Teams to watch
Sunlake: The Seahawks have a lot of potential, arguably making it their year. With 27 on the team, coach Denise Garcia is coming off a year when Alex Ruiz won a state title.
River Ridge: The Royal Knights usually send many girls to the state tournament, but lost most to graduation. Expect coach Mike DeGennaro to send plenty of girls to state, even with the loss of Alexis LiCalsi to college.
Hudson and Mitchell: The Cobras are bringing in one of the county’s best lifters that could lead them to state medals, while Mitchell is led by a possible state qualifier, and with 33 players on the team, coach Regenia Dixon is hoping to take four to state.
Lifters To watch
Renee LeDoux, So., Hudson, 119 pounds: Didn’t lift at states due to leg injury.
Catalina Valdes, Jr., Sunlake, 183: Was 10th at state last year and has a 200 bench.
Kiera Wood, Jr., River Ridge, 110: Qualified for states last year.
Erica Johnston, So., Sunlake, 101: Dedicated lifter looking for a deep run this season.
Cassie Neptune, Sr., Mitchell, 275: Up from the 199-pound class, came within 5 pounds of qualifying for state.
Jessica Dunphy, Sr., River Ridge, 129: Qualified for states last season.
Amanda Smith, Sr., Sunlake 154: Potential to help Seahawks to a good season.
Jill Scalise, Sr., Sunlake, 110: Just missed qualifying for states last season.
Kelsey McKee, Sr., Land O’ Lakes, UNL: 165 bench, 185 for clean and jerk for an 350-pound total early in the season.
Rebecca Young, Sr., Mitchell, 119: Put up 225 in an early meet; should qualify for states.
Liesel Johnson, Jr., Mitchell 183: Had a 260 total at an early meet.
Meredith McNulty, Jr., Mitchell, 139: Last year, she could barely lift 75 pounds, but had a 200 total at an early meet.
Kathleen Tillema, Sr., Mitchell, 154: Had a 205 pound total in an early meet.
Bailey Winstead, So., Sunlake 139: Had a 200 total in first meet.
Theodora Bowman, So., Mitchell, 183: A cheerleader that lifted 175 total at early meet.
Ajani Bell, Fr., Sunlake, 199: Had an early 220 total.
Janaire Edwards, So., Sunlake, 183: Lifted a 210 total already.
Kayla Redman, Fr., Land O’ Lakes, 169: Already won her weight class with a 260 total.