Tom Piscopo entered Friday’s Class 2A weightlifting meet looking to defend the title he won as a junior last season.
By the end of the day, the Pace senior had not only left with the gold — he had left this name in the record books.
Capping a phenomenal season, Piscopo turned in a state-record lift of 325 pounds in the clean-and-jerk for a total weight of 625 pounds to help lead the Pace Patriots finish as Class 2A state runner-up in Kissimmee.
“We took seven guys,” Pace coach Mickey Lindsey said. “It’s been a long time since we took seven guys to state.
“We won it in ’95, 96, 97, 98 … We had a very good year (this year). We felt like we had a good chance.”
The Patriots had four lifters medal on Friday, finishing with 17 points as a team and beating out Spruce Creek in the tiebreaker for second.
Competing in the 154-pound class for a second-consecutive season, Piscopo led the way for the Patriots with a bench of 300 pounds before breaking a clean-and-jerk record that had stood for 13 years.
“Everybody’s making a big deal that it’s a 13-year-old record,” Piscopo said. “But, honestly, that’s not my best performance. When I’m tired I normally jerk 335-340.”
Teammates Adrien Acevedo (2nd in 119 pounds), Corey Johnson (5th in 199) and James Baylis (4th in 238) also found their way to the medal stand to lead the Patriots to the runnerup finish.
New Smyrna Beach finished as the state champs with 19 points — 14 of those points coming from first-place finishes at 169 and 219 pounds.
In addition to Pensacola High’s Roy Albritton claiming a state title in the heavyweight division, Navarre’s T.J. Woodberry was the area’s other state champion on Saturday as he took first place in the 129-pound weight class with bench of 250, clean of 235 and total of 485.
PHS’ Albritton wins state title
To be crowned Class 2A state weightlifting champion in the heavyweight division, an individual must obviously possess phenomenal strength.
But for Pensacola High’s Roy Albritton to capture first place at the 2A Florida finals on Friday morning in Kissimmee, he also used supreme toughness and weeks of mental preparation for his future competition.
The senior exploded for 340 lbs. on the clean-and-jerk as part of a 745-pound total lift despite spraining his ankle during his third power clean.
“(On that clean) I lost my balance a little bit, and stepped on the ground wrong,” Albritton said. “My ankle twisted a bit. But I had to get that last rep in to win states … so I just jerked it up. I don’t get tired.”
With his final clean-and-jerk, Albritton edged Anthony Jenty (St. Augustine High) by five total pounds to capture the state heavyweight title.
“I had everything planned out,” the South Alabama University football signee said. “I looked up my competitor’s district results. I saw what he was good at and what he wasn’t good at. I kept practicing and said if I hit this lift, I’m gonna win. It was a lot of mental composition and getting prepared.”
Other area lifters are competing at the state finals and results will be posted throughout the day.
Brian Achatz contributed to this report.
Class 2A state weightlifting medalists
119 — Adrien Acevedo, Pace, 2nd (235 bench, 200 clean, 435 total)
129 — T.J. Woodberry, Navarre, 1st (250 bench, 235 clean, 485 total)
154 — Tom Piscopo, Pace, 1st (300 bench, 325 clean, 625 total)
169 — Brandon Reyes, Milton, 2nd (330 bench, 315 clean, 645 total)
199 — Corey Johnson, Pace, 5th (355 bench, 305 clean, 660 total); Deneiko Floyd, Escambia, 6th (365 bench, 275 clean, 640 total)
238 — James Baylis, Pace, 4th (375 bench, 305 clean, 680 total)
Heavy — Roy Albritton, PHS, 1st (405 bench, 340 clean, 745 total); Gale Short, Navarre, 6th (400 bench, 300 clean, 700 total)