The Vernon High School girls weightlifting team squared off against Holmes County and Graceville in a 1A regular season meet Thursday, Nov. 9.
Morgan Hammock returned this year to the 110 lb weight class after an exceptional freshman season in 2017. Hammock was the District Champion, Regional Runner-up, and a State qualifier as a freshman in the 110 lb weight class.
Hammack won her weight class by 65 lbs Thursday with a total of 230.
The 2017 Regional qualifier Jordan Johnson also returned this year to take first in the 199 lb class and post the highest clean and jerk of the afternoon at 130 lbs.
Sophomore Kiersten Gilmore found an easy victory as she posted a 250 total leaving 2nd place 85 lbs behind.
Newcomers also found themselves at the top of their weight classes. Freshmen Samantha Moore and Alyssia Rhodes both placed first in their classes. Moore won the 119 class with a 150 total and Rhodes won the 139 with a 185.
The best performance of the afternoon came from Sara Smith of VHS. All eyes were on Smith in the 183 Class when she went for a new personal best on bench press at 150 lbs. Smith finished with a 275 total, the highest in the meet. With the help of high placements by Haley Alderman, Veronica Casey, Amelia McCrone, Tashara Roche and Cassidy Armbruster VHS was able to rack up a significant amount of points. VHS won the meet with 42 points, HCHS followed with 21 and GHS scored 18 points.
VHS Coach Lee Richards says there is a lot of new ground to break in Vernon for girls' weightlifting.
"This is the first time in school history where we have had the depth and numbers to be this competitive as a 'team' in girls' weightlifting," said Coach Richards. "The past two years, we have sent the first two girls to state from Vernon as individual athletes. Soon, we will be sending a team of girls to state. We are still waiting on the first female medalist, the first female Champion and the first female team championship."
"It is worth noting that the entire roster is composed of 9th and 10th grade athletes," he added. "It is rare that we see such a high concentration of great female athletes within two classes. It will be exciting to watch this team develop this year and for the next couple years. The fact that they are already competitive with everyone else at such a young age speaks volumes to their work ethic and athletic ability."