By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
KISSIMMEE — Chase Shepard didn’t have the body language of a state medalist after the Class 2A State Weightlifting Championships.
The Charlotte High School senior entered the competition seeded fourth in the 199-pound division, but with expectations to surpass that seeding. Shepard didn’t meet those expectations with a fifth-place finish.
“I should’ve placed a lot higher,” Shepard said. “I just didn’t get the weights I wanted to get. I’m a competitor and I’m not satisfied. Obviously, I can’t do anything about it. I knew realistically I didn’t have a shot at first, but I thought I could get second, and it didn’t work out that way.”
Shepard successfully bench pressed 360 pounds to put himself in second place entering the final round. After only completing 295 pounds on the clean and jerk, he dropped three places.
He competed as a 183-pounder last year as a state qualifier and finished 11th.
“I thought Chase did a great job,” coach Ray Hixson said. “This is very tough competition. He’s worked hard all year, and I’m proud of him. Yes, he was a little disappointed, but I’m very proud of him.”
Chris Comer exceeded his seeding with an eighth-place finish at heavyweight. The senior’s 365-pound bench press and 325 clean and jerk, left him 25 pounds away from a sixth-place medal.
“He took eighth probably giving up 50 pounds to the next closest heavyweight in body weight,” Hixson said. “But he broke our school records in clean and jerk, and then he broke our total record again. He had a great day.”
Will Pasho began the first half of the day for Charlotte with a 250-pound bench press. The senior followed that with 225 pounds in the clean and jerk.
In the competitive 139-pound weight class, Pasho set a pair of school records, but still missed the podium. His 225-pound clean and jerk set a Charlotte record for a 139-pounder, as did his 475-pound total.
“I’m a little disappointed. I wasn’t as strong as I could’ve been,” said Pasho, who finished eighth, 25 pounds short of a medal. “It feels great to know that my name is going to be on the school board for a long time. To know that I was the strongest to compete for them makes me pretty happy.”
Teammate Cainyn Cooper, competing in the 238-pound class, also finished in eighth.
Malik Arscott finished 11th as a 199-pounder. He totaled 595 pounds between a bench press of 340 and clean and jerk of 255.
Qualifying weightlifters: 5
Lifter Class Finish
Chase Shepard 199 5th
Chris Comer HWT 8th
Will Pasho 139 8th
Cainyn Cooper 238 8th
Malik Arscott 199 11th
CLASS 2A STATE WEIGHLIFTING
at Kissimmee Civic Center
1. (tie) Choctaw, Spruce Creek 19; 3. Flagler Palm Coast 14; 4. Bantram Trail 13; 4. New Smyrna Beach 13; 6. Fort Walton Beach 12.
27. (tie) Charlotte 2; 31. (tie) Port Charlotte 1.
119: Adrian Acevedo (Pace) 235-225-460. 129: Kendrick Thomas (Flagler Palm Coast) 260-235-495. 139: Justin Scott (Choctaw) 300-275-575. 154: Michael Branuelos (Colonial) 325-265-590. 169: Slade Villalobos (Spruce Creek) 350-335-685. 183: Dante Collier (Spruce Creek) 335-340-676. 199: Javon Wilson (Lake Region) 330-370-700. 219: Alex Brousseau (Wellington) 365-375-740. 238: Graylon Johnson (Choctaw) 425-315-740. HWT: Michael Astrologo (Flagler Palm Coast) 455-350-805.