LIVE OAK, Fla. (WTXL) — This weekend, the Suwannee High School girls weightlifting team will compete for their second straight Class 1A state title, while Matti Marsee goes for the individual three peat. They are accomplishments for Marsee that have taken time to accomplish, and in Marsee's case, a little bit of chance.
"I was probably in about third grade, and I was watching Wimbledon, and I was like dad, I want to be like Serena Williams!" she remembered. "He said if you want to be at her level, you have to start working out at her level!"
It just so happens, Marsee is really good at weightlifting. She helped lead the Bulldogs to the school's first team state title last year, and she's a two time individual state champion, and is looking to finish her high school career with the three peat.
"On the wall over there, we hang our state champions up, and when you walk in the weight room everyday, you see two pictures of Matti," said head girls weightlifting coach Brittney Shearer. "For all those kids to walk through those same doors everyday and see those same pictures of Matti, and they want to be up there on the wall beside her."
"Going into state, I'm very confident that I've done everything to prepare up until this point," added Marsee.
Preparation that for Marsee borders on perfection.
"She tries really, really hard," said Shearer. "She'll give everything she's got to meet that expectation."
It's a standard that carries over to the classroom. As a dual-enrolled student, Marsee has a 4.32 GPA.
"I've had a lot of good role models since I've seen in high school that have really pushed me to care about my GPA."
"Because of her academics, being on point as they are, whatever option she wants is hers for the taking," added Suwannee principal Carl Manna. "Just know that when you're on point with all of these things, the playbook is open for you to write in it."
A playbook worth reading, and one she plans to add to with a third. Marseesaid she wants to major in exercise physiology or sports management, and a dream job for her? A strength and conditioning coach for a collegiate program.