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the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Weightlifter Mark Seklitov lifts off

Mark Seklitov finished 7th in the state this year, setting a high bar for senior year
Seklitov’s Parent
Saint Stephens Weightlifter Mark Seklitov lifts 265 lbs

There is no easy beginning for someone who has to move halfway across the world with his family to start a new life in the United States from Russia. When junior weightlifter Mark Seklitov turned seven years old, this was his reality. 

Seklitov has been attending Saint Stephen’s since pre-k, and his passion for weightlifting started when he was 15, watching different influencers online and wanting to be just like them.

Since beginning in the sport, Seklitov has become a standout lifter on the varsity team, qualifying for States this year and finishing 7th in Florida for his weight class.   

Seklitov feels that social media has a positive impact in this respect, where you can be inspired by people who are super fit and strong, which makes you want to look just like them.

“Seeing the greatest of our generation should inspire you to want to be better in the gym, so you can look just like them,” Seklitov said.  

Going to the gym two times a day takes a toll on your body.  Coach Erik Shultz commented that Seklitov’s dedication is to a point where it can almost be a weakness.  

“Mark’s biggest weakness is also his strength, his ability to overtrain and almost even injure himself.” 

Seklitov has big goals for his weightlifting career, with a hope of one day competing in the Olympics.

Not only is he a key weightlifter for Saint Stephens weightlifting, but he also runs the gym club. In his free time, he coaches younger kids trying to learn olympic weightlifting. 

His biggest achievements so far in weightlifting include finishing 2nd in districts and regionals in Olympic, and a PR of a 245 clean and jerk against Braden River on senior night. As mentioned, he also qualified for States, placing 7th in his weight class.  

Coach Schulz commented on the quick uprising of Seklitov’s impact on the team. 

“If you would have told me last year Mark would be where he is today, a main piece for the team, I would have told you that you were crazy,” Schulz said. 

Seklitov would like to continue lifting into college, and he has his eyes set on Tampa.  

“The weightlifting club at USF is something I would really like to get into, also USF as a school is someplace that has always been on my radar.”

As a lifter, Seklitov focuses as much on technique as he does on pure strength.  For him, this is the key to getting to the next level. 

 “If you’re really strong it doesn’t matter,” Seklitov said.  “Technique will always outweigh strength”

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About the Contributor
Derek Aroyan
Derek Aroyan, Staff Writer
Derek Aroyan is a Junior and a first year member of the Gauntlet. His favorite hobby is playing Hockey and he is a staff writer on the Gauntlet. His favorite movie is 22 Jump Street. He has 1 cat who he loves to spend time with. Aroyan's favorite color is satin grey and he likes the color more on cars than anything else.


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  • Michele JurgensenMay 7, 2024 at 5:40 pm

    Mark has always been one of my favorite people!! I am so happy for you that you have this passion for weight lifting – and are good at it! Woohoo! Way to go Mark!
    Ms. Jurgensen