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Leopard lifters return with hardware

BY TONY CASTRO Hernando Today correspondent Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: April 24, 2013 at 09:40 AM

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KISSIMMEE -

The two-time defending Hernando County and Class 1A, District 6 champions from Hernando High returned with precious hardware following Saturday’s 39th installment of the Class 1A FHSAA Finals at Kissimmee Civic Center.

For the first time since 2005’s third-place state finish at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville, the Purple and Gold lifters finished in the top 10 (ninth) behind two senior medalists: Kyle Loparco and Robert Hill Bronson at 219 pounds.

In the final team scores, Panama City Beach-Arnold captured its third state championship – first since 2007 – solving Jacksonville-University Christian and Glen St. Mary-Baker County, 23-18.

Loparco returned to Brooksville with a shiny silver medal placing 55 pounds behind the weight division’s top seed entering the meet, Interlachen junior Jared Makatura.

Makatura hoisted 380 in his bench press and added 340 in the clean-and-jerk portion for a 720 otal, besting Loparco’s personal-best of 390-275—665 total.

Though Loparco led the 18-man bracket following the bench press, he misfired on his first two clean-and-jerk attempts, denying him a chance to possibly cut into Makatura’s winning margin.

Despite closing his prep career as a state runner-up, Loparco left Osceola County unfulfilled.

“Silver isn’t what I’ve been working for, for four long years,” lamented the 18-year-old Loparco. “I really wanted a 700 total; so I underachieved. Looking at it now, even if I would’ve reached my goal, I still would’ve lost by 35 pounds.

“To me the silver medal is unacceptable,” added Loparco, whose previous personal best was 660. “Years from now, I wanted to tell my kids, ‘Yeah, daddy won states once.’ That was my goal.”

Like Loparco, Bronson also notched a personal best in the toughest of environments.

Bronson, who arrived seeded tied for ninth, hoisted a 340-265—605 total to earn a fifth-place bronze medal.

“Today the key was I went up 20 pounds on my bench,” smiled Bronson, who recently turned 19. “The problem was I stayed the same in my cleans; otherwise, it could have been an even better day.

“For a guy who did weightlifting to help prepare for football, I thought I did pretty good. I have no regrets whatsoever.”

Two other senior Leopard lifters failed to place.

O’Mar Hawkins, who was seeded tied for 12th place, finished eighth overall behind a personal-best 335-250—585 total. It turned out Hawkins needed an additional 20 pounds to earn a medal, awarded for by placing in the top six.

Bradenton-Southeast junior Gage Takacs, who also arrived as the top seed, won the weight class behind a 355-315—670 total.

Canaan Swackard, who tied for 16th, was the fourth Leopard to leave Osceola County with a personal best. Swackward departed in 13th place behind a 370-265—635 total.

LaBelle junior Joshua Rimes won the heavyweight division with a 390-330—720 total

“I wish I could have done a little better,” suggested the 18-year-old Swackward. “I settled for a PR (personal record) today. But before I leave I have to thank my coach (Mark Latsko) for this opportunity and tremendous senior year.”

First-year HHS mentor Mark Latsko, who since the season started returned to his alma mater Gainesville High, to become the Hurricanes’ new head football coach.

“Overall, we had a great day on the bench, but not so much in the cleans,” noted Latsko. “That’s my fault for not being around more to help push these guys.”

On finishing ninth overall, “I couldn’t be any prouder of any group of guys,” described Latsko. “It’s been fun putting on the Hernando gear today.”

Weeki Wachee senior Thomas Maynard at 154 and junior Anthony Dinardo at 183, along with Nature Coast senior Derek Newman at 129, failed to place at states.

Of the trio, Maynard came the closest to placing finishing eighth behind a 300-235—535.

Entering the Kissimmee Civic Center, Maynard had not been defeated.

“In the other meets, whatever my starting total was enough to beat everybody, but not here,” admitted the 17-year-old Maynard.

