Lifting powerful for Sundeys
That zeal for pumping iron figures to translate into multiple medals in the two-day AAU Junior Olympic Games powerlifting competition, which opens today at South-Doyle Middle School.
Sundey has 16 competitors who will test their mettle in the squat, bench press and dead-lift.
The 40-year-old Sundey, who has lifted weights for 20 years and also is a personal trainer, has high hopes for his team and for good reason.
"Our team has set 43 state records and four world records in different organizations," said Sundey.
"Last year we brought four lifters and got four gold medals. With 16 lifters this year, we'd like to come away with 13 gold medals if we lift like we should."
Lifting runs in the family as Sundey's son, 11-year-old Jacob, is one of the favorites in his age group.
Jacob, who weighs just 114 pounds, set a world record in his age group in the dead-lift (205) and erased the Florida record in the bench press in his division with a push of 105.
"He already has more world records than me," said the elder Sundey, laughing.
Team Elite has several other lifters who should post impressive numbers.
Morgan Brabbs, who will compete in the 18-19 age group, holds the Florida record in the dead-lift with a mark of 589 pounds.
Morgan only weighs 198 we're looking for him to pull triple his body weight and get 600 in the dead lift.
Anthony Pacheco, 17, is another Team Elite member who should excel in the competition.
"Pacheco holds state records in the bench, squat and dead-lift. We're looking for him to squat over 550 pounds."
Powerlifting also is for the gals.
Team Elite features three 17-year-old females Brittany Rains, Megan Ray and Mindy Nutt all of whom hold Florida records in age-group powerlifting.
Rains has benched 140 and Ray has dead-lifted 272 pounds.
Two-Sport Standout: Robert Griffin of Copperas Cove, Texas, may be as good an athlete as there is in theAAU Junior Olympic Games in Knoxville, TN.
Griffin, who will be a senior this fall, is a standout quarterback and hurdler.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Griffin easily has the top incoming times in both hurdle events.
In a high school meet last May in Texas, Griffin broke the Class 4A state record in the 110 high hurdles (13.55) and almost eclipsed the national record in the 300 hurdles. Griffin ran 35.33 in the 300 hurdles, just missing out on the national mark of 35.32 set in 1985.
Griffin also is a standout dual-threat quarterback who has listed Tennessee as one of his schools he is looking to attend. He passed for 2,001 yards last season with 25 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Griffin also rushed for 876 yards and eight scores.
Taking Flight: Javier H. Muniz Bonilla and Ramon E. Matias of Puerto Rico took a 12-hour flight to Knoxville to compete for the gold in beach volleyball. The 16-year-olds are AAU champions in Puerto Rico, where beach volleyball is the third-most popular sport behind basketball and baseball.
This is their third AAU Junior Olympic Games and they have won bronze medals the previous two times.