Cardinal Mooney’s Dillon O’Neill secured a berth in the Class 1A state weightlifting tournament on Saturday when he won his weight class at the Class 1A-Region 8 championships in Englewood.
O’Neill, competing in the 238-pound weight class, lifted a combined weight total of 695 pounds: 405 in the bench press and 290 in the clean and jerk. The total left the rest of the field far behind; runner-up Dylan Cokenour of Archbishop McCarthy lifted 535 pounds. The total also stamped O’Neill as the one to beat at the state meet. In the district competitions across the state, only one other lifter came within 50 pounds of O’Neill’s total weight lifted at districts (685) or on Saturday.
No other lifter from Cardinal Mooney, Southeast or Bayshore finished in the top three in Saturday’s regional.
In the team competition, host Lemon Bay won with 63 points. LaBelle finished second with 53. Cardinal Mooney finished in a three-way tie for sixth with Cardinal Newman and Arcadia Desoto County with seven points. Southeast was ninth with six points. Bayshore was tied for 10th with five points.
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The state championships are at DeLand High School on April 7 and 8.
The winner in each weight class at the eight regionals automatically qualifies for the state championship. The next 12 best weight totals from across the eight regions also qualify.
SCF 11, Polk State 4: In Winter Haven, Reilly Johnson paced State College of Florida’s 17-hit attack by going 4 for 4 with two RBIs in Saturday’s Suncoast Conference game.
Ryan Karstetter added three hits and two RBIs.
Henry Ryan (3-1), the second of four Manatees pitchers, worked three scoreless innings and struck out two to pick up the win.
SCF (22-15-1, 8-7) looks to build a winning streak when it takes on South Florida State College on Monday at Avon Park.