On the difference in this year’s state meet compared to 2012 as a Central Bear in Class 2A, “I thought last year was a lot harder. I was new to this level (of competition),” he said. “This year, I was feeling it. I got a PR in my bench, but then dropped 10 pounds in my cleans. I really felt I left some pounds out there; I came in wanting to get between 555-560 total.”

Dinardo, who arrived as the 18th seed in an 18-man bracket, finished 13th overall behind a personal record 270-235—505 total.

Like Dinardo, NCT’s Newman struggled in his first state meet – especially during the bench press.

Newman, who came in seeded tied for 12th, finished 11th with a 185-210—395 total. Had Newman simply duplicated this season’s best of 410, he would have placed.

“Right now, Derek is disappointed,” pointed out NCT mentor Charles Liggett. “If he had just matched his previous best day, he would have earned a medal. He fell behind in the bench press so he had to go large (in his cleans) for any chance to medal – and just missed.”

39th annual Class 1A FHSAA Finals

at Kissimmee Civic Center

Top 10 Team Results (70 teams)

PL TEAM PTS.

1. Panama City-Arnold 23

2. Glen St. Mary-Baker County 18

3. Jacksonville-University Christian 18

4. Altha 16

5. LaBelle 15

6. Pensacola-West Florida 12

7. Blountstown 9

8. Tavares 8

9. Brooksville-Hernando 7

9. Interlachen 7

9. Bradenton-Southeast 7

Other:

37. Brooksville-Nature Coast Technical 0

37. Weeki Wachee 0

129-lbs.

PL NAME/SCHOOL BEN CJ TOTAL

1. Ronnie Tucker (ALTHA) 285 250 535

2. Chris Santana (MAT) 245 245 490

3. Baron Williams (AUBURN) 230 205 435

4. Ellis Johnson (LABELL) 235 200 435

5. Justin Soto Bell (FLOR) 225 205 430

6. Hunter Dillashaw (JAY) 210 200 410

7. Brandon Harvey (BAKER) 190 215 405

8. Peter Corey (MAT) 190 210 400

9. Trevion Turrell (BAY) 225 175 400

10. Darrien Torres (NEAS) 195 200 395

11. Derek Newman (NCT) 185 210 395

12. Roland Stark (WFLOR) 200 180 380

13. Ryan Britt (FRP) 215 165 380

14. Taylor Carlisle (BAKER) 190 190 380

15. Clyde Johnson (LKNO) 210 165 375

16. Isaac Lopez (LABELL) 205 170 375

17. Andrew Storm (MAD) 180 0 180

18. Alexander Sioch (BELL) 175 0 175

19. Steven Beverly (KEY) 0 0 0

154-lbs.

PL NAME/SCHOOL BEN CJ TOTAL

1. Andrew Gomez-Rivera (PINECT) 280 305 585

2. Anthony Calazzo (CARDMO) 315 265 580

3. Dalton Dyal (BAKER) 285 275 560

4. Shamir David (TAV) 285 275 560

5. Quentin Bertrand (ARN) 310 240 550

6. Khalil Hicks (WARCH) 315 235 550

7. Emilio Colon (TAV) 295 250 545

8. Thomas Maynard (WW) 300 235 535

9. Emmanuel Walker (SUW) 305 220 525

10. Josanty Vega (BELL) 255 270 525

11. Harrison Smith (HAW) 290 235 525

12 Hayden DeForge (ARN) 275 250 525

13. John Brown (KEY) 265 255 520

14. Eric Walker (SUW) 290 230 520

15 Jacob Stalvey (BAKER) 240 250 490

16. Stone Lakey (UNIVCH) 230 250 480

17. Alexander Serrano (POIN) 305 0 305

18. Quoc Nguyen (RUTH) 0 250 250

183-lbs.

