Vera, Geronimo heading for state

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By Larry Bugg

Oscar Vera made a great tackle Wednesday, March 31.

The South Sumter High senior linebacker sacked the 169-pound weightlifting class in the Class 1A Sectional Boys Weightlifting Qualifier at Sunlake High School. He and Louis Geronimo (119) both won their weight classes. They will represent the Raiders at the Class 1A State Boys Weightlifting Meet Friday, April 23 at New Port Richey River Ridge High School.

Vera set a personal and school record at the meet. He had a 300-pound bench press and a 285-pound clean and jerk for a record 585-pound total. He beat teammate Josh Newhouse, who finished third with a 530-pound total (265-pound bench, 265-pound clean and jerk).

The first place finishers automatically qualify for the state meet. Second place finishers may go to the “show.” They will be placed in a pool of lifters and may reach state as well depending on how their totals compare to others around the state.

Vera said his best bench press total was 315 pounds.

“I guess the weights are a little different every where I go,” Vera said. “I have three or four schools talking to me (about a football scholarship). They want me to play strong safety.

“I love weightlifting. It’s individual competition. You don’t have to depend on anyone else. It’s all you. I went to state as a sophomore and a junior. Last year, I had a bad shoulder. Thomas Hasley in middle school helped me with the technique. My goal is to get first place (at state) but a medal will satisfy me.”

Geronimo takes first in 119

Geronimo beat teammate Heath Wilson to take the 119-pound class. Geronimo had a 180-pound bench press and a 135-pound clean and jerk for a 315 pound total.

Wilson had a 130-pound bench and a 125-pound clean and jerk for a 255-pound total.

“I feel pretty good,” said Geronimo. “I have been lifting two years. I want to thank coach Jon Borum. He has been helping us a lot.”

Six possibly going to the state meet

South Sumter coach Jon Borum liked the prospect of possibly six lifters heading for state.

“They did pretty good,” said Borum. “I’m a little disappointed in some of them but overall, they did okay. Fourteen of the 15 (lifters on the team) qualified for this meet (at the sub-sectional last week at South Sumter High). We took four to state last year. The most I have ever taken to state was six.”

Results of Class 1A Sectional Qualifier Boys Weightlifting Meet Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at Sunlake High School

Individual winners

119- 1. Louis Geronimo (South Sumter) 180-135-315; 2. Heath Wilson (South Sumter) 130-125-255; 129- 1. Ryan McMillon (Sunlake) 215-175-390; 139- 1. Mike Lopez (Sunlake) 210-190-400; 154- 1. John Michael (Sunlake) 270-225-495; 2. Cortez Hall (South Sumter) 245-180-425; 169- 1. Oscar Vera (South Sumter) 300-285-585; 3. Josh Newhouse (South Sumter) 265-265-530; 183- 1. Leroy Thompson (Sunlake) 275-240-515; 199-1. Allen Wells (Pasco) 365-275-640; 3. Cody Simmons (South Sumter) 330-260-590; 219- 1. Jared Gonzalez (Clearwater Central Catholic) 365-225-590; 238- 1. Mike Harding (Sunlake) 345-225-570; 2. Nick Martinez (South Sumter) 290-245-535; Hwt- 1. Nate McCoole (Sunlake) 395-265-660.