A desire to make the softball team landed Summer Daraio-Rivera in the weight room.
"I really wanted to be on Varsity and a lot of our senior girls did weightlifting and really encouraged me to join the sport," she said.
After some hesitation, Daraio-Rivera committed. And flourished.
In her first full season, she finished eighth in the state.
“I always have something to prove," she said. "I’m always someone that’s like, well I can do more than this you know, so I wanted to be good instantly because I’m just so competitive.”
Daraio-Rivera's ambition and aggression quickly lifted her to the top of the sport.
Last weekend, she won her second consecutive state title. The senior tied two state records with a 165-pound bench press and a 325-pound total.
Daraio-Rivera is the eighth lifter in the history of Spruce Creek's decorated program to win multiple state championships.
“To win 2 and you’ve been in the program for a full 4 years, that’s one thing but for her to come in for only 3 years and win 2, that’s a big deal,” Spruce Creek coach David Nelson said.
Added Daraio-Rivera: “When I look up at those names and see the multiple state championships under a couple people, I know what they had to go through 'cause I did it.”
One of her goals is to recruit more girls into the weight room.
“They’re so intimidated by like, oh, I can’t even lift a milk jug," Daraio-Rivera said. "I’m like well, you start off with a bar that you can lift, you start off lifting what you can and eventually be able to add a 2 and a 5, put a 10 on and one day you’ll surprise yourself and bench the 45’s. You don’t know, how could you even know if you don’t try?”
As for Daraio-Rivera's future?
“This is just my optimism but Tokyo 2020,” she said.
An Olympic-sized dream for a 5-foot, 110-pound golden girl.