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Local athletes shine at Class 1A girls weightlifting state championships, Suwannee wins team title

Posted at 6:34 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-14 00:21:13-05

LIVE OAK, Fla. (WTXL) — Friday in Live Oak, Suwannee High School hosted the Class 1A girls weightlifting state championships. There were tears for joy and for heartbreak. There were records set, and there was history made.

For Branford's Evie Pitts, the realization that she's a state champion is still sinking in.

"It's crazy to think that I'm the first state champion weightlifter at Branford," she smiled after receiving her state championship medal for the 139 weight class. "It's unbelievable."

On her final lift, a 195 pound clean locked in her spot in history.

"My adrenaline kicked in. It's something I've been working for for the past year," she said. "I worked at it over the summer. I said jump to 195 or nothing else."

With Pitt's win came heartbreak for Suwannee's Tyra Kalandyk. Pitt's mark put Kalandyk at state runner-up for the second straight year.

"I was expected to win today," she said. "I would have loved to win, but I'm really proud of myself. I've overcome a lot this year and I'm really proud of where I am."

Proud of herself, and proud of her team.

"They're like the best," said Kalandyk.

The Bulldogs didn't leave empty-handed Friday.

"I really wanted to go for two this year," said Matti Marsee.

A year after winning Suwannee's first-ever state title in girls weightlifting, Marsee repeating as champion at 110.

"I was like wow, I feel like I have a lot of pressure on me," she laughed. "Once I got here, and we were in our home gym, it was very calming to know."

A home win for Marsee, and a good as a home win for Pitts.

"It just felt really comfortable to be here," said Pitts.

For all, having the support of each other meant the most.

"The people that scorekeepers, the people that do the concession stand," said Kalandyk. "We really appreciate the boys' team. We appreciate everyone, and we just want to finish strong with everyone."

Finishing strong, and leaving their mark in history along the way. For a bit more history, Marsee and Kalandrk's finishes Friday morning helped lead Suwannee to their first-ever team state title Friday afternoon, a five-point victory over second-place Altha.

The Suwannee girls weightlifting team won the Class 1A State Championship on Friday. Photo: Paul Buchanan