On February 11th, Marina Goins, a senior at Key West High School (KWHS), made history for the KWHS girls weightlifting team by placing third in the 169-pound weight class for snatch; an Olympic weightlifting move, at the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) girls weightlifting state competition. Although the switch from the 1A to the 2A district for KWHS made the athletic competition more of a challenge, Goins was able to overcome these obstacles and earn a state bronze medal.
Hosted at Port St. Joe High School, Goins and the rest of the KWHS state qualifiers: Breanna Allen, Valerie Thene, and Dazmine Jenkins traveled from the far south of Florida to the north by plane, giving them plenty of time to rest and replenish their energy before their big day.
Although she succeeded in the snatch the most, Goins also went to state for the traditional Olympic competition moves, bench and clean & jerk, placing ninth out of 20 girls.
Stacey Pillari, the KWHS ex-girls weightlifting coach from 2019 to 2022, saw good promise in Goins since the beginning of her freshman year. Goins proves that hard work and dedication can take you places, and by following Coach Pillari’s methods, knowledge, and advice on the sport, she was able to exceed what she thought she was capable of. She currently snatches 120 pounds, benches 160 pounds, and clean & jerks 155 pounds for the 169-pound weight class.
After starting from the bottom of the ranks her freshman year, Goins has been able to move up from seventh and eighth in the district to the top of the leaderboard of the state, as well as becoming co-captain of the team this year with Chloe Knowles, another senior at KWHS. She has seen major improvements in her technique, strength, and her body, feeling more confident in meets and different types of clothing.
After Goins graduates high school, she will be majoring in exercise science for her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Florida (UCF) in the fall semester of 2022, rooming with Knowles. To keep pursuing her love for competitive weightlifting, Goins plans to join UCF’s club weightlifting program. She also plans to join UCF’s Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) program, potentially paving her way into the military after college. Taking her Conch Pride with her, Goins will grow into college life, ready to put her strength in other areas of interest.