Note: The athlete of the year finalists and winners in each sport will be honored at the annual Student Athletic Recognitions banquet. More information about the event will be published as it becomes finalized.
All-Chronicle Girls Weightlifting Team
Nicole Ervin, So., 101, Citrus
Sahmeeha Grimes, So., 110, Citrus
Selena Velazquez, So., 129, Crystal River
Kylia Morrison, Jr., 139, Crystal River
Taylor Young, Jr., 169, Lecanto
Alexis Evangelista, Sr., 169, Lecanto
Ember Oglesby, Jr., 199, Lecanto
Destiny Langley, Sr., UNL, Citrus
Harrison Mancke, Sr., UNL, Lecanto
Girls Weightlifter of the Year finalists
Alexis Evangelista, Sr., Lecanto
In 2016, as a junior, Evangelista basically came out of nowhere — and understandably so. With a trio of powerful seniors that season, Lecanto seemingly had its state qualifiers set. Due to scratch-out during one of the postseason meets though, Evangelsita stepped in and did her thing. That thing being a sixth-place finish at the state championship at 169 with a 295 total. But that was just the start of it.
Having lifted most of this season in the 183 class, the senior Panther was probably the most dominant lifter on paper. In the county championship, after countless first-place finishes throughout the season, Evangelista took first-place by 110 pounds with her 345 finish. She would have taken 169 by 55 pounds. After dropping a weight class, and winter break, the senior’s number dropped. Still, her 305 total at districts was good for champion-status. At regionals, Evangelista tied with first at a 330 total and had to take second place due to weight. That’s when she impressed yet again. Back at her 345 total, Evangelista walked away from the big 1A meet at Belleview on Feb.3 as the highest state-placer from the county with silver.
Destiny Langley, Sr., Citrus
Heading into this season, Langley was certainly not the only top-level lifter. In the season prior, she was the only one with state experience. Her second go at the big show put her at fifth-place in Kissimmee. Since then, the competition has changed. Though on paper it may seem like Langley had missed a beat, even a “off” season for the senior was good enough to be a top 10 lifter in the state — not a bad legacy to leave behind.
In the 1A state meet at Belleview this year, Langley managed to inch just five pounds shy of her 360-pound total from a season ago. Before that state meet, Langley took third at regionals with a 335, fifth at districts with the same total and was a county runner-up with a 330 — in all, the senior had mad a 15-pound jump from the county championship where her Hurricanes took first place.
Harrison Mancke, Sr., Lecanto
In her first showing at the state meet during her junior year, Mancke came home as the highest placer from Citrus County with a bronze medal in third and a 365 total — she hardly took that as a sign to get comfortable. Over the summer, Mancke put in her fair share of gym hours, resulting in 40-pound increase when the season was all said in done. That 405 total was good for another third-place finish this year at the 1A State Championship.
Though her junior year was full of back-and-forth competition with Langley, with whom she also shares a birthday, Mancke’s senior season ended with her firmly on top of the friendly rivalry. She finished as a county champion with a 400 total before dropping to a 385 total for second place at districts. The drop was due to an injury, leaving Mancke to place second with a 380 at regional. In the weeks leading up to state, however, the senior compensated by improving her bench press immensely and the rest is history.