Wayne Parzik counts Pasco County's first girls weightlifting season a success, and not just because his Ridgewood team won the county championship.
Parzik is excited because he said the future of the sport is bright.
"The girls have gotten more and more enthusiastic," he said. "I see the sport growing. This is going to be big."
Ridgewood turned in the biggest performance Monday at River Ridge High School, scoring 79 points to lead River Ridge (47), Land O'Lakes (25) and Pasco (21). Hudson did not show, coach Steve Casel said, because of scheduling conflicts with athletes involved in other sports.
Ridgewood took a tournament-high five individual championships. For 103-pounder Margarita Salas, 152-pounder Fannie Holmes and 160-pounder Kerri Theodore, the meet capped unbeaten seasons. Salas and Holmes were 10-0. Theodore was 9-0.
That's kind of how things have gone for the Rams, who were 7-0 and never won a regular-season meet by less than 40 points.
The most interesting competition was at 135 pounds, where Ridgewood's Emanda Doscher and her cousin, Kenna Doscher of River Ridge, both lifted a total of 210 pounds. Emanda was awarded the title because she weighed less than Kenna.
"She thought her cousin was going to whip her," Parzik said of Emanda. "She was scared to death coming in and did an extraordinary job."
Another case of extraordinary work was turned in by River Ridge's Sara Tarnowski, who was the only athlete to lift 300 total pounds, getting 160 on the bench press and 140 on the clean and jerk.
Ridgewood's other champion was 145-pounder Melissa Martin.
"The girls were really competitive, and I've seen more sportsmanship there," Parzik said. "There wasn't any nastiness or anything negative. It was a real solid first year. I don't see anything but positive things coming out of this."