A Banquete athlete set a state record and a Calallen duo earned silver medals over the weekend at the Texas High School Powerlifting Association State Championships in Abilene.

Ricky Benavidez of Banquete had a record-breaking 425-pound bench press, setting the new high mark for Division 3 in his 181-pound weight class. His 1,520 total landed him a bronze medal.

The Wildcats’ Jacob De La Paz took second in the 132-pound weight class, and his teammate Dakota Cooksy-Hale was runner-up at 242. Combined with fellow state qualifiers Blade Bronstad and Jared Garcia, Calallen placed fifth as a team in Division 1 with 11 points.

A week prior, the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association State Championships were held at the American Bank Center.

Calallen’s Clarissa Garcia placed fourth at 148 with a total of 810.

The THSPA also announced three academic all-state teams.

Benavidez, Alex Rodriguez (Calallen), and Miguel Salazar (Tuloso-Midway) made the elite team. Garcia and Cooksy-Hale were on the first team, and T-M’s James Bain made the second team.

Here are the area results for the state-qualifiers.




132—2—Jacob De La Paz—475—225—450—1,150

165—9—Jared Garcia—535—315—550—1,400

220—5—Blade Bronstad—630—360—585—1,575

242—2—Dakota Cooksy-Hale—685—375—630—1,690


165—6—James Bain—600—305—535—1,440

220—13—Matthew Dickson—580—350—580—1,510


123—6—Patrick Ayala—300-150—430—880

181—3—Ricky Benavidez—530—425—565—1,520

242—6—Brendon Breland—650—385—550—1,585



123—13—Talissa Soto—265—95—305—665

148—4—Clarissa Garcia—320—170—320—810


97—13—Alex Alvarez—175—90—215—480

148—6—Tiffany Lease—345—120—310—775

165—10—Kaley Carpenter—335—150—225—710