Natalia Senior Samantha Sanchez went out like a true champion, as she concluded her 2nd trip to the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Meet with a State Title. Sanchez did so, in the 97 lb. weight class, as she used a 695 lb. total to finish 15 lbs. Ahead of 2nd place Valery Cano out of Edinburg Idea College Prep to win the title.
As a team, the six Lady Mustangs combined for a 6th place finish out of 69+ schools in attendance with 9 team points which trailed State Co-Champions Lone Oak and San Diego who finished with 18 points each. Bishop (12) finished in 3rd place as a team with Little River and Early following.
“Sammy broke a year long drought for Natalia Powerlifting and brought home the state title in the 97 lb. weight class,” Coach Kasey Crowther said. “We couldn’t be more proud of this season as she has led by example all season. Her hard work, dedication all came through last Friday.”
Sanchez used a 290 lb. squat, a 140 lb. bench press and a 265 lb. dead lift to account for her 695 lb. total. A season ago, Sanchez finished 2nd in her weight class.
“Winning a state title is never easy and this competition was no different,” Crowther said. “Sam had to be at her very best to win and she showed that she was up to the task. Her leadership will be missed, but I know her legacy will help lead other girls to strive to be the very best.”
Sanchez is the second Lady Mustang to win a state title in powerlifting. Former Lady Mustang Jay Vasquez was the first to do so.
In the 105 lb. weight class, senior Julia Owens competed and finished in 7th place with her 690 lb. total.
“Jules is another senior leader who did an amazing job at the state meet,” Crowther said. “She came into this competition with one goal in mind and that was to compete with the best in the state. She fell short of medaling, but climbed from 12th to 7th in the weight class showing that even with the chips stacked against her she was ready for the challenge.”
Owens used a 280 lb. squat, a 135 lb. bench press and a 275 lb. dead lift to account for her total.
“Even though this is only her second year of lifting in the program, she had an incredible impact and her drive and determination has left a mark on the upcoming lifters,” Crowther said.
Freshman Meg Martinez also competed in the 105 lb. weight class where she finished in 18th place with a 610 lb. total.
“Meg competed in her first state meet and hopefully she will have many more to come,” Crowther said. “She did a great job of competing and gaining valuable experience. She’s had a great season and only being a freshman, we will lean on her to be a leader in the future.”
Martinez finished with a 610 lb. total, which included a 235 lb. squat, a 145 lb. bench press and a 230 lb. dead lift.
Gabrielle Santoya competed in the 165 lb. weight class and was unable to land her bench press or dead lifts after finishing with a 340 lb. squat
“Gabby represented our program well at the state meet,” Crowther said. “This young lady has been a job to be around all season and we are excited to see the leadership and experience she will give our young team in the future.”
Dezarae Perez competed in the 165 lb. weight class as well and finished in 5th place with a 915 lb. total. This marked her second straight trip to the state meet.
“Dez is a junior and she rose to the challenge this week at the state medalling 5th place,” Crowther said. “She has put in the work all season and we couldn’t be more proud of the way she competed. She had some adversity early in the meet, but showed the entire state what she was made of with a strong finish.”
Perez used a 360 lb. squat, a 195 lb. bench press and a 360 lb. dead lift to account for her 915 lb. total.
Last but not least, Jasmine Ramon competed in the 198 lb. weight class and was able to finish in 5th place with a 915 lb. total.
“Jasmine did a great job of representing our program on Saturday at her first ever state meet,” Crowther said. “I couldn’t be more proud of how she’s coming along and making it this far. Just being a freshman, we will expect her to lead the rest of our young team moving forward.”
Ramon finished with a 420 lb. squat, a 180 lb. bench press and a 315 lb. dead lift.
“It was a history making year for our program with six girls qualifying for the state meet,” Crowther said. “Team wise we took 6th out of 89 schools in 3A. While we lose three great seniors who set a great standard for many to follow I am excited about our future with such a young team. All of our girls are multi-sport athletes and that says a lot about our program as a whole and the commitment we have from our kids. We’ll lean on our experience moving forward and continue to build a great tradition of champions and excellence here at Natalia.”
By Eric Smith