A crowd full of spectators were on hand inside the Bulldogs gymnasium at Deland High School to witness the Class 1A State Weightlifting Finals Saturday afternoon.

Making his first appearance at the state finals Mount Dora’s Zefrino Vega was dealt a blow when leg cramps in both of his legs forced the senior to lower his starting weight in the clean and jerk by 40 pounds. Despite the setback Vega’s mark of 295 was enough for a second place finish in the 238 lb. weight class.

“I’m really happy with where I’m at,” Vega said. “I planned to end up third, but to fight for second, I did what I came to do, so I’m happy.”

Working our way down to the smaller divisions. In the 169 lb. weight class Mount Dora Christian’s Jasper Pierre finished in third with a total amount lifted of 575 lbs.

Alexx Smith finished five pounds shy of claiming state gold, but the Anclote junior is still very happy with his second place finish in just his second year of lifting.

“I feel ecstatic right now,” Smith said. “My goal at the beginning of the season was to just make states. I didn’t even expect to place third, and I made it second. I’m just really proud of myself and my family’s very supportive, I’m just really thankful.”

Rounding it out with the smallest weight class, Gulf’s Antrevis Hardy earned a bronze medal, he’s just a freshman.