By: J. Daniel Pearson for Positively Osceola

The gap may be closing, but St. Cloud still wears the crown.

The Lady Bulldogs won both the traditional (bench press and clean-and-jerk) and the Olympic (snatch and clean-and-jerk) disciplines on Friday night to clinch their 14th consecutive Orange Belt Conference girls’ weightlifting crown at Harmony High School.

With 142 combined points (76 in Olympic and 66 in Traditional), St. Cloud outdistanced host Harmony (second in both with 107 points) and Tohopekaliga (84 combined points) to clinch the OBC crown.

Osceola (49), Celebration (21), Liberty (17), Gateway (12) and Poinciana (8) rounded out the team scoring.

OBC Weightlifting
OBC Girls Weightlifting

“One of our stated goals is to win the county championship every year, so I was really pleased we were able to do so despite having one of our top lifters fail to make weight,” St. Cloud coach Cory Aun said.  “Still, this is getting harder to do each year and that is a direct reflection on the great job Nick Lippert (Harmony) and Rob Weilert (Tohopekaliga) are doing with their programs.  They are both doing phenomenal work in helping grow our sport in Osceola County.”

The results may be a direct preview of next week’s Class 3A, District 9 championships that Harmony will also host on Jan. 25.  With the exception of Gateway and Liberty (Class 2A, District 8), the remaining six county schools will be back in competition at that district meet.

Considered an individual sport, the four champions  in each weight class from districts 9-12 automatically qualifies for regionals; as well as 16-at large qualifiers from those same districts.

On the Olympic side from Friday’s OBC meet, St. Cloud won the team title with 76 points as Haley Wright (101 weight class), Ashley Aun (110-lbs.), Sophia Recio (129), Belen Gonzalez (154), Morgan Van Auken (183), and Reese Butler (199) all won their weight classes as the Lady Bulldogs won six of 10 classes overall.

Other class winners in the Olympic included Harmony’s Abriana Nunez (119), Morgan Pasqual (169) and Kaytlyn Simpson 9 (unlimited).  Tohopekaliga’s Alexa Woodman captured the 139-lb. title.

In the traditional, consisting of the bench press and clean and jerk, St. Cloud had repeat winners in Aun (110), Gonzalez (154), and Butler (199).  Jaylone Mejia (183) also took an individual title for the Bulldogs as they won the discipline with 66 points.   Behind double wins by Nunez (119), Pauqual (169) and Simpson (unlimited), Harmony was second in the traditional with 57 points.  Woodman repeated at 139 and Rosimar Amurrio won at 129 as Tohopekaliga was third with 44 points.  Kianna Moran from Gateway (95-90-185 total pounds) took the traditional title at the 101-lb. weight class.

“We had some truly outstanding performances tonight, especially considering one of our favorites in both disciplines failed to make weight,” Aun added.  “Those great performances included Haley Wright, who won the 101-lb. class in the Olympic discipline. It was her first varsity meet.  On a personal note, I was thrilled that my daughter Ashley won both titles and had a personal best in the snatch.  We have asked a lot of her and ever since she was a freshman, moving her up and down in weight classes to help the team score points.  She has made a lot of sacrifices for her team and I am extremely proud of that fact.”