Interlachen lifter repeats state title

Published: Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 12:35 a.m.

KISSIMMEE — There was little drama this time around for Interlachen's Jared Makatura in winning his third straight state weightlifting championship.

After winning his first two titles by a combined 15 pounds over former Baker County lifter Jeremy Wannamaker, Makatura became the 18th lifter in state history to win three straight titles, as he rolled to a 55-pound win in the 219-pound weight class in the FHSAA Class 1A State Boys Weightlifting Meet on Saturday at the Kissimmee Civic Center.

“This one felt a lot better,” said Makatura, who totaled 720 pounds in the win on Saturday. “It feels exhilarating to win.

“I got a lot of power from God and I feel great (about winning).”

Next season, Makatura will have the opportunity to join former Palatka lifter Eugene Foster, as the only four-time state weightlifting champions.

Foster won his titles from 1993-96 in weight classes ranging from 123 to 154 pounds.

After bench pressing 380 pounds, Makatura clinched his third title with a 300-pound clean-and-jerk, before setting his personal best by 10 pounds with a final lift of 340.

“The clean-and-jerk is where my passion is,” he said.

“It's more difficult than the bench and that is what I focused on.”

Meanwhile, Bradford's Phillip James placed second at 199 pounds after totaling 645 pounds, 25 behind Bradenton Southeast's Gage Takacs.

James and Takacs were tied after posting lifts of 355 on the bench press, but the BHS lifter missed 290 on his second try, before nailing it on his final attempt.

Takacs, who battled back from knee surgery, clinched the title on his second lift and opened up his margin of victory with a 315-pound lift on his third attempt.

Other area lifters to place included: Fort White's Kellon Snider (610-pound total at 219), Williston's Brandon Cunningham (605-pound total at 219), Union County's Dustin Griffis (640-pound total at 238).

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