PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Bay High girls weightlifting team has already made history this season. They won their district championship, the first time a Tornadoes team has been able to get that honor.
“They said ‘Bay’ and it kinda all was a blur, everyone was happy, everyone excited, running, taking pictures. It was amazing,” Bay weightlifter Madison Hayes said.
It was a moment the Bay weightlifters won’t forget.
“It’s incredible, we’ll come back for our senior reunions and stuff like that, class reunions, we’ll be able to look at that banner in the gym and say I was a part of that team,” Bay weightlifter Jasmine Reed said.
Bay head-coach Greg Bailie has coached the girls for the past four seasons and he said the district title was not just the work of this year, but instead, the team has been steadily growing and the lifters building on what they have accomplished the year before.
When he started, he only had nine girls on the squad, now he has 28.
“We’ve had some good leaders come through and girls have kinda been able to set the pace and kinda do some recruiting and get girls to come in. And every year we keep building and hopefully, we keep getting more and more freshmen in so that we can get four years with them and get them to their maximum potential,” Bailie said.
However, these lifters have another challenge on the horizon: regionals. Bay has 15 lifters heading to Suwannee to compete in those on Friday.
Even though it will be a tough competition, these girls are confident they have the strength to do well.
“I definitely think we’ll do a lot better than last year, I think we will go in there feeling prepared and come out feeling proud, whether none of get lifts or all of us get lifts,” Hayes said.
The Tornadoes will be proud no matter what because, at the end of the day, they were just happy to get the opportunity to compete at all this season.
“Just after our first meet of the season, everything is cherry on the top. With the whole COVID thing, getting to continue our season, actually, finish strong through our season and become district champions. It was all icing, just being able to do this year was the foundation,” Reed said.