finished in fifth place with 102 total points and 6 team points. She missed her first snatch of 40k, but completed the second 40K attempt and 43K. She cleared 59k in the clean and jerk, but missed both attempts at 63K.
Ford, weighing 67.34k, placed seventh in the snatch, clearing 40k. She also competed in the 69k weight class.
The coach said the girls, who competed under the umbrella of Team Savannah, were grateful for the opportunity to compete, primarily made possible by LCHS media center employee Kay Williams.
"Williams made it possible for us to stay in Gainesville overnight due to a very generous donation," McGee said. "We are especially thankful for that."