BY GENE NARDI
On Saturday, April 2, Seminole Ridge High School hosted the first-ever regional championships weightlifting tournament and won the overall team title with 84 points. The Hawks had six lifters qualify for the state tournament set for April 15-16 at the Kissimmee Civic Center.
Prior to this year, weightlifting meets were conducted at the district and conference levels in efforts to advance to the state meet. This was the inaugural year for the regional tournament. Competitors participated in three lifts, the bench press, pause bench press and the clean and jerk, for a combined weight lifted as their score.
Park Vista High School took the runner-up spot with 26 points. Wellington High School placed third overall with 22 points. Fifteen Palm Beach County high schools competed in the tournament, including Royal Palm Beach and Palm Beach Central.
Kristian Gonzalez (139-pound class), Chase Johnson (169-pound class), Jon Eitenne (199-pound class), Marcos Fernandez (238-
pound class) and Jake Jones (unlimited) all won their weight class. They automatically qualified to advance to the state round.
The Hawks also had a strong showing from Justin Perez, who placed second in the 139-pound class, just behind Gonzalez, with 450 total pounds lifted. James Dodge placed third in the 169-pound class with a combined weight of 485 pounds lifted, and Greg Henry placed second in the 154-pound class with a weighted score of 550 pounds. Elexis Ruiz placed second in the unlimited class with 660 pounds lifted.
Wellington’s Alex Brosseau rolled his way through the 219-pound weight division with a total combined weight of 710 pounds. Brosseau qualified to advance to the state tournament, where he hopes to get a lift of 375 pounds. Making those lifts would propel him right into the saddle of the state record.
Brosseau is no stranger to that number; he made those lifts earlier in the season, but the Florida High School Athletic Association recognizes record-setting lifts only at the state tournament.
D.J. Dobkins took second place in the 119-pound class with a combined lifted weight of 335 pounds, and Mark Lopez placed second in the 183-pound class with a combined weight of 590 pounds lifted for the Wolverines.
Kyle Maschi of Royal Palm Beach placed second overall in the 169-weight class with a combined lifted weight of 485 pounds. Zikk Omoruyi from Palm Beach Central placed second overall in the 238-pound division with a combined lifted weight of 690 pounds.
The Hawks are a known local power in the gym when it comes to pumping iron, and their domination in the first regional meet is no surprise. They have solidified their presence in the sport of weightlifting and look to make a run at the state meet.
ABOVE:The Seminole Ridge High School weightlifters won the 2016 Class 2A Region 8 title.