Gainesville’s Ori Sela named Athlete of the Week

Gainesville High School's Ori Sela was Class 2A state runner up in both the traditional and Olympic 169-pound division.
Gainesville High School's Ori Sela was Class 2A state runner up in both the traditional and Olympic 169-pound division.
Courtesy of Aner Sela

There were no Alachua County state champions in girls weightlifting this year.

However, junior Ori Sela of Gainesville High School came awfully close.

Sela, who won two Class 2A-Region 1 titles in the 169-pound division, finished as a state runner-up in two events at the FHSAA Girls Weightlifting State Championships last weekend at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

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She helped lead the Lady Hurricanes to a 10th-place finish overall in the Traditional competition and a ninth-place finish in the Olympic competition.

Competing in the 169-pound division, she finished as a state runner-up in the Traditional competition with a total of 360 and tied for first in the Olympic competition with a total of 335.

“Ori is the ultimate competitor,” said Steve Bauer, who is in his 21st season as head coach at Gainesville High School. “She is always working to get stronger. She is the first one in the weight room and the last to leave the weight room.”

The two-time state qualifier, who advanced to state last year for GHS, finished second behind Mopeola Tofade of New Smyrna Beach in both events.

She just missed a state title in the Olympic competition as both finished with a total of 335, but she finished second based on body weight.

Sela becomes the 26th athlete to be selected for the weekly award during the 2023-24 school year.

Last week’s winner was Samanta Keith of the Countryside Christian girls’ basketball team.

At the FHSAA Class 2A-District 4 tournament, Keith averaged 12 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 4.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks as the No. 2 seed Minutemen (18-3) won the district title.

Recent winners include De’Mya Adams of the Hawthorne girls’ basketball team and Palmer Walton of the Buchholz boys basketball team.

For a complete list of winners, click here.

Coaches can email their nominations each week, along with stats, no later than Sunday night to

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