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Lady Dawg returns to Class 4A powerlifting state meet

Burnet High School sophomore Abby Smith qualified for the Class 4A Division I powerlifting state meet after finishing third overall in the 114-pound division at regionals on March 4.

Smith lifted a total of 635 pounds thanks to squatting 254 pounds, bench-pressing 145 pounds, and dead-lifting 250 pounds. She set new personal bests in the deadlift, the bench press and in the overall total. The state is divided into eight regions. The top two lifters in each region automatically qualify. But Smith’s total weight lifted was the best of the eight 3rd-place finishes, which is why she is going to the state meet. The state meet is on Friday, March 18, in Corpus Christi.

Smith, who is in her second year to compete for the powerlifting team, said she didn’t have a favorite lift, noting she likes them all.

“I’m successful at it,” she said. “I like the meets.”

Head coach Tyler McIntosh said he spoke to Smith last year about joining the team after having conversations with his colleagues. She has many traits that make her a terrific lifter, but none more important than wanting to come through for the team, he added.

“She’s super competitive,” he said. “Anytime we need points or a certain placement in a meet, we always ask her about lifting more. And she says ‘yes sir’ and goes on the attack.”

The Marble Falls Lady Mustangs also finished their season at regionals.

Though no one from the high school qualified for the state meet, head coach Robert Draper witnessed the same characteristic at MFHS that McIntosh saw at BHS: all lifters improved throughout the season and the sport is growing in popularity among female lifters across the state.

“It’s one of the fastest growing sports in high schools,” Draper said. “You’re starting to see more and more girls in it. That’s why the (Texas High School Powerlifting) Association tried to split them up by football regions to get more girls.”

Draper chuckled as he recalled sophomore Alexis Dalton, who finished fourth in the 165-pound weight class and earned a medal, telling him before the season started that she wanted to quit the team. He told her he thought she should “stick with it.”

“That’s the first medal she got this year. Now she’s one of the ones excited about doing it next year,” he said with a grin. “The girls who came out, I think they’re all going to do it next year.”

Junior Paige Kemp was fourth in the 220-pound division and also earned a medal. She wants to compete on the Tarleton State University powerlifting team.

Draper said he likes the split divisions because it allowed more Lady Mustangs to qualify. In all Marble Falls had five lifters though only two competed. The alternate, Kiersten Plumlee, couldn’t because she was an alternate, while the other two couldn’t go because of injury or illness.

Though Plumlee didn’t compete, she shot video and took photos, which made her look forward to competing in 2023, the coach said.

“If you get into it, you see the results and you feel better,” Draper said. “You could see the development and excitement.”

Burnet results:

3, Abby Smith, 245 squat-140 bench press-250 deadlift—635 total (new personal best)

6, Rylea Whitus, 305 squat-175 bench press-275 deadlift—755 total

7, Reagan Shipley, 240 squat-135 bench press-265 deadlift—640 total (new personal best)

9, Maddi Moise, 255 squat-135 bench press-300 deadlift—690 total (new personal best)

13, Camyle Bengsch, 220 squat-115 bench press-230 deadlift—565 total (new personal best)

18, Carleigh Imrie, 210 squat-100 bench press-185 deadlift—495 total

19, Kenley Currie, 145 squat-80 bench press-190 deadlift—415 total

Marble Falls results:

165-pound weight class

4, Alexis Dalton, 255 squat-100 bench press-280 deadlift—635 total

220-pound weight class

4, Paige Kemp, 280 squat-180 bench press-240 deadlift—700 total

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