Keystone Heights High boys weightlifting coach Lantz Lowery was selected as the 2022 Boys’ Weightlifting Coach-of-the-Year after leading Keystone Heights to its second straight Class 1A state …
Keystone Heights High boys weightlifting coach Lantz Lowery was selected as the 2022 Boys’ Weightlifting Coach-of-the-Year after leading Keystone Heights to its second straight Class 1A state title in the Traditional competition and then adding the inaugural Snatch competition title.
Lowery was selected last year along with Class 3A coach of the year Damenyum Springs after Springs guided the Fleming Island High team to that state title in an unprecedented show of Clay County strength in the sport. Springs graduated much of his 3A champion team, but did earn a district title and a handful of state meet qualifiers.
For Keystone Heights, Lowery’s boys had nine top-three finishes, including three champions in the Traditional, with two winners and four other top-three finishes in the Snatch competition. The other coaching finalists included Class 2A COY Dan Marsee of Suwannee and Class 3A COY Duane Hagstrom of Flagler Palm Coast.
Lowery overwhelming strategy of multiple medalists in as many weight categories as he could proved a winning tactic with the Indians earning a truckload of medals including a state title to Ulysses Freed at 154, a finalist for the Mr. Weightlifting title.
Senior Julian Sykes of St. Cloud High School has been selected as the winner of the 2022 Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Weightlifting award.
Sykes, who won the 154-pound Class 3A state championship in both the Traditional and Snatch competitions, posted a 315-pound bench press and added a 300-pound lift in the clean-and-jerk for a 615-pound total that bested the runner-up by 70 pounds. His winning mark of 225 pounds in the inaugural snatch competition was 30 pounds better than the second-place finisher. The other finalists included Suwannee’s Ricardo Garcia, who won both the Traditional and Snatch titles in the Class 2A 119-pound division and Keystone Heights’ Ulysses Freed who won both titles in the Class 1A 154-pound division.
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