There’s no doubt about it! It‘s another (Courtney) Traudt for Hernando County Lifter of the Year

Courtney Traudt                                                                                                                                                       Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

GIRLS WEIGHTLIFTING

Three-time county champ,

3-time state qualifier, closes

with fourth-place state medal

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

The first family of Hernando County girls weightlifting – the Traudt’s – earned yet another honor.

Across the 16 seasons that Nature Coast Technical High School has competed in the FHSAA state series under the bar, one local Spring Hill family has led the way.

To date, the Traudt’s have had four daughters compete at NCT including: Brittney, Samantha, Courtney and Isabella.

The last three have been exceptional lifters – each being named All-County.

Samantha, a three-time all-county pick, holds the distinction of being the county’s lone two-time state champion (2016-17).

Courtney and Isabella, are no slouches, they have a combined four county titles under their belts.

The duo has advanced to the FHSAA State Finals an impressive four times.

What elevated Courtney Tina Traudt to rare air is returning from the sport’s elite stage with the best-ever placing – just like her older sister Sam did twice.

When Courtney returned home from the 16th FHSAA Class 1A State Finals this winter, she did so with a fourth-place bronze medal unexpectedly edging senior teammate Jouie Miller for the LOY honor.

For her efforts, Miller departed Bay County with her third straight state medal – a shiny sixth-place medallion – at unlimited.

Michelle Traudt, Isabella Traudt and Mark Traudt flank Courtney Traudt.

Traudt 411

The road to the top of the podium hasn’t been a straight path for the 18-year-old Traudt.

Courtney, the third of four siblings, was born in Dunedin.

Her mother, Michelle, was athletic playing softball and field hockey in New England.

Her father, Mark, however, didn’t play any sports.

The Massachusetts couple have called Spring Hill home for the past 23 years.

The dark-brown tressed and brown-eyed Traudt didn’t participate in any organized sports until middle school.

As a sixth-grader, she alternated playing jayvee volleyball for Powell and playing the clarinet in the band.

As a seventh- and eighth-grader, she participated on the Panther varsity spiker teams.

Powell Panthers

Upon matriculating to the California Street campus of NCT, the 5-foot-3 Traudt branched out.

She played JV volleyball as a freshman, made the weightlifting team for the first of four seasons and dabbled running in the 800 meters in track.

She maintained that schedule for the next four seasons.

When she wasn’t playing sports, she was a member of the medical cluster and maintained a 3.56 unweighted and 3.75 weighted grade point average.

Due to he academic prowess, she was accepted at five colleges.

Florida Southern College Moccasins

In an attempt to get away from her tight family – she enrolled at Lakeland’s Florida Southern College to study neo-natal nursing.

Her outstanding academics permitted Traudt to be a three-year member of the prestigious National Honor Society and a member of Key Club at NCT.

 

Terrific senior year

Her passion, however, lies in performing under the bar.

In a terrific senior campaign, Traudt was a member of the Sharks’ squad that captured the Hernando County, district and regional championships prior to placing 19th – out of 71 schools – in the Class 1A State Finals at Panama City Beach.

In Year 4, she competed in a personal record 10 meets.

She strung together an impressive streak of eight wins in eight meets: Lecanto, Citrus and Bishop McLaughlin, Weeki Wachee and Central duel meets, Hernando tri-meet, 18th Hernando County Championship Meet and the 1A-10 Meet at Weeki Wachee.

2019 state medallists: NCT’s Jouie Miller and Courtney Traudt

The county crown was her third overall championship.

The district title was her second straight.

The streak concluded finishing runner-up in the arduous Class 1A, Region V Meet at Leesburg.

The Yellow Jackets’ own Yasmine Heflin handed Traudt her initial loss, 405-325.

Two weeks later, in her third FHSAA State Finals at Arnold High, Traudt broke through the glass ceiling to reach the post-meet medal podium placing fourth.

