Easy win for Molina at SAC tournament
NEW PORT RICHEY - Katie Molina may need a little more stress in her life. The River Ridge High senior lifter is winning a little too easily at the 101-pound class. She won the class Wednesday at the Sunshine Athletic Conference Girls Weightlifting Meet at the Jim Valentine Complex at River Ridge High. Despite a cough, the lifter won with a school-record 245-pound total. She had a bench press of 120 pounds and a clean-and-jerk of 125. She beat her nearest competitor by 55 pounds and won her first SAC title.Her team did its usual business. The Royal Knights won their second-straight conference title with 71 points. Sunlake was second with 38 points and Hudson had 34 points. "I'm proud of all of them," River Ridge High coach Mike DeGennaro said. "The girls lifted well. I expected them to do well, getting us ready for next week's qualifier." Molina had some physical challenges with her own body. "I'm sick," she said. "I'm congested with a cough. I did my best and try to get past that. I didn't get it. I was nervous. I kind of put it (sickness) out of mind. It was mind over matter. "It's on my Facebook page. The record is 230 pounds. It will be my name. I could be in the 110-weight class. I am at 100.4 pounds. I have to manage my diet. I work at McDonald's. I don't eat that food. "I already know who is in the area. I won't get some competition until state." Molina competed at state last year and wants to qualify Wednesday at the meet at River Ridge. She is hoping to get back to Kissimmee and to medal. Licalsi shines One might excuse Alexis LiCalsi if she was stifling a yawn Wednesday in the SAC meet. She had a best ever of 205 pounds in the clean-and-jerk. She also had a 170-pound bench and won the 154-pound class. LiCalsi wasn't as excited because she has seen so much competition in the past, including the River Ridge senior lifter already having two national titles. "It was easy," she said. "I was holding back. I can do 215, 225 at state. It's kind of boring, but it's not that bad because my friends and family can come. I'm very happy I got it in a meet. I'm really excited." Licalsi set a state record in the clean-and-jerk last year with a 195-pound effort. She hopes to return and break that record in February. Ruiz hits 180-pound bench Sunlake High's Alex Ruiz looked like a champion as she bench-pressed 180 pounds. She also added a 150-pound clean-and-jerk and won the 110-pound weight class with a 330-pound total. "It's amazing," she said. "I can't stop shaking. I definitely can do more. I can do 190 pounds. I'm just really excited."