PL NAME/SCHOOL BEN CJ TOTAL

1. Ryan Hathcox (BLOUNT) 390 325 715

2. Talmedge Turner (BAKER) 335 305 640

3. Tim Betros (UNIVC) 345 290 635

4. Khari Lewis (FLOR) 345 255 600

5. Chandler Hodges (CLAY) 305 275 580

6. Caleb Thomas (LKCH) 315 260 575

7. Josh Conner (HILL) 300 270 570

8. La’Mikal Kyles (NOVIEW) 310 250 560

9. Fabian Solomon (BLOUNT) 320 235 555

10. Estevan Barajas (TAV) 295 260 555

11. Brad Cates (BRON) 290 260 550

12. Danny Thomas (BAKER) 305 220 525

13. Anthony Dinardo (WW) 270 235 505

14. Jack Magri (EPIS) 265 240 505

15. Blake Lea (LKNO) 280 220 500

16. Victor Ferrara (AMERHERT)305 0 305

17. Telvion Boyd (BAY) 280 0 280

18. Blayne Merchant (BAKER) 280 0 280

199-lbs.

PL NAME/SCHOOL BEN CJ TOTAL

1. Gage Takacs (SE) 355 315 670

2. Phillip James (BRAD) 355 290 645

3. Robert Parland (UNIVC) 355 265 620

4. Danny Anderson (ARN) 365 250 615

5. Jiquan Walker (EAGLES) 345 260 605

6. Valdez Jackson (BAKER) 315 285 600

7. Justin Beauford (WFLOR) 315 285 600

8. Daniel Sanders (WAK) 340 250 590

9. O’Mar Hawkins (HER) 335 250 585

10. Colten Yahn (OBM) 330 250 580

11. Arkelle Elliott (NOVIEW) 330 245 575

12. Kris Sipe (ARN) 325 245 570

13. Adam Nelson (UMA) 300 270 570

14. Zach Hoover (FLOR) 305 260 565

15. Chris Sakamoto (CLAY) 280 260 540

16. Tanner Weaver (WNAS) 295 245 540

17. Michael Cibene (PINECRT) 290 235 525

18. Kevin Thornton (UNION) 285 0 285

219-lbs.

PL NAME/SCHOOL BEN CJ TOTAL

1. Jared Makatura (INTER) 380 340 720

2. Kyle Loparco (HER) 390 275 665

3. Joseph Fernando (WFLOR) 315 320 635

4. Kellon Snider (FRTW) 320 290 610

5. Robert Hill Bronson (HER) 340 265 605

6. Brandon Cunningham (WILL) 315 290 605

7. John Ryan Enlaw (BAKER) 325 280 605

8. Marquis Haynes (UNIVC) 310 285 595

9. Tevin Floyd (FLOR) 295 275 570

10. Isaiah Pellot (LKNO) 315 250 565

11. Jad-Alexander Shalhoub (STED) 285 275 560

12. Jacob Morphew (PAS) 300 255 555

13. Victor Alexpander (TRIN) 345 0 345

14. Anthony Williams (BAY) 320 0 320

15. Jason Ray (YUL) 315 0 315

16. Kole Krimm (ARN) 290 0 290

17. Sanphinaud Jean-Pierre (TEN) 270 0 270

18. Zach Sprenkle (MAD) 0 0 0

HWT.

PL NAME/SCHOOL BEN CJ TOTAL

1. Joshua Rimes (LABELL) 390 330 720

2. Lucas Crowley (NEA) 370 335 705

3. Dillan Mills (BAKER) 395 305 700

4. Manuel Henriquez (CR) 390 305 695

5. Brett Edenfield (CLAY) 350 335 685

6. Austin Droogsma (GLFBR) 350 335 685

7. Leonard Hunt (EAGLE) 380 300 680

8. Josh Allen (UNIVC) 390 285 675

9. Markel Parks (BRAD) 360 315 675

10. Hunter Murray (ARN) 385 280 665

11. AJ Kluess (FRTW) 385 275 660

12. Austen Sims (NMAR) 375 265 640

13. Canaan Swackard (HER) 370 265 635

14. Palmer Harper (AMERHERT) 360 275 635

15. Antonio Thomas (AUBURN) 345 275 620

16. Cole Taylor (BLOUNT) 320 265 585

17. Lucien Menard (AUBURN) 420 0 420

18. Justin Nichols (LKNO) 0 0 0

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