Arnold's Sipe, Altha's Tucker, Vernon's Padgett win lifting titles

Published: Friday, April 25, 2014 at 09:16 PM.

KISSIMMEE — Arnold’s Kristopher Sipe hoisted a combined lift of 660 pounds to finish first in the 199-pound weight class, and the Marlins staked a claim to third place in the team standings at the Class 1A state weightlifting meet Friday.

Arnold, the Class 1A state champion in 2013, was seeking its fourth state title in program history but came up two points short. Baker County and Keystone Heights shared the team title with 16 points, and Arnold joined Suwannee and West Florida in a tie for third place with 14.

Altha tied Warner Christian for sixth place in the team standings with 12 points. Vernon was ninth with 10 points, and Sneads tied for 21st with three points.

Sipe benched 370 pounds and followed that with a 290-pound clean and jerk that gave him a 30-pound advantage over runner-up Valdez Jackson of Baker County. Sneads’ Reginald Creal was fourth with a combined lift of 620 pounds, and Sipe’s teammate, Michael Moore, was 10th at 595 pounds.

Vernon’s Jay Padgett lifted a total of 620 pounds to win a state title in the 183-pound division. He edged second-place Blayne Merchant of Baker County and Arnold’s Zachary Riley by five and 10 pounds, respectively. Blountstown’s Fabian Soloman was tied for eighth at 590 pounds.

Altha’s Ronnie Tucker dominated the 139-pound class with a combined total of 555 pounds, 45 more than his next-closest competitor. Tucker benched a division-best 300 pounds and added 255 pounds in the clean and jerk. Vernon’s Ryan Malloy (470) was sixth, Port St. Joe’s Carter Thacker (460) was eighth, and Sneads’ Devante Pettus (430) was 14th.

Tucker’s teammate, Tristan Griffin, placed second at 169 pounds with a combined lift of 605 pounds, 30 behind winner Jose Barajas of Tavares. Griffin benched 330 pounds and cleaned 275. Vernon’s Brandon Malloy (580) placed fifth, and Marianna’s Devante Lindsey (565) was ninth.

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