Boys weightlifting has historic season

Boys set new school and personal records

Senior Leo Gomez competes at the 2017 Class 2A Regional Meet. The boys placed third.

photo by Anke Cirillo

Senior Leo Gomez competes at the 2017 Class 2A Regional Meet. The boys placed third.

Alex Konvalina, Social Media Editor

After a third place finish at regionals and their third consecutive year of winning the Seminole Athletic Conference, the highest in school history, the boys weightlifting team ended the season with four lifters going to states.

The highlight of the season, according to the team and coach Chacon, was placing top three at regionals. It provided them with a way to get to states and showed improvement from previous years.

States took place on Saturday, April 8 and four lifters competed. Compared to other years, they had a smaller number of people attend. In the past two years, they have usually entered six or more lifters and resulted in their best numbers.

“I was really excited for states and felt very accomplished for making it,” Mastrobuono said.

To prepare for states Welden, Mastrobuono, Gomez and Palumbo worked harder than before to ensure that they had the best chance to win. Including practicing for the entire week after regionals non-stop and cleaning up their diets and sleep schedules so they could place in the top six and get their best numbers of the year.

Out of 19 lifters who competed in the Seminole Athletic Conference and district meet on Tuesday, March 15, 16 earned titles and advanced to the FHSAA regional competition. Seniors Leo Gomez (183 weight-class) and Josh Welden (199 weight-class), received titles and a bid for states after placing at regionals.

Winners from the SAC meet this year include Gomez, sophomore Nick Palumbo (119 weight-class), senior Jacob Mastrobuono (169 weight-class), and senior Chase Caldwell (219 weight-class).

In the regular season, the boys went 5-1, one of the best seasons in school history. They were undefeated for the first four meets against Oviedo, Seminole, Lyman and a dual meet with Winter Springs and Timber Creek. Senior Jacoby Rocker lead the boys in a 37-32 loss in their season closing meet to Lake Howell.

“Overall the team has improved,” head coach Luis Chacon said. “We have a lot more guys who are scoring throughout all the weight classes.”

This year, many lifters broke school records. Palumbo broke the school record in clean and jerk with a 185-pound lift, while Weldon set records for combined lifts and ended with the title of regional champion for his 199-pound weight class.

According to the team, a real standout this year has been Gomez, who set school records for bench press with a 340-pound lift and clean and jerk with a 305-pound lift. He also broke the record for total combined lift with a 645-pound total. He was a conference and regional champion and placed eighth at states after missing his second and third bench, which hurt his chances at placing top five.

“My goal as a coach was to make sure I provided the best chance for growth for everyone on the team,” Chacon said. “I would adjust their workouts accordingly to address their specific deficiencies.”

Chacon sought advice from other coaches and experts to make sure that the lifters were getting the best workouts and had the best chance. He kept records of the progress each lifter made, and from there he would choose their workouts.

States closed out the season with top performances by Gomez and Mastrobuono, both who placed top ten. Welden placed 19th and Palumbo placed 16th, and all four competitors got their best numbers of the season.

At the beginning of the season, the team set two goals: place first in the district and top three at regionals. After achieving both goals, the team is looking forward to next year, continuing to improve from previous seasons.

“This is the best year we’ve ever had,” Gomez said. “It felt good coming on top of everyone and made us feel like we were all doing something right.”