Booker High sophomore Alexandria Bartley wasn’t the least bit surprised.
Bartley, who finished sixth in the FHSAA girls weightlifting finals as a freshman at Flagler Palm Coast, felt confident she had the upper hand in one of the region’s more inexperienced weight classes.
Bartley won the 183-pound weight class at the District 8 State Qualifier Jan. 25, in Port Charlotte. Bartley benched 185 pounds and lifted 165 pounds in the clean and jerk to finish 60 pounds ahead of Port Charlotte’s Shannon Gribben.
“It was kind of expected, to be honest,” Bartley says of her win.
With the win, Bartley qualified for the FHSAA Finals Feb. 9, at the Kissimmee Civic Center, where she will face former Flagler Palm Coast teammate Loralee Kingston.
“I’m excited,” Bartley says. “It’s going to be interesting to see who goes home with the trophy.”
Bartley, who also plays tennis and throws the shot put and discus, began lifting two years ago after watching her older sister, Ebony, and her friends lift. Since then, Bartley has quickly excelled at the sport.
She’s posted personal bests of 200 pounds in the bench press and 170 pounds in the clean and jerk this season, and has her sights set on posting a combined 380 pounds or better at the FHSAA Finals.
“I just want to win it all,” Bartley says. “It would feel pretty good. I would have a state trophy. It would be really pretty.”
"Bench press is actually easier, but I like the clean and jerk. It’s a little stress reliever, and I like a challenge.
Weightlifting is something different. It’s not a usual sport — at least not with girls. I used to think it was a sport to get ready for a sport, but it’s still a sport.
I actually prefer tennis the best. My aunt used to do it. You actually get to be active, and I like being outside."