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Marble Falls girls powerlifters advance to regional meet, Mustangs earn fifth team invitational team title

CAPTION: The Marble Falls Mustangs and Lady Mustangs with their plaques from the Bulldawg Classic and Copperas Cove Feb. 18. Courtesy photo

Eleven Marble Falls High School Lady Mustangs are headed to the regional powerlifting meet after invitations were extended Feb. 20.

They are Stephanie Amezquita, Cheyenne Blair, Alexis Dalton, Kenadi Dalton, Sandra Gonzales, Chloe Humphreys, Paige Kemp, Genesis Lemon, Isabell Medina, Sophia Trudeau and Abigail Ybarra. Jaylinn Hinojosa is an alternate.

“It shows our depth,” head coach Robert Draper said, who predicted the Lady Mustangs would have double-digit qualifiers to regionals. “It’s made a lot of excitement for the girls and made the girls want to come out and do this. My girls are all excited.”

It’s been a remarkable season for Marble Falls powerlifting. Draper pointed out the Lady Mustangs have returned with a plaque from just about every meet they’ve entered. And the Mustangs have done even better — winning all five meets. Marble Falls has been the talk of opposing coaches, who’ve noticed the sheer numbers of the lifters: the number per team, the number entered in each weight class, and — most importantly — the athletes’ might to lift tons of weight and meet the crucial technique requirements to earn a score.

Draper and strength-and-conditioning coach Richard Scales are pleased with the results and are especially proud of how the results of the season have impacted the athletes. The athletes have noticed the positive changes in their bodies that have helped them in other sports and the positive impact of their self-confidence that has helped them in every phase of their lives.

“I do believe it gets them confident,” Draper said. “It gets them confident with weights. And it gives them excitement to get in the weight room. Being strong gives them a good foundation and helps with injury prevention. They think ‘I can do this, I can fight through this.'”

All of that was on full display Feb. 18 when Marble Falls competed at the Bulldawg Classic hosted by Copperas Cove. The Mustangs came in first place again, while the Lady Mustangs finished second. It was a homecoming of sorts for Draper, who lifted in the first Copperas Cove meet in 1987.

The Mustangs received several first place finishes in their weight classes.

Chase Richard won the 123-pound weight class with a 365-pound squat, a 215-pound bench press, and a 365-pound deadlift for a total of 945 pounds.

Jasael Ruiz won the 148-pound weight class with a 455-pound squat, a 235-pound bench press, and a 480-pound deadlift for a total of 1,170 pounds.

Xavier Lopez won the 181-pound weight class with a 675-pound squat, 300-pound bench press, and a 700-pound deadlift for a total of 1,675 pounds.

Aaron Arrendo was a silver medalist in the 132-pound weight class thanks to a 450-pound squat, a 275-pound bench press, and a 385-pound deadlift for total of 1,110 pounds.

Another silver medalist was Noah Escandon in the 198-pound weight class, who recorded a 500-pound squat, a 305-pound bench press, and a 460-pound deadlift for a total of 1,265 pounds.

Adan Lopez earned a bronze with a 385-pound squat, a 245-pound bench press, and a 440-pound deadlift for a total of 1,070 pounds.

Atreyu Machacek was sixth with a 315-pound squat, a 150-pound bench press, and a 335-pound deadlift for a total of 800 pounds.

Three gold medalists led the Lady Mustangs.

Amezquita won her weight class with a 200-pound squat, a 90-pound bench press, and a 245-pound deadlift for a total of 535 pounds.

Kenadi Dalton also earned a gold medal by recording a 230-pound squat, a 120-pound bench press, and a 200-pound deadlift for a total of 505 pounds.

Humphries took gold in her weight class with a 360-pound squat, a 140-pound bench press, and a 345-pound deadlift for a total of 845 pounds.

Gonzales was fourth with a 300-pound squat, a 150-pound bench press, and a 280-pound deadlift for a total of 730 pounds.

Another fourth-place finisher was Medina, who recorded a 285-pound squat, a 125-pound bench press, and a 295-pound deadlift for a total of 705 pounds.

Kemp came in fourth in her weight class with a 330-pound squat, a 190-pound bench press, and a 305-pound deadlift for a total of 825 pounds.

Alexis Dalton finished fifth with a 285-pound squat, a 120-pound bench press, and a 320-pound deadlift for a total of 725 pounds.

Ybarra came in sixth with a 255-pound squat, a 140-pound bench press, and a 280-pound deadlift for a total of 675 pounds.

Trudeau was sixth with a 290-pound squat, a 180-pound bench press, and a 290-pound deadlift for a total of 760 pounds.

Lemon was 11th with a 285-pound squat, a 110-pound bench press, and a 300-pound deadlift for a total of 670 pounds.

Knowing bids for regional meets were being sent Feb. 20 to the girls and Feb. 27 to the boys and Copperas Cove was the last chance for their athletes to qualify, Draper and Scales told the athletes it was important they lift as much weight as possible in calculated risks.

“We pushed them a little bit,” Draper said. “They understood it and said, ‘Oh, let’s do this.’ We tried to push them a little bit for regionals and we’re trying to get them to state.”

Freshmen joined the team, too, and one was playing basketball at the same time.

“They’re all excited about it,” Draper said. “It gets them talking about it to other kids. Hopefully they’ll help build up the aspect of it.”

Draper and Scales have already began plotting what the Marble Falls lifters must do in order to get to the state meet.

“We’re going to have a different plan going into regionals,” Draper said. “Now it’s about placing and trying to win regionals. I think we have a good chance. We’re going to go in there and have a plan and get them going.”

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