Lifters place sixth at states

The stage was set, and the team was ready. With a 6:15 wake up time, the girls weightlifting team woke up with nerves and excitement of what would be a day for the record books.

Arriving for weigh-in at Arnold High School, there was something different for senior team captain Cheyenne DuCharme in her fourth year at the state championships. Ducharme had a 12th place finish her freshman year and had been runner-up the last two years.

When DuCharme was a junior, her best moment was tying the state record with a 170-pound bench. However, her two-lift total left her just out of the top spot.

Now in her final year, she would write a new record. DuCharme took home gold in the 110-pound weight class with a 335-pound total. Her bench press was 165 pounds while her clean-and-jerk was 170, and the total was a new state record by 40 pounds.

The school sent eight lifters to the state championship; the previous record was four. Junor Jillian Lawrenson placed third in the 169-pound weight class, with a 375 pound total. Julianna Orlando placed sixth in the 199-pound weight class, and junior Kate Enot placing fifth with a 335-pound total.

For the team, the road to states consisted of three runner-up finishes in the conference, district and regional championships, followed by the sixth-place finish at states.

With a resume of over 10 new records, and a near perfect 6-1 regular season, throughout the year DuCharme’s performance added to this total at the state championship.

Before the state championship, the girls were nine points short of first in districts, and another second place regional finish.

Regional performances by Orlando, Lawrenson in the, and sophomore Olivia Lipari in the 129 pound class. They all scored points to secure the top six finish at states.

Aside from Ducharme and Lipari and senior Abigail Duncan, the rest of the lifters were in the first session at 7 a.m.

“It was a little nerve racking as it’s the biggest competition of the season, but we took it one step at a time and worked together to stay calm,” Lipari said. DuCharme has been lifting weights as a kid and been a member of CrossFit Oviedo, owned by Attaway, for most of her life. “I’ve worked so hard for all of my life to get where I am today,” Ducharme said.

DuCharme plans to continue her weightlifting career for the USA weightlifting team.

Four points short of second place in their sixth place state finish, Attaway is proud of the team’s accomplishments.

“This is the greatest team I have ever coached and probably will ever coach,” Attaway said. “This is by far the most fantastic group of people I’ve ever worked with.”

With four of the eight being seniors, the program will seek upcoming students to accomplish the team’s ultimate goal. “Next year we can be even better,” Attaway said.