PUNTA GORDA — Port Charlotte boys weightlifter Devin Leacock, sought some audience participation before his final lift at the District 2A-16 weightlifting meet Wednesday at Charlotte High School.
The junior heavyweight got it as all the lifters from every weight class roared and clapped, then silently watched at his station as he clean and jerked 380 pounds to give him 800 pounds total and put him on the cusp of a state record that has stood for more than a decade.
It was the standout moment of a meet won by host Charlotte, and dominated by the local schools, which each won at least two district crowns.
Charlotte had 57 points, followed by Sarasota with 42 and North Port with 31, which finished just ahead of fourth-place Port Charlotte with 27.
Leacock, who made all six of his lifts, is just 20 pounds shy of the state record for heavyweights set by Cody Hughes of Lakewood Ranch in 2005. The all-time record for all weights is 830 by Lamar Myles of Lake Region in 2004.
“I was just trying to compete against myself. I hit the numbers I wanted to hit and I’m working to break the Florida state record,” said Leacock, who jerked 376 pounds in practice this week. “I don’t usually play to the crowd, but I needed it for adrenaline. They gave me a little pump.”
Port Charlotte coach Jarret Debus said this has been the plan the entire season, and everything has gone as planned.
“We set goals for the whole season, numbers we want to hit, in order to get to the record we want to set at the end of the year,” Debus said. “I’m happy with everyone’s performance.”
Leacock was joined at the top of the podium by Sabian Levasseur, who won at 199.
Charlotte put Kaden Howell (119), Skekina Ayemperoumal (183) and Devin Markstahler (219) in the winner’s circle, while Patrick Joseph (139) and Jack Fining (238) took second as the Tarpons put 16 of 18 lifters into regionals and scored enough points to outpace Sarasota, which had two winners, but not as many high finishers.
“The kids have worked hard and have made great gains. I’m very proud of them. They put in the effort in the weight room,” Charlotte coach Ray Hixson said. “We have to keep working and have a good spring break before regionals in two weeks (also at Charlotte).”
North Port was led by Alex Jen (129), Gregg Pardue (154) and Mathew Montanez (169), who each won their weight classes as 10 out of 13 lifters advanced to regionals.
Pardue’s was especially sweet, as he got revenge for a loss in the meet last week.
“It was fun. I got to compete with (Andrew Van Ness) of Riverview. He beat me last week and I got to beat him today. I’ll see him in two weeks for the tiebreaker,” Pardue said. “We don’t have a full roster but we have coaches who teach technique and work with you.”
DISTRICT 2A-16 MEET
At Charlotte High
Charlotte 57, Sarasota 42, North Port 31, Port Charlotte 27, Cape Coral 22, Riverview 17, Fort Myers 10, Venice 6, Riverdale 4, South Fort Myers 4
119: 1. Kaden Howell (CHS) 185-150-335,2. Xavier Pantig (FM) 120-140-260, 3. Isaiah Lewis (RVD) 145-105-250; 129: 1. Alex Jen (NP) 245-210-455, 2. Michael Rozmus (SAR) 205-205-410, 3. Kyran Bryant (SAR) 220-185- 405; 139: Dylan Wemhauer (SAR) 245-200-445, 2. Patrick Joseph (CHS) 205-205-410, 3. Gage Strelau (CHS) 210-195-405;
154: Gregg Pardue (NP) 235-235-470, 2. Michael Van Ness (RVV) 240-220-460, 3. Ethan Fruitt (CC) 240-200-440; 169: 1. Mathew Montanez (NP) 245-260-505, 2. Ben Tibbs (SAR) 225-265-490, 3. Jaden Hunter (PC) 260-225-485; 183: Skekina Ayemperoumal (CHS) 310-255-565, 2. Joseph McDonald (NP) 330-235-565, 3. Ricky Anderson (CC) 255-210-465; 199: Sabian Levasseur (PC) 350-280-630, 2. Isaac Washington (CC) 285-265-550, 3. Brian Abbott (SAR) 340-205-545;
219: 1. Devin Markstahler (CHS)n 340-250-590, 2. Kyle Todd (CC) 285-295-580, 3. Thomas Zozus (CHS) 280-275-555; 238: 1. Kyle powers (RVV) 325-290-615, 2. Jack Fining (CHS) 335-275-610, 3. Jeanty Luidson (PC) 320-275-595; HWT: 1. Devin Leacock (PC) 420-380-800, 2. Jordan Bush (SAR) 385-310-695, 3. Jared Griffith (RVV) 400-290-690.