Manatee High School’s Jernard Porter and Joshua Booker earned automatic berths in the Class 2A state boys weightlifting championships by winning their respective weight classes at the Class 2A-Region 7 tournament on Wednesday at Punta Gorda Charlotte.
Porter won the 154-pound weight class with a combined 545 weight total (295 bench, 250 clean and jerk), 55 pounds better than Phillip Hamilton of Sebring.
Booker won the 219 weight class with a combined lift of 650 pounds (370-280), 45 better than Devin Markstahler of Charlotte.
Winners of each weight class automatically qualify for states. All other finishers must wait until all eight regionals are complete. The top 12 weight totals from all nonwinners also qualify.
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That is the fate that awaits Palmetto’s Ricky Ochoa, who finished second at 139 pounds with a total lift of 430 pounds (210-220). Manatee’s Kevin Townsend and Seth Waiter finished third in their weight classes, 199 and 238, respectively. Townsend was 90 pounds off the winning total (625) while Waiter was only 20 pounds off the top weight.
In the team competition, Charlotte won with 43 points. Manatee tied with Port Charlotte for third with 25 points.
What: State championships
When: April 7-8
Where: DeLand High School
Admission: $9 (tickets), $10 (parking). Note: Cash only