Last week, the Central boys weightlifting team was on the outside looking in as Hernando and Springstead tied for first place in the county meet.
But this week, it was the Bears taking home a trophy, finishing as the runner-up in Monday’s Class 1A, District 11 Meet at Weeki Wachee. Though Citrus ran away with the team title at 91 points, Central edged Hernando, 29-28.
“We were going into it not thinking we would take second,” Central head coach Chris Sands said. “We figured Citrus was going to win it. We faced them early in the season and they’re really strong this year. But you never know in a meet like this. People can cut points anywhere. I think that’s what happened to Hernando.”
The Bears pulled off the feat despite Dominique Walker surprisingly losing by five pounds at 199 pounds, benching 315 pounds and lifting 255 in the clean-and-jerk for a 570 total. In a bit of controversy, his final clean attempt was ruled a scratch.
Instead it was Darrion Davis collecting Central’s lone individual district title, as he was one of only two non-Citrus winners thanks to a 205-155—360 at 139.
The top six finishers in each weight class qualified for the regional meet, and the Bears will have eight competitors at Belleview on March 25. R.J. Harrington took third at 183 (255-180—435), as did Kelvontae Roberts at 238 (300-225—525). Josh Rivera came in fourth at 238 (285-235—520), while Sean Fribbley at 129 (125-115—240), Robert Russell at 169 (255-210—465) and Donovan Diaz at 199 (230-230—460) all placed fifth.
Hernando may have placed behind Central, yet the Leopards will be sending 10 to regionals. That includes Ben Southall (fourth at 129, 145-120—265), Bronson Tafelski (third at 139, 205-155—360), Boston Tafelski (fifth at 139, 200-155—355), Josh Vonada (sixth at 169, 220-230—450), Dalton Peters (fourth at 183, 220-205—425), Jacob Butts (fourth at 199, 265-225—490), Colin Pagels (second at 219, 270-275—545), Luther Miller (sixth at 238, 255-175—430), Thomas Loffler (second at heavyweight, 325-225—550) and Max Prindle (sixth at heavyweight, 255-240—495).
Weeki Wachee had five qualifiers: Philip Logrie at 119 (third, 135-95—230), Nick Pasmore at 139 (sixth, 180-155—335), Tyler Greer (fourth, 240-175—415) and Myles Brady (fifth, 230-175—405) at 154, and Jason McKnight at 219 (275-215—490).
Finally, Nature Coast advanced four to regionals: Michael Lee at 119 (fourth, 120-110—230), Philip Orlando at 219 (third, 280-265—545), Augustus Carwell at 238 (second, 280-250—530) and Logan Wellman at heavyweight (fifth, 270-230—500).
On Wednesday, Springstead participated in the 2A-6 Meet held at Wesley Chapel, coming in third with 31 points. Sophomore Andro Segura took first at 154, behind a 265-200—465.
Nine other Eagles qualified for regionals, which will also be at Wesley Chapel on March 27. The list features Bradley Solari at 199 (third, 160-135—295), Jordan Gilmore (third, 175-160—335) and Niko Burburan (fifth, 180-120—300) at 129, Hunter Weaver at 139 (third, 180-170—350), Isaiah Howard at 154 (sixth, 230-200—430), Joey McClure (fourth, 250-175—425) and Dante Narvaez (fifth, 245-175—420) at 169, Alec Maratea at 183 (sixth, 290-205—495) and Kyle Cook at 219 (fourth, 265-220—485).
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.