Weightlifting takes fourth at states in snatch competetion


photo by Erin Thornsbury

Senior Hali Fildes is in the middle of her snatch lift. Fildes went on to place first at states for snatch.

The girl’s varsity weightlifting team took 14 girls to the state championship this past Thursday, Feb. 10. The top lifters were senior Hali Fildes (154 weight class), who took first place in the snatch competition and 3rd in bench and clean and jerk. Junior Ava Thornsbury (199 weight class) and senior Chloe Varady (169 weight class) both placed in the snatch competition as well, taking third and fifth respectively. Overall, the team took fourth place in snatch for the first time in the program’s history. 

“I was happy to be healthy and competitive in the time where it mattered the most,” Thornsbury said. 

The team drove up together on Wednesday and weighed in later that night. Lifting started early Thursday morning at Port St. Joe High School, with snatch being the first event of the day. The first session of snatch lifters started at 9 a.m., then the second session followed at 1 p.m. After snatch awards were handed out, bench and clean and jerk started around 2:30 p.m. It was a long but fast-paced day for the team, according to Thornsbury.

Before states, the team had practice every day leading up to the event. Practices mainly focused on snatch technique and finding their opening lifts. Practices also included some squat circuits, and finding openers for bench and clean and jerk as well. 

“The girls who were going to be in the snatch competition practiced hard all week, which is why they placed so high at states,” senior Megan Kaplan said.

Coming off of a high at regionals, with placing first in snatch and tying for fifth in bench and clean and jerk, the team was feeling confident as they moved into the state tournament. Some girls were nervous as they started their day, but happy with themselves as they finished the day. 

 “I was excited to compete at states for the first time. I have made a lot of improvements since last year, and I was very confident for states,” sophomore Rachel Matthiesen said. 

Coaches David Attaway and Curvan Williams are very proud of the team and how the season went this year, and are already looking forward to next year. 

“States went well, there is always room for improvement, but I am very proud of these girls. They have worked hard all season long,” Attway said.