Conchs lifter Dazmine Jenkins performs a snatch lift. Jenkins won her weight category in both styles of lifting.

On Nov. 8, all three Keys schools met up in Marathon for an early season tri-meet. Coral Shores was the big winner, scoring the most points in both traditional and Olympic lifts. 

Marathon, still without two of its top athletes as 2023 state qualifiers Ella Dunn and Mikkel Ross finish their cross country seasons, took second in both styles. The Fins did have Justice Lee back from football, but the extra first did not push them to a win. Key West was close behind in the points in third place with some fantastic performances.

Valentina Rizzo, Rachel Rusch, Jennille Arias, Elaina Kerns and Sydney Eysenbach were Coral Shores’ dual winners, taking first in their respective weight classes in both styles. Ella Evans and Justice Lee were Marathon’s dual winners. Lee had the highest total lifts for the day, putting up impressive numbers in all three lifts. Key West’s Shylo Sanchez and Dazmine Jenkins won both Olympic and traditional styles in their weight categories.

Athletes have three months to gain strength and improve weight and form. Girls weightlifting, the first winter sport to commence, also has the first district events beginning in late January. States, held in Lakeland this year, are slated for Feb. 16 and 17.

Photos by TRACY MCDONALD/Keys Weekly

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.