She finished the season with highest county total at 183 pounds with a combined 165-165—330-pound total.

Demonstrating her longevity, across four seasons, she competed in 33 meets.

Traudt toted home 16 gold medals.

But returning home from the intense pressure cooker at states with the best finish impressed the area coaches to no end.

NCT Head Coach Rudy Story and Courtney Traudt

“Had the privilege of watching her work toward her goals … Courtney was easily the most focused lifter on our team,” explained NCT’s third-year mentor Rudy Story. “Her greatest asset? By far, it’s her work ethic … She was always the first in the weight room and the last to leave … She never missed a workout … She and Izzy, her sister, are clones in that aspect …

“…We’re gonna miss her leadership … She was vocal,” added Story, the county’s Coach of the Year. “She was the one that rallied the other girls … She’s the type of competitor that never took anything for granted in the weight room … I couldn’t agree more with her selection of Lifter of the Year.”

Mike Garofano
Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

“Her consistency showed … You can’t fluke eight wins nor medaling at states,” stressed Springstead’s veteran mentor Mike Garofano. “She worked hard on her craft and was rewarded by finishing the highest of any county lifter.”

Mark Griffith

“Weightlifting is not a hobby to her; she took it very seriously … She proved that by reaching states three times,” shared Hernando High’s Mark Griffith. “She’s a competitor … Competitors will do what it takes to medal at The Show … To score as many points as she did this season is pretty special.”

 

LOY Reaction

Traudt was stunned when she learned the news of her selection.

Courtney Traudt

“I was so surprised. When I heard it, my jaw dropped. This is crazy. There are a lot of good lifters here,” she emphasized.

“After seeing (her sister) Sam win it the first time, there are a lot of things you’ve got to keep up with. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to be like Sam. Being on the podium two years after Sam wasn’t exactly the same. She got a gold medal and I didn’t, but it felt the same to me.”

Why weightlifting?

Traudt traveled down memory lane recalling what it was like that first season at NCT.

“I remember watching my sister, Brittney, compete. I thought, “You’ve got to be crazy to hold weights above your head. It’s a pretty scary situation.”

“I remember taking a weightlifting class and starting out on the bench press at 115 pounds,” she said. “I convinced myself that by doing this sport, I’d be making myself a lot stronger. I wanted stronger legs and arms. It’s nice not to be messed with by other kids in school.

“… I noticed very quickly, I picked things up fast,” she recalled.

Traudt overcame weight fluctuations.

“Making weight is an issue for a lot of lifters, but not me,” she noted. “I pretty much ate the same until my junior year. I competed at either 168-183.”

Samantha Traudt

The biggest advice Courtney ever received was from her sister Sam.

“Sam knew I stressed out too much about (other people’s totals). Sam just told me not to worry about everyone else’s lifts. And just concentrate on lifting more – on getting the next lift.

“With my whole family at states, I just wanted to peak out,” shared Traudt. “My goal walking in was to go all out and do my absolute best.“

After competing, she was asked what place did she get.

“I thought I finished fourth,” recalled Traudt. “It wasn’t first place, but it felt like it in my book. Deep down, did I ever think I’d be as good as Sam? No. She made it look so easy. But my heart felt like I was in the same spot.”

Before attending Florida Southern

Prior to attending Florida Southern, Traudt will continue to work part-time at Marco’s Pizza.

She’s worked for them for 18 months collecting some spending money.

She feels like she’s at a new cross road in her life.

“This (graduation from NCT) is just the beginning of my life,” noted Traudt. “I hope to be a mom within 15 years. I’d like to tell my kids that I was in love with weightlifting. That it helped define me. That it allowed me to grow up.”

On not performing any longer for the Sharks, “I’m gonna miss all the funny times during practice that we all had,” she grinned. :I’m gonna miss all the laughter and all the fun. What I take away from this experience is we were so close as a team. Watching old videos from the matches was so much fun.”

