Coral Shores senior AJ Johnson, seen here in a lift against Marathon earlier this month, was the top Olympic lifter using the Sinclair score algorithm at last week’s tri-meet in Miami. TRACY McDONALD/Keys Weeky

While the Keys’ lady lifters were making history in Lakeland, the boys traveled to Gulliver Prep last week for a tri-meet in Miami. The Dolphins and Hurricanes tied for first in Olympic lifts, taking second and third place, respectively, in traditional. 

Both teams’ success in Olympic lifts is a direct result of the attention to detail coaches Erin Hamilton and Jessie Schubert pay to their athletes’ form in the offseason. The Olympic event pairs a lifter’s clean and jerk with the snatch lift, which often takes years to master. 

Big winners for Marathon were Chase Leird in the 119-lb. class, Zachary Antonelli (129), Tanner Ross (199) and Alexandre Cruz (138). All four Fins won both events at the Feb. 14 meet. 

For Coral Shores, Jordan Henderson won both events in the 139-lb. class and Xavier Johnson won the 183-lb. Olympic event. AJ Johnson won both 219-lb. events and was the overall top lifter in the Olympic category using the Sinclair score algorithm. 

Both teams will compete in a home-and-home series the next few weeks and add another trip to Gulliver before their postseason series, which begins the last week of March.

Tracy McDonald
Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.