Even girls powerlifting is raising the bar at Belton.

Two weeks after winning its first region championship, Belton coach Paul Williams had high aspirations for a top-four finish at the state meet.

Yet, despite having the program’s first two silver medalists, Williams and his Lady Tiger lifters left the THSWPA Class 5A state powerlifting meet more than just “a little disappointed” after tying for fifth in the team standings last weekend at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.

“We felt like we had a shot to make a run at one of the top four spots, and we had a couple of girls that struggled and weren’t able to produce as much as they had in the past … it hurt,” Williams said. “But everyone keeps telling me fifth isn’t bad, but we had goals set earlier in the year for a top-four finish, so we’re a little disappointed.”

The Class 3A and 4A meets were held Friday with Classes 1A, 2A and 5A running Saturday.

Thanks to the four placers, Belton finished tied for fifth in 5A with 13 points, 23 behind champion Weslaco East. With just one placer apiece, Gatesville finished 20th at the Class 3A meet and Florence finished 21st in the 2A meet. Lampasas didn’t point with only one competitor in the 3A meet.

Belton’s Kyler Watkins posted an all-around personal best performance as she finished second in the 148-pound weight class with a total of 835 pounds. She set personal records with a 160-pound bench press, a 305 squat and a 370 dead lift. Lady Tigers teammate Olivia Warehime also maxed out for silver in the 220-pound class with a total of 875 pounds, PRing in bench (185) and dead lift (340), and squatting 350.

“(Watkins) was probably one of the most consistent lifters at the meet — she didn’t miss any of them — and PRed on every one of them,” Williams said.

Other placers for Belton included 181-pounder Susan James (fourth with 870 total pounds) and 105-pounder YeYaJaimes (fifth with 650 total).

Gatesville’s Raven Massey also took home silver, finishing runner up in the 3A 165-pound class with a total weight of 875 pounds. Despite entering seven pounds under weight, Massey posted a class-best 175 pounds on the bench press, 10 pounds more than the next closest competitor. Massey also squatted 345 pounds and dead lifted 355. The Hornets, who entered five competitors, also had a sixth-place finish from 132-pounder Lita Galdones, who put up a total of 750 pounds.

Florence sophomore Shelbie Long finished third in the 220-plus weight class with a personal-record total of 1,035 pounds — 80 higher than her previous best. In just her second trip to state, Long posted the highest bench press in her class with 240 pounds before squatting 410 and dead lifting 385. Lady Buffs teammate Amanda Stiles, also a sophomore, finished seventh among a senior-laden field, posting a personal-best total of 755 pounds (305 squat, 280 dead lift, 170 bench).

Lampasas’ lone representative, Scotti Franklin, finished ninth at 220 pounds with a total of 755.

Contact Alex Byington at alexb@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7566

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