Photos by Elijah Ronan

Story by:  J. Daniel Pearson for Positively Osceola

If his current form holds, Friday’s FHSAA State Weightlifting Championship should be more of a coronation rather than a competition for St. Cloud High junior Mikey Ziss.

The defending state champion in both the Olympic (snatch plus clean-and-jerk) and Traditional (bench press plus clean-and-jerk), Ziss will be heavily favored to win both disciplines in the 119-lb. weight class after a dominating performance at regionals last week.

Ziss hoisted 205 in the snatch, 250 in the clean-and-jerk and 225 in the bench press to win the Olympic Title with a 455 total and the Traditional with 430 – winning by 185-lbs. and 140-lbs. respectively over the second place finishers.  He earned overall “Lifter of the Meet” in both classifications at regionals.

His totals in both disciplines was 70 pounds (Olympic) and 50 pounds (Traditional) heavier than any state qualifier in his weight class.  “Mikey is having a sensational year and is not only gaining attention at the state level but his getting invitations to national events,” St. Cloud coach Cory Aun says.   “If he isn’t already there, he will be the most decorated lifter in county history.” 

Ziss is the not the only Osceola County lifter that will be going to championships this weekend.  Five other county competitors won regional championships last week and gained automatic entry into the state meet.  Ziss will be joined by double regional winners Louis and Anthony Rodriguez of Harmony.   The brothers won both the Olympic and Traditional at the 219 and 238-pound weight classes respectively. Also earning automatic advancement to the state meet were regional champions in the traditional — Luke Morton-Carlson (Celebration) at 154-lbs. and Poinciana’s Noah Otero (169-lbs.).   St. Cloud’s Conner Howes (Unlimited) also earned a regional title in the Traditional.

In addition to the four regional champions, the next 16 best lifters – regardless of region – earned at-large bids to the state championship.  St. Cloud will send five other lifters to the state meet, including Brayden Politano (119, Olympic), Kevin Arriaga (139, Olympic), Jonathan Morales (154, Olympic and Traditional), Raiden Hsu (183, Olympic), Jayden Perez (183, Traditional) and Jonathan Siri (199, Olympic). Howes, the traditional champion, also earned an at-large bid in the Olympic.

Poinciana’s Otero also qualified in the Olympic as an at-large participant.  He will be joined in that classification by teammates Angelo Rodriguez (169) and Camron Brown (199), who qualified as at-large participants.  Harmony will send Santos Torres and Dominic Trombetta to the 129-lb. finals in the Olympic side.

In the Class 2A State Championship meet, region 3 champion Kevin Hill from Liberty will be among the favorites in the Olympic as he won 169-lb. class with a 575-lb. total – best among the 20 state qualifiers.  Joshua Fabian, also from Liberty, won the Traditional at 238-lbs. and also qualified for the Olympic in the same weight class.

In the team competition, St. Cloud won the Traditional 3A, Region 3 team title with 31 points, followed by Park Vista (27) and Harmony (27).  Olympic Heights (42) won the Olympic team championship; followed by Harmony (36) and St. Cloud (33).