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Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

Eagle lifters return to the top

Hernando Today correspondent

Published:   |   Updated: March 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

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SPRING HILL - It wasn't enough Wednesday afternoon that Springstead returned to the top perch as the county's boys weightlifting champion.

The Eagles, who entered 6-0 against their county brethren this spring, had 14-of-15 lifters score points (sixth or better), highlighted by five individual champs to claim their eighth county title in 16 years.

The biggest shocker wasn't Springstead finishing with a meet-best 63 points to deny Hernando High its first-ever three-peat.

What turned heads was upstart Weeki Wachee finishing with 51 points and two champions to finish second ahead of Hernando (47); Central (36) and Nature Coast Technical (12).

The Hornets had placed fifth in this meet in 2011-12 before climbing to fourth last season.

"I like the improvement," said fourth-year Hornet mentor Mark Lee. "We're making strides. I like the fact that we're not satisfied by just competing; our guys our doing the best they can to win."

WWHS was paced by sophomore Shawn O'Gorman's first-ever county victory at 169 pounds as well as senior Anthony Dinardo's win at 183.

"I was glad to see O'Gorman win," explained Lee. "He's growing into a fine young man. He's the type of kid coaches don't have to ask him twice to do anything."

O'Gorman was one of eight first-time county champions. He upset top-seeded Hernando junior Dylan Moore by 10 pounds, 450-440.

"Right now, winning feels amazing," pointed out the 16-year-old O'Gorman, who raced out of the Eagle gymnasium to NCT for a track and field meet. "It's great to win.

"It's funny, before I lifted weights to just prepare for football. Once I tried it, I've gotten better," he said. "Today, I got my PR (personal record) in my cleans (210). In a couple weeks at districts, I'm shooting for a 470 total."

Dinardo had the good fortune of seeing top-seeded Springstead senior Austin Stock bump up to 199.

Last year, Stock topped Dinardo by 40 pounds to secure first place.

With Stock not in the picture, Dinardo, a 2013 Class 1A state qualifier, solved Springstead junior Dylan McLeod, 510-470.

"It's fun watching Austin lift," insisted Dinardo. "Coming in, I've been struggling with my bench. I pulled something in my back and I'm not 100 percent."

On the meet's victory, "This (win) is really big," said Dinardo. "Even with a bad back I still competed and did the best I could."

Central also retained two champs: seniors Austin Asher at 154 and Anderson Ramsey at 238.

The top-seeded Ramsey edged out Hernando senior Brandon Laursen, 530-520, for his first-ever crown.

The top-seeded Asher teamed with Bear sophomore Nathan Clotter for a solid 1-2 finish and 12 team points. Asher whipped Clotter, 455-410.

"This is a great win," declared the 18-year-old Asher. "I've been waiting to win this. The competition wasn't as stiff this season as in the past.

"I thought spring break really messed me up," added Asher. "I didn't PR in my bench or in my power cleans. Even my dad got mad at me for not working out as much as I had been. I'm shooting for a 480-total for districts; that should be enough to reach states."

The Leopards' lone champ was no shocker when 2012 state qualifier, senior David Goodwin, crushed sophomore teammate Uriah Coniglio, 460-390.

"Winning tastes pretty good," said the 19-year-old Goodwin. "The key today was to get my first weight in and start working my way up. At districts, I want to do the same thing."

? ? ?

Eleventh-year Eagle skipper Mike Garofano savored the moment afterward behind his seventh Hernando County championship.

"Outside of one hiccup (junior Dan Fazio unexpectedly scratching out at 154), we had 14 of the 15 guys score points. Our goal was 15-of-15," emphasized Garofano. "I was shooting for four champs; we got five - that's tremendous effort for all the guys. Overall, we did what we needed to do."

Garofano was impressed with Michael Miara's comeback win at heavyweight, Nathaniel Walker's stunning victory at 219 and Dylan McLeod's courage at 199.

"Dylan wasn't going to compete. He wasn't 100 percent, but he took one for the team. And I thought Walker would medal, but I wasn't expecting him to win," detailed Garofano. "He hurt his finger and missed the last meet. I'd say Walker was a pleasant surprise."

SHS was paced by top-of-the-podium efforts by seniors Stock at 199, Steven Torres at 119, Walker at 219 and Miara at heavyweight, along with junior Geoff Boettjer at 129.

All but Walker were seeded first coming into the meet.

SHS' two-time county champions included Stock and Torres.

Stock hoisted a meet-best 345 bench press to complement his 245 clean-and-jerk total for a meet-high 585.

That total tied his seasonal best and was a whopping 95 pounds higher than Hernando junior Abel Terkevich's 490 total.

On which county crown was more difficult, "Last year was definitely harder to win," replied Stock, who turned 18 on Monday. "I got pushed a lot more last year. I came into this one pretty confident that I'd win."

According to Stock, "Spring break didn't help. I was on a cruise ship and ate everything in sight," he said. "But I felt a lot stronger going in."

On his district goal, "I want to be a district champion - it's the same goal I've had since I was a freshman," said Stock.

Like Stock, Torres cruised to his second county title by whipping Weeki Wachee sophomore Brandon Smith, 295-195.

"I didn't get the weight I wanted," explained a frustrated 19-year-old Torres. "I'm looking to break the school record in the clean-and-jerk at districts (175). I just wish I had a few more meets before districts."

