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Girls weightlifting: River Ridge sending 5 to state

Special correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 04:27 PM
NEW PORT RICHEY -

River Ridge qualified five lifters for the girls weightlifting state meet Saturday during the District 5 meet at Gulf.

The top three qualifiers in each weight class advance to the state weightlifting meet Feb. 12 at the Kissimmee Convention Center.

Megan Shoun won the 199-pound class and will be making her fourth appearance at state. Samantha Evans (101), Elicia Hinson (119), Alex Licalsi (129), Ally Butler (139) also qualified.

River Ridge coach Mike DeGennaro has qualified lifters for every one of the eight years that the FHSAA has had sanctioned state meets.

"We lifted great today,'' said DeGennaro. "I'm proud of all of the girls. I had two more that were going for personal bests and almost had them to qualify. The girls really stepped up. Sam wasn't at the conference meet last week because she was at a cheerleading event. Ally Butler got a personal best on the clean and jerk. Licalsi and Hinson had personal bests on benching. It was a great day for us. Two years ago, I took seven or eight. I'm very happy. I honestly expected three to have a good shot."

Shoun joins Brianna Hooker as the second Royal Knight to qualify every year she was eligible. Shoun had a personal best of 175 pounds in the bench press and a 165-pound clean and jerk for a 340-pound total. She broke her ankle in an accident while cheerleading before the season but the injury has completely healed.

"One of my goals was to go (to state four times),'' said Shoun. "This is the most satisfying (qualifier) because I got my personal best (bench press). The injury doesn't bother me any more at all."

Sunlake had three qualify for state. They are Sam Holiga (199), Alex Ruiz (110) and Celina Romera (154).

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