Mario Stewart wanted to make his mark.
Friday, the River Ridge senior did just that.
Stewart took second place in the 139-pound weight class at the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 2A boys state weightlifting finals, hosted by River Ridge.
Stewart had 515 pounds, the same as the winner, Michael Stephenson of Port Orange Spruce Creek High School, but Stewart weighed a mere seven-tenths of a pound more than Stephenson.
Stewart celebrated when he set a school record for clean and jerk in his weight class with a 240-pound lift. He jumped into Coach Mike Marlin's arms when he found the lift was clean.
"Second place feels good," Stewart said. "I knew I was definitely going to get top three. I wanted to win."
Stewart said he has had problems with his knuckles.
"He Marlin told me just go out and do your best lifts," Stewart said of his coach. "What happens, happens. We knew what we were going to be able to do."
He had a personal best of 275 pounds on the bench press. It was the first time he had tried that weight.
"We knew he would be close," said Marlin. "We knew he was going to be good for somewhere between 515 to 530.
"He had a good meet. When you get five out of six lifts, you have had a good lift. He has done a great job. He finished ninth last year. He was 129 and stepped up to 139 and almost won it.
"He is the second to tie and lose on body weight. Andrew Hutchison won the 169 class in 2004."
HUDSON BOYS TAKE THIRD AT STATE: The Hudson boys weightlifting team had four people medal Saturday at the 1A meet.
Hudson finished with 16 points, taking third place in the team total. Baker County won with 34.
"It's huge," said Hudson coach Tim White. "It's something we work hard for. We start out every year trying to win this."
Senior Joseph Cimino was the star, winning the 129-pound class with a 460-pound total. He had a 250 bench press and a school-record 210 in the clean and jerk.
In the same class, John Eaton was fourth with 430.
Justin Busiere (169) took sixth with 585 and Devon Palombo (219) was second with 660.
OTHER INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: River Ridge's Stavros Arianas (199) had a 580 total. He had a 330 bench and a 250 clean and jerk.
In the 2A meet Friday, Mitchell High's Ryan Gallagher (199) had a 575 total with a 335 bench and a 240 clean and jerk.
River Ridge's Anthony McKinney (183) had a 540-pound total. He had a 285 bench press and a 255 clean and jerk.
In 1A, Pasco High's Trevor Lane (238) had a 335 bench press and a 250 clean and jerk for a 585 total.
Pasco High's Yoel Lorenzo had a 320 bench and a 250 clean and jerk for 570.
Zephyrhills High's Donterrell Parker (169) had a 295 bench press and a 225 clean and jerk for a 520 total.
Zephyrhills High's Chad Reubens (139) took third place with a 485-pound total. He had a 270 bench press and a 215 clean and jerk.