All-Chronicle boys weightlifting team The strongest in Citrus County named - By Adam Fenster

Austin Quandt, Senior, Citrus

All-Chronicle Boys Weightlifting Team

Lightweights

Sean Bedford, 119, Jr., Citrus

Kyle Ervin, 129, So., Citrus

Logan Wardlow, 154, Jr., Crystal River

Middleweights

Robert Yoakam, 183, Jr. Lecanto

Justice Walker, 183, Sr., Citrus

Austin Quandt, 199, Sr., Citrus

Heavyweights

Zach Ulseth, 219, Sr., Lecanto

Destin Cali, 219, Sr., Citrus

Christian Solomon, UNL, So., Citrus

Boys Weightlifter of the Year finalists

Austin Quandt, Senior, Citrus

Not unlike the other finalists, Austin Quandt made quick work of his competition all season long, culminating in a 55-pound win for first place in the county championship. It was during the postseason where Quandt was put to the test. Easily one of the best back-and-forth at each of the big three meets, Central’s 199-pounder Dominique Walker gave Quandt trouble at nearly every stage. Quandt bested Walker for first place at districts, where Citrus also won the day. Walker then tied with Quandt at regionals to bump the senior down to runner-up — Citrus still beat the overall competition with ease.

Walker may have finished ahead of Quandt at DeLand High School during the State Final, but the Citrus senior was able to leave with a sixth-place finish as the only Hurricane to medal that day.

Zach Ulseth, Senior, Lecanto

With Lecanto splitting off from Citrus and Crystal River after the County Championship, what with being classified as a 2A school, the postseason journey is said to be much more difficult. That was the case last year for the Panthers when no one advanced to the state meet. For senior Zach Ulseth this season, his dominance just continued.

After being named county champion at 219 by 30 pounds, Ulseth went on to place first at districts by 35 pounds. To follow that, he took his class at regionals and was one of only two Panthers to earn an automatic bid to the FHSAA State Finals — where he was the only Lecanto lifter to medal, placing sixth.

Robert Yoakam, Junior, Lecanto

Perhaps the most surprising lifter of the three Panthers to qualify for the State Finals, Robert Yoakam took the county by storm this past season. Why so shocking? It was the junior’s first year competing with the Panthers, in which Yoakam dominated. At 183, Yoakam took first in the county championship by 15 pounds before taking districts by 45 and winning the regional competition to earn an automatic state bid.

In the FHSAA State Finals, Yoakam shocked again — but not in the way he wanted. After tweaking his back heading into the clean and jerks, Yoakam uncharacteristically scratched out. Had he made his opener and nothing else, Yoakam would have came away with a fifth-place finish to go with his No. 2 seed going in.

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