By Jordan Kroeger, SunCoast Sports
DELAND — Two weeks ago at regionals, Port Charlotte’s Devin Leacock unofficially tied the state record for weight lifted with 820 pounds.
He was hoping to officially break it at the Class 2A state meet Friday, but couldn’t nail his second and third clean and jerks to make it happen.
But, despite his frustration, Leacock still came away with a state title in the heavyweight class, benching 535 pounds and posting a clean and jerk of 365 for an 800 total, 40 more than second-place finisher Jason Godfrey from Choctawhatchee.
“They say I’m the strongest in school history. But I’m coming a lot harder next year,” Leacock said.
The junior missed his second clean and jerk of 390 and was hoping to lift over 400 for his final attempt to shatter the record.
“I don’t know what happened. I could’ve done a lot better but I injured my wrist on 390 for clean and jerk,” Leacock said. “All I can say is 900 is my number next year.”
It was a very successful day for Port Charlotte as Leacock wasn’t the only Pirate to medal. Jeanty Luidson took fourth in the 238 class and Sabian Levasseur placed sixth at 199 to help lead the Pirates to a sixth-place finish with 12 points, 17 points behind Choctaw, which won its third straight state title.
Luidson finished tied for third with St. Cloud’s Brian Gembutis at 655 pounds, but lost the tiebreaker on weigh-in. He benched 355 and clean and jerked 300.
Levasseur was just five pounds off of fifth-place finisher Jason Manalo from Fleming Island, benching 350 with a 265 clean and jerk for a 615 total.
“It was about the record (for Leacock), but it was a great day for Port Charlotte High School,” Port Charlotte coach Jarrett Debus said. “We have a state champ, a fourth place and a sixth place. We brought three kids and three kids medaled. That was the goal.”
North Port’s Alex Jen also represented the area on the medal stand, placing third in the 129 class. Jen benched 245 and nailed his first clean and jerk of 200. But the senior couldn’t finish his next two reps of 215 pounds, which would have put him in second place.
“I’ve always had a little problem with the split jerk,” Jen said. “I think my shoulders were just getting tired on the second one and that’s why I kind of bent my arm.”
Jen, who was seeded second coming into the meet, won a three-way tiebreaker for third on a weigh-in.
“It felt OK. I’m glad I was able to place but I’m a little bit sad because at regionals I put up more weight than I did at states. But I’m fine with it,” Jen said.
Charlotte brought four lifters but none medaled. Jack Fining came close in the 238 class, falling 15 pounds short with a 630 total to finish eighth. Kaden Howell, who was seeded 20th, exceeded expectations and finished 12th in the 119 class with a 345 total.
Devin Markstahler also finished 12th at 219, lifting a total of 595. Shekina placed 18th at 183, posting a 310 total as he missed all three of his clean and jerk attempts.
CLASS 2A STATE WEIGHLIFTING
at DeLand High School
1. Choctaw 29; 2. Columbia 22; 3. St. Cloud 16; 4. Spruce Creek 14; 5. Bartram Trail 14; 6. Port Charlotte 12.
6. Port Charlotte 12; 17. North Port 4; T-34. Charlotte 0.
119: Andy Montalvo (Columbia) 250-215-465. 129: Joshua Hubbard (New Smyrna Beach) 280-240-520. 139: Kristian Gonzalez (Seminole Ridge) 280-260-540. 154: Justin Scott (Choctaw) 360-310-670. 169: Derek Beauchamp (Spruce Creek) 315-330-645. 183: Josh Piasecki (St. Cloud) 355-355-710. 199: Kamario Bell (Columbia) 400-320-720. 219: Javon Wilson (Lake Region) 345-380-725. 238: Graylon Johnson (Choctaw) 465-360-825. HWT: Devin Leacock (Port Charlotte) 465-360-825.
Devin Leacock, heavyweight, 1st; Jeanty Luidson, 238, 4th; Sabian Levasseur, 199, 6th.
Alex Jen, 129, 3rd
Jack Fining, 238, 8th; Kaden Howell 119, 12th; Devin Markstahler, 219, 12th; Shekina Ayemperoumal, 183, 18th