Like a lot of teens from Texas, Florence juniors Shelbie Long and Amanda Stiles will make a trip to Corpus Christi during spring break.
But they hope to come home with more than a tan. Long and Stiles are seeking medals and state titles at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association state meet.
“I tell them all the time that crazy things happen at the state meet,” Florence powerlifting head coach Beau Barksdale said. “Lets go capitalize on it if something happens and they believe it.”
The meet begins at 8 a.m. today at the American Bank Center.
A competitor’s score is decided by the sum of the maximum weight of the lifter’s best attempt in the squat, bench press and dead lift. A lifter is allowed three attempts in each event.
Both qualified by finishing second in their respective weight classes at the Region 2, Division 3 meet in Gatesville on March 1. Stiles lifted a total of 790 pounds in the 181-pound division while Long lifted 1,085 pounds in the 200-plus division.
Long hopes her third consecutive trip to the state meet will be the charm
and she brings home a Class 2A state title.
As a freshman, Long finished fourth at state after lifting 935 pounds. Last season, she finished third, lifting 1,035 pounds.
“I know the title is right there in my hands, I just have to go and grab it,” Long said.
Barksdale said being a veteran of the state meet bodes well for Long.
“I don’t see her being nervous,” Barksdale said. “She’s the kind of girl that goes to these competitions and gets fired up. She’s got to go attack it.”
Stiles finished seventh in the 165-pound division with a lift of 755 pounds at state last year. Her total at the regional meet earlier this month would have put her in fourth place in the 181-pound division at last year’s state meet.
The regional meet tested Stiles’ patience. She was lifting despite a hamstring strain and the competitive junior had to go for more conservative lift totals at the regional meet.
“It’s my second year to come in second to qualify for state,” Stiles said. “I would rather win a regional championship. I like to win, I hate losing.”
Barksdale said Stiles showed a lot of maturity to not risk making the injury more severe at the regional meet.
“It took a lot of control and a lot of swallowing pride and saying ‘I’ve done all that I can do,’” Barksdale said.