Soto takes 2nd at State powerlifting meet

Austin Soto took 2nd place in State powerlifting. Fore more photos, see our online gallery!

Austin Soto, Steven Ramirez, and Lucas Byrd competed at the State Powerlifting Meet last Saturday, March 25th in Abilene. Soto worked his way to a 2nd place finish while Ramirez finished in the 9th place spot in his division. Byrd, who was sick for the entire trip, gave it his best but bombed out on the squat lift.
Austin, competing in the Division 2/275-pound class, completed his Warhorse powerlifting career in grand fashion by lifting his personal best total of 1,700lbs. Those pounds were accumulated by lifting 625lbs in the squat rack, 500lbs on bench, and 575lbs on deadlift.
Steven, Division 2/165-pound class, finished in the top ten with 510lbs on squat, 295lbs on bench, and a 465lb deadlift for a total of 1,270 pounds.
Lucas, also competing in the Division 2/165-pound class, simply didn’t have any strength after being sick all day on Friday. He was not able to record a lift on squat, thus ending his successful junior season.
What they said:
Coach Paul Gomez on Austin Soto, “I’m extremely proud of what Austin accomplished throughout his powerlifting career as he holds every lifting record for Devine High School. He ended his career the right way by recording his best total of 1,700lbs and him finally benching 500lbs which has been his goal for a while. I’m proud that he got the silver medal at state this season. During his junior year at state, he received the fifth place medal but was disappointed because his total went down about 25 pounds during that competition. He was determined to have a good showing and, of course, he came through.”
Soto’s comment, “I’m glad that I got to experience all of this with Coach Gomez, Coach Rotramel, Lucas, and Bulldog. I put in a lot of hard work to make this happen.”
Gomez on Steven Ramirez, “Bulldog was a great surprise this year. He started really late because of a football injury that kept him out until February. Due to that fact, he had a lot of catching up to do. He worked his tail off and we all know that hard work usually pays off. Well, it did for Steven as he qualified for state at the regional meet then placed 9th overall out of 18 lifters.”
Ramirez’s comment,“The experience at State was amazing and the competition was great. Although I didn’t perform as well as I would’ve liked, I’m blessed to have advanced to State. I was very proud to represent The City of Devine! I want to give a shout-out to Austin for placing 2nd in State, and Lucas for having one heck of a year and being alongside me through it all. Lucas and I will be back to dominate Abilene next year!”
Gomez regarding Lucas Byrd, “I am extremely proud of what Lucas has accomplished. Last year he weighed around 150 pounds when he came out for powerlifting. He gained 15 pounds of muscle in one year and it paid off for him. Lucas went into the Regional Meet with a chance to get the state qualifying total but he had to stay on schedule with his squat and bench to have a chance at the end with his deadlift. On squat, Lucas lifted 10 pounds better than his previous max but he struggled on his bench. His best deadlift was 495lbs going in to the regional meet. He had to get 540lbs to get the state qualifying total. Rotramel and I tried to pump him up as much as possible because he was facing an awesome task, of course. Well, with the crowd going crazy, he got the weight! It was definitely a great moment for him, for everyone that got to witness it actually. Unfortunately, Lucas got sick the day before the state meet; he just did not have any strength. He could not do his opening lift on squat and bombed out. He will return next year and hopefully get back to Abilene to redeem himself.”
Byrd’s comment, “Overall, state was a great experience. Bombing out only provides more motivation for next year. It didn’t help being sick the day of the meet as well as the day before, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. I’m glad I could be there to support and help my teammates. I can’t wait till next year to redeem myself.”
Other top finishers:
Nevada Community had the 1st and 3rd place finishes in Austin’s division. Jerry Daniel won the competition with a total of 1,880lbs (745 squat, 530 bench, 605 deadlift) while Austin Norton had a total of 1,600lbs (700 squat, 350 bench, 550 deadlift).
In Lucas’s and Bulldog’s grouping, the Division 2/165-pound class, 1st place went to Jerkarion Simmons of Jasper with a total of 1,565lbs (560 squat, 380 bench, 625 deadlift). Second place was Colton Boatwright of Shepherd with 1,440lbs (540 squat, 360 bench, 540 deadlift). Claiming third place was Andres Hernandez of Hildalgo Early College with 1,350 (520 squat, 315 bench, 515 deadlift). Final results from all classifications and weight divisions can be found on

Jerel Beaty
Staff Writer