Seven members of Calallen High School's power lifting program took on hundreds of other students from around the state over the past two weeks, with two members moving on to compete at nationals.
The girls power lifting team, comprised of Shelby O'Brien, Brianna Brunner and Casandra Sanchez, placed third at the State Power Lifting Competition, which was held March 20 in Corpus Christi.
In their individual events, Brunner placed fourth in the 123-pound class. She had a 300-pound squat lift, benched 135 pounds, and had a dead lift of 275 pounds, for a total of 710 pounds.
Sanchez placed third, with a combined lift of 835 pounds. She had 350-pound lifts in both the squat and dead lift events, as well as a 135-pound bench.
O'Brien, a senior, placed first in the 181-pound class, earning a combined lift total of 985 pounds. She had a 440-pound lift in the squat event, as well as benching 185 pounds and managing a 360-pound dead lift.
"It feels like all my hard work has paid off," O'Brien said. "It's nice to win state, but, actually, I just want to further this success."
This past weekend, the boys power lifting team competed at the state competition in Abilene. The team, made up of Zach Garza, Gabriel Longoria, Thomas Soto and Brandon Castillo, placed fifth out of 97 schools in the Division I Category, which includes all 4A and 5A schools.
Soto, who competed in the 114-pound class, finished in 11th place, but had a personal best in the dead lift of 415 pounds. Castillo placed 10th, but also had a personal best performance in the squat event with a 505-pound lift.
Longoria finished in third place in the 181-pound class, squatting a personal best of 630 pounds.
Garza placed second in the 165-pound class, earning personal best lifts in the squat, 625 pounds; and bench, 330 pounds, events. Garza is also the regional champion, holding records for squatting and combined lift totals.
Garza and O'Brien will now be heading to nationals in June, though they will be competing at the USAPL South Texas qualifier this weekend. Soto will also be competing as well to earn a spot at nationals. If the trio place high enough at nationals, they could earn a spot on the U.S. power lifting team for world competition.
"It's a goal from this year," Garza said. "I'm not nervous - just really excited and I want to give it all I've got."