The Louise Hornets powerlifting program made their presence felt at the regional meet at Lumberton High School last Thursday.
With a large contingent of Hornet lifters, Louise finished as the regional runner up, only one point behind Holland who won the championship with 25 points.
The Hornets were the only school to have three regional champions. Freshman Imanoal Mendez, junior Christopher Vasquez and junior Daniel Gaona III all were regional champions and will compete for the state championship in Abilene at the Taylor County Expo Center in March. 27.
“I’m beyond proud of my (team),” Louise coach Daniel Gaona II said. “Many of them are multi-sport students and they all squeeze in workouts in an already packed schedule, so to see them be this successful is amazing. We have great kids that work hard. This is assistant coach Ashley Zezula and my second season running the powerlifting program and I think we have gotten to the point where we know what needs to be done.”
Of the eight boys who competed at regionals, only one Hornet did not finish their three lifts.
Mendez in the 114-pound weight class lifted a combined 675 pounds. His total lift was more than 75 pounds over that of second place.
Gaona in the 242-pound weight class lifted a total of 1,360 pounds. He lifted 90 more pounds than second place.
With three weight classes ahead of Gaona, the junior powerlifter lifted the fourth-most total weight of all the regional competitors.
Vasquez in the 275-pound weight class lifted a total of 1,335 pounds. His squat was 75 pounds more than anyone else in his weight class. Vasquez lifted the seventh most weight at regionals.
Two other Hornet lifters had top-five finishes. Freshman Trevor Lutringer in the 114-pound weight class finished fourth lifting 505 pounds. Sophomore Ethan Resendez in the 220-pound weight class tied for fourth-place lifting 1,025 pounds.
The Louise program is sending 11 powerlifters to the state meet, eight girls and three boys. The girls will compete this Thursday in Corpus Christi.
The Louise powerlifting program had five girls qualify for state last year. However, the state meet never took place due to COVID-19 concerns. This will be the first time since 2018 that Louise will have a boy powerlifter at the state meet.