Peacock sees trophies ahead for weightlifters

Tyler Peacock eventually wants Full Circle Performance to be the top weightlifting program in Florida. For now, he’ll have to settle for being one of the state’s best at the national level.

For three years, the Palmetto native and former Florida State assistant strength and speed coach has shifted his focus to training weightlifters out of City Fitness in Bradenton, and this year his club has had a breakthrough at the youth level. After never sending more than two lifters to the USA Weightlifting Youth National Championship, Full Circle will have six lifters in the field this weekend in Texas, including four from Manatee County.

“The youth national meet is our biggest meet of the year right now,” Peacock said. “We are very excited.”

Peacock founded Full Circle Performance after a brief stint as a volunteer assistant girls weightlifting coach at Palmetto High School, where he first met Sha’la McMillan. Peacock saw McMillan’s obvious potential and the two began working out together outside of school practices. Some of McMillan’s classmates and teammates followed her to Full Circle performance and now two other Tigers — Nahum Guerrero and Maryah Collins — are slated to join her in Austin, Texas, as is Bradenton Christian School’s Skylar Matelau. The competition begins Thursday and concludes Sunday.

The rest of the roster traveling to the national championship includes two weightlifters from outside the county, who make occasional trips to City Fitness and otherwise have workout plans sent to them, and a State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, student competing in a junior USA Weightlifting competition simultaneously. Parker Royall, who attends in the junior college, is being recruited by Division II Lindenwood University.

All four of Full Circle’s local lifters are contenders in their respective age groups and weight classes — and four of the five girls hold the top seed in their weight class — but McMillan has separated herself. The rising senior already holds USA Weightlifting U-15 records in the snatch, clean and jerk, and total weight in the 69-plus kilogram class, and has since added a U-17 record in the snatch with 94 kilograms at 75-plus. Unofficially, Peacock said, McMillan has recorded a clean and jerk lift to set a record, but it won’t be official until she pulls it off at a USA Weightlifting meet.

McMillan is already the No. 2 overall lifter and with the top seven set to represent the United States at the International Weightlifting Federation Youth World Championships in October, she is already in a strong position. Another record or two this weekend would only solidify it.

“We’re taking the biggest group we’ve ever taken,” Peacock said. “But the cool thing about this year isn’t just the number, but the quality as well.”

Local ties dot U.S. Youth Soccer Region Championships

IMG Academy is sending its U-19 girls soccer team to Simpsonville, S.C., for the U.S. Youth Soccer Region III championships this week, but IMG won’t be the only team with local ties in the field. Maddison Krstec, a midfielder for Lakewood Ranch High School, is also slated to play for Tampa Bay United Premier 98 in the U-17 girls field when play begins Friday at Heritage Park.

The Ascenders qualified for six-team, U-19 field by winning the US Youth Soccer Florida State Championships in May. IMG will play one game each day, first playing two teams from its pool before crossing over for a third game Sunday. The Ascenders open Pool B play against WSA 97 Red from Oklahoma on Friday at 10:30 a.m. The next day, IMG meets South Carolina’s CESA before facing Pool A’s Brownsville United FC 97, a Texas club, on Sunday. If the Ascenders claim one of the top two spots in their pool they’ll advance to Tuesday’s semifinals. The championship will be contested Wednesday.

Krstec and Tampa Bay United Premier open their tournament at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Georgia’s NASA 17 Elite. The U-17 field includes 16 teams spread across four pools, so Tampa Bay United will only meet teams from Pool D before quarterfinals begin Tuesday. United rounds out pool play with games against Dallas Texans 99 Red Dallas and Alabama’s Vestavia Attack 99 Black on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. The U-17 championship will be held Thursday.

Krstec was an All-Area first-team selection this winter after scoring 14 goals and dishing out nine assists for Lakewood Ranch as a junior. Winners of each age group qualify for July’s US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas.

Annual lacrosse tournament returns to Premier Sports Campus

The Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch will host the fourth annual Rippin’ at the Ranch lacrosse tournament Saturday and Sunday, and Monsters Lacrosse will field four teams in the three youngest age divisions. The Monsters, who call The Premier Sports Campus home, will field U-9, U-11 and U-13 teams, plus two teams in the U-15 division.

Monsters Lacrosse’s U-9, U-11 and U-15 teams all begin play Saturday at 8 a.m., while the U-13 team will open the tournament at 8:50 a.m. The U-9 affiliate opens the day against Georgia’s LB3 PTC U9, the U-11 affiliate begins against Oviedo’s Collax U11, the U-15 Monsters Lacrosse Orange opens with Estero’s Madlax – Florida U15 and the U-15 Monsters Lacrosse Green starts off against LB3 ATL 2020 Select. Monsters Lacrosse U13 opens against LB3 ATL 2022 Elite. The Monsters are not fielding teams in either of the two high school divisions.

Pool play concludes in all divisions Sunday before bracket play and championships are held later during the day.

David Wilson: 941-745-7057, @DBWilson2