Wellington’s LeeAnn Hewitt named Post All-Area weightlifter of the year

Eating and drinking on the weightlifting floor isn’t uncommon. Lifters need to make sure they’re fully hydrated and have enough energy to lift more than their body weight.

But Wellington’s LeeAnn Hewitt has another reason. She’s diabetic and needs to make sure her blood sugar doesn’t crash while she’s lifting. Fortunately, she knows what her body needs and has never had an incident on the floor.

“You try to keep a balance, and especially with all the stress that ensues when you’re at a weightlifting meet, you just try to keep it as balanced as possible,” Hewitt said. “Even at states, my numbers weren’t (balanced) but it comes with the craft. I’ve been blessed with an ability to lift, and I just try to be strong about it.”

Hewitt, the Post’s Girls Weightlifter of the Year, has overcome that illness and become not only one of the premier weightlifters in the county, but in Florida and in the nation. After dominating district and regional competition, she won her second straight state title in the unlimited category in February, benching 270 pounds and lifting 235 pounds in the clean-and-jerk. She finished 35 total pounds ahead of the second-place finisher.

“You feel like you’re on top of the world because you work so hard for it and you yearn for it,” Hewitt said. “Especially in the weeks before, it’s all you think about. You just want to win and you want to do well, so when you actually succeed and hit that goal, it just feels unbelievable.”

Hewitt has also had success nationally.

At the Arnold Sports Festival last year, she broke six world records in the sub-junior category and lifted 1,268 pounds.

Her success on the national level led to Buzzfeed writing a story about her, and since then, Hewitt has received messages from other diabetic athletes around the country who have been inspired by her story and success.

“Kids my age say, ‘I’m struggling with this and you’ve inspired me to do this or keep going,’” she said. “That means a lot to me.”

Hewitt graduates from Wellington this spring. Her next goal: the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

“I’m excited about it,” Hewitt said. “I think I can do it.”

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