SC weightlifting

St. Cloud weightlifters Maria Sandoval, Kaylin White, Kiana McCalmon, Liana Torres-Rosario and Zyanna Henry with coaches Cory Aun (left) and Brian Palone.

Three Osceola County weightlifters came home from the Class 2A state girls meet at Panama City Beach Arnold High School with medals, including St. Cloud’s Kaylin White’s second straight silver medal.

White took second in the 110-pound weight class on Saturday, hitting all six of her lifts, including a new personal record 140-pound bench press and a school-record 165-pound clean-and-jerk effort for a 310-pound total that was second only to Hagerty’s Cheyanne DuChanne at 335.

White was also 6-for-6 last year at 101 pounds, when she was second to Osceola’s Virginie Beljour.

“Kaylin’s weight class was loaded this year,” St. Cloud weightlifting coach Cory Aun said. “The winning total from the Hagerty girl exceeded the state record by 10 pounds, but Kaylin was an absolute machine. We had a plan going in to force the other lifters to chase us, but only if Kaylin hit her new personal record bench press, which she did.  With each successful clean and jerk, it changed the color of her medal (6th to 4th to 2nd).”

White said Aun is “a coach and a role model” and much of the reason she now has two silver medals hanging at home.

"Coach Aun has been a huge influence in our lives in and outside of weightlifting. We would not be the lifters we are without him guiding, supporting, and caring for us,” she said.

At 101, St. Cloud’s Maria Sandoval (125-125—250) tied for fourth, but took the fifth-place medal on body weight.

“Maria's class was insanely competitive and very tight, first to fiftj was separated by just 10 pounds,” Aun said. “Maria could have been secnd if her second clean was just five pounds higher, but we had a plan going in and we stuck to it based on the lifting results and history of those lifters in earlier meets.  After her last lift, we had to sit back and wait.”

Osceola’s Jaylah Harris snagged the other county’s other medal, tying for fifth (175-160—335) and taking sixth on body weight.

There were a couple of podium near-misses for some of the seven other state-qualifying lifters. At 154, Isabella Pancake (160-180—340) tied for seventh and missed the medal stand by five pounds. Harmony’s Madison Ewen (170-155—325) was seventh at 199, and St. Cloud’s Kiana McCalmon (175-150—325) was ninth at 183.

Celebration’s Maya Cusumano (105-110—215) placed 11th at 101 pounds, St. Cloud’s Liana Torres-Rosario, days after completing the Military Entrance Processing Station, went 17th at 169 (160-150—310), Liberty’s Emalee Stephens (140-155—295) was 16th at 199 and junior Zyanna Henry, in her rookie year lifting, was 18th (170-155—325) in the unlimited class.

Sandoval and White’s points put St. Cloud (7) in a tie for 10th place in the 2A team competition; Osceola (1) was 27th. Sunlake (23) nipped Vero Beach (22) for the state title.

“Both Maria and Kaylin would have been state champions in the 1A classification,” Aun said. “Kiana just missed the podium on her last clean and& jerk. She had an outstanding bench press day finishing with a 175-pound lift which was the 3rd highest in her weight class. Zyanna has had an exceptional first season with us and has pretty much lifted everything that we put on the barbell.  She's crazy excited for next season.

“I struggle to find the words to express the difficulty and rigor of the training the girls go through to reach the heights that they have all achieved.  I have coached national and international athletes and I expect and give our girls the same level of training to be successful. I could not have done this meet with out my assistant head coach Brian Palone and assistant coach Brian Gallagher and his wife Marioly.”