Prior to heading to Polk County, Traudt stressed that her academics are job 1.

“My academics are really important to me. They’re gonna take me where I want to go with the nursing program,” she explained.

On why she chose the Moccasins’ campus, “I‘m a huge family person. My sisters and I are really tight. They’re my best friends. It breaks my heart to leave them. I remember when we were small and we shared one bedroom. Now, we‘re we’re all heading in different directions.

“The biggest obstacle I have to overcome is being on my own,” emphasized Traudt. “That’s why I purposely picked Florida Southern. It’s not too far away. I can still come home on the weekends if I want.“

On her legacy, “I’d like to be remembered as a loud, goofy, inspirational person that you could always come to for advice. Someone you could have fun with, but someone who also reached her priorities.”

By the Numbers: NCT’s Courtney Traudt (2015-19)

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

2018-19

2018-19 SHARK DISTRICT CHAMPS! – NCt’s 2018-19 Class 1A, District 10 individual champions include (first row left to right): Courtney Traudt, Aryana Millan and Isabella Traudt. Back row: Kendal Haff, Tara Gray, Amanda Waddell, Arieyanna Johnson and Jouie Miller.
 

-19WGT

 

OPPONENT(S)

 

BEN-CLN-TOT

 

PL

 

183

 

Lecanto

 

155-145–300

 

1st

 

183

 

Citrus

 

160-150–310

 

1st

 

183

 

Bishop McLaughlin

 

160-160–320

 

1st

 

183

 

Weeki Wachee

 

160-160–320

 

1st

 

183

 

Central

 

150-150–300

 

1st

 

183

 

Hernando/Central

 

150-165–315

 

1st

 

183

 

HN CO Championship

 

165-165—330

 

1st

 

183

 

1A District 10 Meet

 

165-150—315

 

1st

 

183

1A Region V Meet

165-160—325

2nd

 

183

1A State Finals

165-155—320

4th

2017-18

Isabella Traudt, Coach Tania Kelly and Courtney Traudt.
 

WGT

 

OPPONENT(S)

 

BEN-CLN-TOT

 

PL

 

183

Lecanto

130-115–245

2nd

 

183

 

Citrus/Hernando

 

130-115–245

 

1st

 

183

 

Hernando Quad

 

150-145–295

 

1st

 

183

 

Crystal River

 

150-125–275

 

1st

 

183

 

HN CO Championship

 

150-140—290

 

1st

 

183

1A District 10 Meet

155-145—300

2nd

 

183

1A Region V Meet

160-155—315

2nd

 

183

1A State Finals

160-150310

12th

2016-17

Courtney Traudt (center) flanked by Jouie Miller and Arieyanna Johnsn.
 

WGT

 

OPPONENT(S)

 

BEN-CLN-TOT

 

PL

 

183

Lecanto

130-115—245

2nd

 

183

Hernando/Central

125-120—245

2nd

 

183

 

Springstead/Weeki Wachee

 

130-125—255

 

1st

 

183

 

Citrus

 

135-125—260

 

1st

 

169

 

HN CO Championship

 

135-130—265

 

1st

 

183

 

1A District 10 Meet

 

140-135—275

 

1st

 

183

1A Region V Meet

140-130—270

5th

 

183

1A State Finals

145-140285

14th

2015-16

Jouie Miller, Courtney Traudt, Amanda Randazzo, Arieyanna Johnson and Isabella Traudt.
 

WGT

 

OPPONENT

 

BEN-CLN-TOT

 

PL

 

183

Weeki Wachee

115-90—205

2nd

 

183

Lecanto

120-100—220

3rd

 

183

Hernando

120-105—225

2nd

 

183

Citrus

125-105—230

2nd

 

183

HN CO Championship

125-110—235

3rd

 

183

1A District 10 Meet

130-110—240

3rd

 

183

1A Region V Meet

130-110—240

6th

 

 

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