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Royal Knights shine in prelude to state

Five River Ridge lifters qualified for the state meet at the Section 6 meet at Nature Coast Tech on Thursday.

The top three in each class advanced to the state meet, which is Feb. 7 in DeLand.

Winners were determined by their combined pounds lifted in the bench press and clean-and-jerk.

The Royal Knights were led by Gina Fredrickson, who won the 139-pound class with a combined lift of 285 pounds, and Stephanie Seaman, who won at 169 with a combined 260 pounds.

Rebecca Torres was one of three Hernando lifters to advance to state, winning at 199 with a combined lift of 265 pounds. Chelsea Buckler and Nikki Daginault also qualified.

Springstead and Central (including heavyweight winner Sabreen Margieh) will send two.

Central coach Cliff Lohrey said he was pleased with his team's performance.

"I'm proud of them all," Lohrey said. "We'd like to get more in, but we'll take it."

Lack of depth prevented Nature Coast Tech from qualifying any lifters.

"We had three girls lift out of five that were supposed to be here," coach Tom Keeler said. "Two of them were sick.

"But I was pleased. It's our first year of lifting. Most of the girls are freshman and sophomores, and they have never lifted before."

Pasco's Crystal Bates (129) lifted a meet-high 305 pounds, 5 more than Margieh.