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HomeEmpowerLocalSpringstead’s Szatkowski, NCT’s Cromer earn state weightlifting medals

Springstead’s Szatkowski, NCT’s Cromer earn state weightlifting medals

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LAKELAND – Four Hernando County boys weightlifting teams had representatives at the RP Funding Center on Saturday, competing in the Class 2A Boys State Weightlifting Championships.

Springstead Damyn Szatkowski earned a third place in the traditional (clean-and-jerk/bench press) portion of the 138-pound competition, yet left disappointed and feeling a bit cheated. The junior had a 505-pound total, with 220 on his first clean and 285 on his initial bench attempt. In both cases he scratched on his ensuing two lifts.

“I’m not very happy about it,” said Szatkowski, who was also third in 2023. “I could have hit 230 on clean-and-jerk. I did hit it, but they kind of scammed me on the call. I rewatched the video numerous times. Literally my arms didn’t buckle. It was a clean clean-and-jerk.

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“My bench, too, I rewatched the video, my butt didn’t even come up. Maybe just a little bit, but I feel like I kind of got gypped on that but that one’s more understandable. It’s hard taking third again when I know I can be first.
“It makes me want to work harder. It makes me want to hit a higher bench, maybe 315. I’ve hit 300 four or five times now. It’s never been a problem. I don’t understand. It’s making me want to work 10 times harder.”

He was also eighth in Olympic (snatch/clean-and-jerk) but only the top six earned medals. A 170 in the snatch gave him a 390 total.

“I thought he did well. I know he’s disappointed,” Springstead head coach Mike Garofano said. “But any time you come away with a top three medal in this place, being as competitive as it is, it’s hard to be too upset.

“It was close to a title. So that’s what hurts. It was in his hands, but it just slipped away. That’s a tough pill to swallow.”

Like Szatkowski, Garofano believed this outcome would provide motivation for 2025. “I think this will fuel him into next year to just dominate and leave nothing to chance,” Garofano said. “It has to fuel him in the offseason to be like, ‘You know what, I’m going to leave it all out there and work my butt off to make sure there’s no issues next season.’”

Nature Coast’s Christian Cromer was the lone county medalist in the morning session in Lakeland, finishing third in Olympic for the unlimited weight class. “Feels great,” said Cromer, who placed ninth at states last year. “I feel accomplished. Finally able to get a medal and place top three.”

Cromer’s 235 in the snatch and 290 in the clean-and-jerk made for a 525 total. Kevin Reyes of Fleming Island and Burke Malmberg from Lecanto tied for the top spot at 555. In traditional, Cromer placed 10th adding a 340 in the bench to his clean for a 630.

Also for the Sharks, Justin Delery just missed a medal in seventh at 183 for traditional with a 245 in the clean and 290 in the bench, giving him a 535 total. Aiden Orta was eighth in traditional at 199 with a 605, a 285 clean and 320 bench. Ian St. John scratched out on cleans at 219 traditional, though he had a 305 on the bench.

Springstead’s Mykel Theirault lifted at 219, posting a 415 in Olympic (165 snatch, 250 clean) and 545 in traditional (250 clean, 295 bench). Weeki Wachee’s Jordon Jandro scratched out in traditional at 199.

In the afternoon session featuring the lighter weights, Central’s Luke Redmile had a 140 snatch and 190 clean for a 330 Olympic total at 129. Fellow Bears’ lifter Dominyk Carter-Hagadone totaled 365 in Olympic at 154 with a 135 snatch and 230 clean, and a 525 in traditional with a 295 bench. Jayden Davis cleaned 225 and benched 275 for a 500 total.

Nature Coast’s Christian Cromer readies to attempt a bench press during the Class 2A Boys State Weightlifting Championships on Saturday in Lakeland. [Photo Chris Bernhardt Jr.]
Central’s Dominyk Carter-Hagadone during the clean-and-jerk of the Class 2A Boys State Weightlifting Championships on Saturday in Lakeland. [Photo by Chris Bernhardt Jr.]
Springstead’s Damyn Szatkowski attempts a bench press during the Class 2A Boys State Weightlifting Championships on Saturday in Lakeland. [Photo by Chris Bernhardt Jr.]
Springstead’s Damyn Szatkowski with his bronze medal after finishing third in the traditional competition at 138 pounds during the Class 2A Boys State Weightlifting Championships on Saturday in Lakeland. [Photo by Chris Bernhardt Jr.]
Mykel Theirault of Springstead attempts a bench press while competing at 219 pounds in the Class 2A Boys State Weightlifting Championships on Saturday in Lakeland. [Photo by Chris Bernhardt Jr.]

Chris Bernhardt
Chris Bernhardt
A resident of Spring Hill since 1986, Chris graduated from Springstead High in 1999 before moving on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida. In summer of 2003 he joined the staff at Hernando Today, working at the paper for 11 years as a sports reporter, the last three as sports coordinator in charge of the paper’s sports coverage. After an initial 3-year stint with Hernando Sun, he spent four years as a staff sports reporter at the Citrus County Chronicle. Follow on X @cpbernhardtjr.
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