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Intensity propels mighty mite

Though he didn't win gold, Dan Hogan's fourth state meet appearance makes him the best in Pasco County.

By KEVIN KELLY

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 15, 2000


At 5 feet 2 and weighing just more than 100 pounds, Dan Hogan probably didn't look like much of a weightlifting powerhouse when he was a freshman at Gulf.

"But he was a strong, tough kid to begin with," Gulf coach Keith Newton said.

In four years since, the recent graduate dedicated himself to a sport some use only as a way to stay in shape before the start of another football or wrestling season.

"He's as intense a weightlifter and at weightlifting meets as any I've ever coached," Newton said. "He found a niche that he really liked, and he was good at it."

At 119 pounds, Hogan won a Sunshine Athletic Conference championship and qualified for the state competition all four years. For his dedication and steady success, he is the Times All-Pasco County Male Weightlifter of the Year.

"He's very quiet, to himself kind of person," Newton said. "Still, everything he did was very intense, and he worked very, very hard.

"He was serious in the weight room. There was no fooling around. There was no chatting and talking a lot. He didn't talk a lot to anybody anyway, but he just got in there and did his job and got stronger and got in and out of there every day. He's an easy person to coach."

Still Hogan, who wrestled for Gulf until he was a sophomore, ended his weightlifting career disappointed.

This year, he finished second at the Class 2A state competition after he scratched twice on the bench press.

He lost by 30 pounds to Seminole's Quoc Van, who set a state record at 240 pounds in the clean-and-jerk. Hogan lifted 225 pounds on the bench and 205 pounds during the clean-and-jerk.

"I wanted to win," he said. "It was bad the last two years."

As a freshman, Hogan finished sixth at state and followed that up with a third-place finish as a sophomore.

He was favored to win as a junior, but that year, Hogan went for gold and ended up with nothing. At the state meet, he scratched his first two lifts at 215 pounds in the clean-and-jerk.

Trailing by just 5 pounds after the bench press, Hogan again tried 215, a weight he had lifted many times in the past.

He didn't make it.

"He was really set on taking the top spot," Newton said. "He lost to a good kid. I tried to explain it to him. You know, being a state champion doesn't just come automatic. You have little things that you have to overcome every year, and sometimes, you don't realize who they are or where they're coming from.

"There's a lot of people that just like to get there, let alone be there four straight years."

Hogan plans to continue lifting weights for as long as he can. He's a member of a powerlifting team at Richey Racquet Club and competes in local, state and national events.

"I'll keep doing it as long as it's fun," Hogan said. "I like going to big meets and lifting and getting psyched up."

Hudson coach Brian Bennett is the Times All-Pasco County Weightlifting Coach of the Year.

Bennett led the Cobras to the SAC championship and had eight weightlifters qualify for state competition.

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