DAYTONA BEACH — Little brother got the best of his big brother during the state weightlifting championships at Embry-Riddle's ICI Center on Saturday.
Wesley Chapel's Hunter Joyer, a 14-year-old freshman, took home a second-place medal when he lifted a personal-best 720 pounds in the 238-pound weight class. He had a bench of 445 pounds and a clean and jerk of 275 pounds, falling 5 pounds shy of Flagler Palm Coast Robert Paxia's winning total of 725 pounds.
The younger Joyer also will enjoy family bragging rights as older brother, Kamran Joyer, barely missed out on a medal in the heavyweight class. He had a bench of 415 and a clean and jerk of 270 to finish with a ninth-place total of 685 pounds.
"It feels great, especially with this being my first year, and I have three more years to win a state championship," said Hunter Joyer, who lifted 20 pounds more than his winning sectional total. "It would have been more enjoyable to finish first, but at least I finished second."
Paxia had to clean and jerk 310 on his second lift after opening with 285 for the victory.
"I wasn't expecting him to get the 310," Joyer said. "But I don't think I could have gone any higher. … I wanted to win, but it gives me something to shoot for in the future."
Wesley Chapel was the highest finisher among the local teams, finishing in a four-way tie for 16th with five points.
Sarasota and Spruce Creek tied for the state title with 21 points.
Medalists included Springstead's Steven Sullivan, who finished third in the 139-pound class, and River Ridge's Justin Russell, who was fourth in 169. Sullivan had a bench of 265 and a clean and jerk of 215 for 480 total, and Russell had a bench of 315 and a clean and jerk of 265 for 580 total.
1. Sarasota 21, 1. Spruce Creek 21, 3. Lake Brantley 13, 3. DeLand 13, 5. Jupiter 12, 6. Escambia 10, 7. Winter Springs 8, 7. Fort Walton Beach 8, 9. Mosley 7, 10. Palatka 7, 16. Wesley Chapel 5, 20. Springstead 4, 26. River Ridge 3, 38. Central 0.