Fort White's girls weightlifting team won the Region 2 meet on Friday to advance to the Class 1A state meet (COURTESY PHOTO).

Girl Power

Carter & Jackson lead Fort White to Region 2 title.

FORT WHITE — Kasey Carter maintained her poise under pressure, Tyrah Jackson had her strongest performance of the season.

Both Lady Indians took first-place honors in their respective weight classes, leading the way and propelling Fort White to a Region 2 title Friday afternoon.  

Another fine showing from the Tiwahe weightlifters, who ran away with the District 4 title last week. 

Friday’s contest was tight down to the finish as none of the 11 competing schools had more than two regional winners. 

“They stepped up and performed once again,” coach Dan Marsee said. “It came down to the best non-champions and if they could score the points to win it. It came down to depth.”

Fort White received a valiant performance from its supporting cast: Colby Laidig took second-place (215), Brianna Strachan took third (170) along with Kaya Whitten (225) and Mikayla Sparkman (260).  

It took everyone — not just Carter and Jackson — to pull out the team victory.

The Lady Indians finished out with 48 total team points, edging Union County (37) and Wakulla (32).

Fort White earned the win on its home turf, overcoming the difficulties host teams normally endure. 

“The host team may have familiarity with the facility and equipment,” Marsee said. “But being (director), you’re at huge disadvantage because you can’t coach your team as hard. That’s why its good to have an assistant coach like Celeste Gomez.”

It’s not over yet, though.

The Lady Indians look ahead to state championships in Kissimmee on Feb. 5-6.

Regional winners like Carter and Jackson automatically advance to state. Twelve at-large qualifiers will be determined from a pool at each regional early next week.

“I don’t know who else will get in,” Marsee added. “I hope to get maybe two or three more in.”

Fort White has caught fire since returning from winter break. The Lady Indians hope to bring that momentum to the biggest stage possible — the state championships.

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