Sun Sentinel | by Garri Curreri | February 18, 2021
Even though Atlantic High School senior Neashi Glevis came up short of the podium at the FHSAA Class 3A girls’ weightlifting state championship in the 183-pound division recently, she said she was happy with her effort.
“I was happy with how I did at state,” Glevis said. “In my book, I got first place because of the fact that I had the opportunity to get that far was an amazing experience.”
Glevis finished ninth at state after lifting a 140-pound bench and a 145-pound clean and jerk for a 285-pound total. The top six lifters in each division receive a medal.
“When I walked in, I knew it was a very competitive environment by the energy,” she said. “It wasn’t anything that I am usually used to. I just knew I had to try my best and push myself to my best abilities.”
This is her second year of weightlifting. After cheerleading her whole life, she wanted to try something new and settled on weightlifting. She finished second in the region last year, but her total wasn’t good enough to punch a ticket to the state tournament.
“I missed last year by like 5 or 10 pounds,” said Glevis, who turned in her pom-poms and only competes in weightlifting now. “It made me really determined to make it this year.”
When she qualified for state this year, by winning the regional title, she said she was ecstatic.
“I was really happy,” she said. “It is something new because it had never happened before, so I was really excited. It was a nice experience, especially since it was my last year of high school.”
This year, Glevis won the regional title to earn an automatic bid to states after lifting 145-pounds in both her bench and clean and jerk for a 290-pound total, which was a 5-pound improvement over her previous career-best this season and 15 pounds more than last year. It was also 40 pounds more than runner-up Loudi Joseph, of Palm Beach Gardens.
“I just went in [to regionals] and did the best I could,” she said. “I did what I knew I could do. In practice, I don’t usually lift what I do in meets. I guess in competitions, the adrenaline is different and I do better with pressure.”
There were only three competitions this season before the district and regional meets to qualify for state. It was also a different environment because due to COVID-19, portions of the lifting were held outside instead of indoors in a gym or weight room.
“It felt a little different because we were outside,” Glevis said. “It was a little weird because we were used to being inside. Districts and regionals were both held outside.
“It was kind of different doing bench inside because we weren’t allowed to go inside with anyone, so you didn’t have people screaming for you like you normally would,” Glevis said. “My teammates weren’t there to support me, but my coach was there to push me.”
Glevis said she wants to work in real estate when she gets older and said the experience with sports will help.
“I know I could push myself,” she said. “It shows me that I could do something that I didn’t think I could do. This also helps you with skills and being around people and performing around people. So when I am selling houses, I will be comfortable around people.”
Ever since she started attending high school her classmates would call her a linebacker because of her size.
“I didn’t really like being called that at first, but now it is OK,” Glevis said. “I am proud of how strong I am.”
“This was so exciting for her and our school,” said Sheri Ergas, the assistant girls’ weightlifting coach at Atlantic High School. “She worked so hard over the years and all she ever wanted was to qualify for states. She always said that when she was practicing, so this is a big accomplishment for her.
Photo: Atlantic High School senior Neashi Glevis finished ninth in the FHSAA Class 3A state weightlifting championships at St. Cloud High School. (Sheri Ergas/Courtesy)