Calallen High School junior Thomas Soto recently placed fourth overall at the International Powerlifting Federation World Powerlifting Meet in Moose Jaw, Canada. Soto competed in the 53 kg division, totaling 432.5 kg (951.5 lbs).

Hoping to bring home a medal, Soto pushed in his final lift, the deadlift. However, his 182.5 kg on the lift wasn’t enough for third place.

“He had a good meet,” Powerlifting Coach Joel De La Paz said. “He thought he could make it to the bronze medal, but it didn’t happen.”

Soto will have two more years to compete in the sub-junior division before he moves up to the juniors, which feature ages 20-23. All three of the lifters who placed ahead of him will move on to the juniors next year, making him an early favorite for the gold in 2012.

“There’s still lots of room for him to grow,” De La Paz said. “Hopefully, he’ll be back next year to get that medal.”

This was the second consecutive year that Soto competed on the international stage, with the Calallen High School standout having made his first showing in the Czech Republic last year for an IPF meet.