Arnold girl’s weightlifting team set for shot at state threepeat!

Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 10:43 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -It is a big road trip ahead late this week for several area high school girls who have made it to the ultimate weightlifting meet of the season, the State Meet, set for both Suwannee and St. Cloud High Schools.

For the Arnold team, that means a trip to the 2A State Championships at Suwannee in Live Oak later this week. Coach Josh Flaig and his Marlins are the two time defending state champions in this sport. With those last two titles coming on the home floor at Arnold. This year though because of COVID, Arnold deciding, along with the FHSAA, it was safest to move the event to two different venues. At any rate, the Marlins are poised for a shot a a threepeat, with 8 lifters qualifying for the 2A meet which takes place Saturday

“I feel confident of the points that we can get.” coach Flaig told us. “But I’m also aware that if the right things happen that they (the other competitive teams) could easily catch us. So I’m also talking with the girls, my wife and I, kind of plan out the meet. You know what do we want to hit here? What do we do in the scenario that somebody comes up five pounds heavier than us on bench press, we’re going to have jump on clean and jerks. Just so if it happens it’s not the first time they’ve thought about it. And they’re not breaking down and freaking out in competition. So we’ve had a lot of conversation about what could happen and how we’re gonna react in response to that.”

Arnold takes with it two girls who already have individual state titles and are working towards a second. Those two are Amerie Daniels in the 154 class. And Sana Habib, who won the title in the 119 class two years ago. This year she’s move up to the 129 class. Her coach says there’s good reason to believe she will get another individual title, and perhaps even add a state record to her list of accomplishments.

“I don’t think Sana’s feeling too much pressure about the gold.” Flaig says. “And I say that humbly. But if you look at the numbers in-state, she’s the favored by a very large amount, I’d say 50 to 60 pounds, if not a little bit more. Sana’s more or less trying to push herself, we’re trying to break a state record in the clean and jerk. So she’s more nervous because she has three clean and jerks left in her high school career. And she’s hoping that one of them is 205. And I don’t know that she’s ever pulled anything more than about 198.”

The 1A meet set for Friday at Suwannee High School in Live Oak. The 2A meet is there Saturday. The 3A meet is at St. Cloud High School Saturday.

Mosley has five lifters competing in the 2A meet, Fort Walton Beach has two, and Choctaw with one. In the 1A meet, Altha is sending five lifters. Marianna, Bay and Wewahitchka three each. Blountstown, Sneads, Bozeman and Port St. Joe sending two. and Holmes has one lifter heading to Suwanee.

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