by Mark K. Campbell
Going into the girls’ regional powerlifting meet, Springtown coach Missy Castro thought her squad was an underdog.
Yet, her Lady Porcupines rose to their motto of “Tradition Never Graduates” and won the region.
The coach said, “I only had five returners from last year’s team of 12 – seven of the 12 are first-time powerlifters.”
Springtown took the title with 44 points, four ahead of Anna.
Castro said, “It was a wild ride with Anna; at one point, we were tied with 47 points apiece.”
As usual this season, Jazmine Kuper led the way.
She won her 220-pound weight class while setting two new regional records.
Kuper raised the squat marks to 485 pounds and the bench to 315.
For that latter effort, she won the “Best Bench Award, Heavy Division.”
Other regional records were set by Lady Porcupines.
Samantha Wann – who finished second in the 114 class – squatted 300 pounds and benched 170 pounds.
She won the “Best Bench Award, Light Division.”
Mindy Mullens, a bronze winner in the 114 division, reached her state qualification total of 740 pounds thanks in part to matching Wann’s 300-pound squat.
Two other SHS athletes won their weight classes.
At 105, Tatiana Contreras lifted 595 pounds total for the gold.
Also finishing first was Trew Caston at 123 with her tally of 740 pounds.
Like Wann, two other Lady Porcupines earned silver medals – Rachel Hellam at 132 with 735 total pounds and Madelynn Vining at 148 with 765 pounds.
Blake Jarvis finished third with a total of 835 pounds and qualified as a state alternate.
Two Springtown girls finished fifth – Britney Yannello at 97 pounds with a total of 440 and Cloei Adams at 105 with 525 pounds.
Also excelling was sixth place finisher Harley Hawk (114 pound, 570 total) and ninth placer Lauren Osborne (123 class, 550 pounds).
Coach Castro lauded the support of several, including AD Secretary Jenna Miller, Coach Tye Adams, Micheal Chavez, SISD director of student services, and former SHS lifting standouts Melissa Perrone (sister of Kuper), Serena Arce, and Jenny Lopez.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” Castro said.
So, it’s back to the state meet for Springtown once again.