A year ago, Boettjer was the top seed in his weight class, yet suffered a power failure. He waited a year for redemption.

"It's my fault, I should have won this last year," said the 16-year-old Boettjer. "Dad gave me some false information and I started too high, but I learned my lesson.

"Winning this for the first time feels great. It's like I've finally achieved something."

Walker made a name for himself by besting Weeki Wachee's Hartman, 520-505. Coming in, Hartman was seeded first behind a 515 total.

"I've never been in this position before,"said the 18-year-old Walker. "It really does feel great. Something like this just helps build my confidence heading into districts. Today was a great team effort."

Oddly enough, Miara placed fourth in this meet last season behind three seniors and a 535 total.

A year later, he tied NCT's William Degaro at 535. But since Miara weighed in less, he took home first place-honors.

"First place tastes pretty good," said the 18-year-old Miara. "Today, my power cleans really came through. This is encouraging. I'm looking forward to districts. I'm aiming for a 555 total."

The county meet served as the final warm-up prior to the state series. Respective district tournaments for all the county lifters take place in two weeks at either Fivay (Class 1A-6) or Sunlake (2A-3).

16th annual Hernando County Boys Weightlifting Championship Meet

at Springstead

Final 2014 Hernando County Boys Weightlifting Team Results


1. Springstead (SPG) 63.0

2. Weeki Wachee (WW) 51.0

3. Hernando (HER) 47.0

4. Central (CEN) 36.0

5. Nature Coast Technical (NCT) 12.0

Final 2014 Hernando County Championship Meet Individual Results

(Top 6 featuring bench, clean & jerk and total weight lifted. Points awarded 7-5-4-3-2-1 basis)

119 - 1. **Steven Torres (SPG) 150-145-295, 2. Brandon Smith (WW) 110-85-195, 3. Nolan Kane (WW) 85-65-150.

129 - 1. Geoff Boettjer (SPG) 215-185-400, 2. Dakota Johnson (WW) 230-155-385, 3. Josh Mercado (SPG) 150-160-310, 4. Carl Laudan (WW) 160-145-305.

139 - 1. David Goodwin (HER) 250-210-460, 2. Uriah Coniglio (HER) 215-175-390, 3. William Levandowski (CEN) 205-175-380, 4. Ayyob Pahmash (CEN) 220-155-375, 5. Jack Lacy (NCT) 150-125-275.

154 - 1. Austin Asher (CEN) 240-215-455, 2. Nathan Clotter (CEN) 237-175-410, 3. Ian Isaacson (WW) 200-205-405, 4. Nick D'Amico (SPG) 200-175-375, 5. Damion Kemper (WW) 200-170-370.

169 - 1. Shawn O'Gorman (WW) 240-210-450, 2. Dylan Moore (HER) 230-210-440, 3. Xavier Jones (WW) 255-180-435, 4. Luca Perego (SPG) 220-200-420, 5. Brennan Ertl (HER) 215-200-415, 5, 6. Jake Lewandowski (SPG) 195-185-380.

183 - 1. Anthony Dinardo (WW) 285-225-510, 2. Dylan McLeod (SPG) 250-220-470, 3. Hiram Matos (WW) 245-205-450, 4. Craig Stewart (HER) 250-195-445, 5. Yannis Hantzis (NCT) 245-185-430, 6. Austin Webber (HER) 200-205-405.

199 - 1. **Austin Stock (SPG) 340-245-585, 2. Abel Terkovich (HER) 255-135-490, 3. Jacob Valentino (HER) 240-190-430, 4. Dillon Haas (SPG) 255-170-425, 5. Cameron Syblis (NCT) 210-215-425, 6. DeAndre Hannah (NCT) 210-200-410.

219 - 1. Nathaniel Walker (SPG) 270-250-520, 2. Anthony Hartman (WW) 270-235-505, 3. Jeremy Luckett (CEN) 260-245-505, 4. Shawn Bystrum (HER) 275-210-485, 5. Josh Wilson (HER) 260-185-445, 6. Santiago Hernandez (SPG) 245-175-420.

238 - 1. Anderson Ramsey (CEN) 295-235-530, 2. Brandon Laursen (HER) 260-200-460, 3. Jameson Peppe (SPG) 310-205-515, 4. Jesse Gaudin (HER) 260-235-495, 5. Travon Lincoln (CEN) 215-190-405, 6. Romeo Tzobanakis (WW) 230-130-365.

HWT - 1. Michael Miara (SPG) 290-245-535, 2. William Degaro (NCT) 320-215-535, 3. Dylan Heck (SPG) 275-220-495, 4. Tyler Gerhart (CEN) 275-210-485, 5. Larry O' Bonnon (HER) 255-190-445, 6. Angelo Adele (CEN) 230-175-405.

** Denotes repeat county champion.

Past Hernando County Boys Weightlifting Team Champions


1999 Central NA

2000 Central 48.0

2001 Central NA

2002 Springstead 42.0

2003 Hernando 42.0

2004 Springstead 53.0

2005 Hernando 55.0

2006 Springstead 50.0

2007 Central 50.0

2008 Springstead 57.0

2009 Springstead 51.0

2010 Springstead 55.0

2011 Springstead 83.0

2012 Hernando 68.0

2013 Hernando 56.0

2014 Springstead 63.0

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