MARBLE FALLS — Three Marble Falls High School lifters aim to power their way through the regional meet at Dripping Springs Saturday and punch their tickets to the state meet.
They include juniors Cyril Lemon and Ronnie Boatwright and senior Andrew Mitchell.
Lemon and Mitchell are in the top 10 in their respective weight classes, while Boatwright is in the top 12.
Powerlifters are required to perform three lifts that must be picked up correctly by the judges’ standards. They include the bench press, deadlift and squat. Simply lifting or squatting weight is not enough. Judges look at the way athletes use their bodies, how long they hold the weight and if they can keep proper balance and not flinch.
Lemon will compete in the super heavyweights for lifters 275 pounds or heavier. Boatwright is in the 242-pounds class, and Mitchell lifts in the 198 pounds.
Mitchell is fourth in his class in the region.
“Andrew is 20 pounds out of first,” head coach Ricky Sparks said. “He’s right there. On any given day, any one of those kids could lift more than the other.”
The top two lifters, Stefan Arias and Reggie Brooks, both of Burleson, have a total of 1,400 and 1,390 pounds each.
Lemon is seventh in his class in the region.
Xavier Johnson of Burleson is No. 1 in the region, with a combined lift total of 1,630 pounds, Sparks said.
But that fact doesn’t phase Lemon or the coaches.
“He’s improved at every meet he’s been in,” Sparks said. “We’ve been trying to find his maximum. I don’t think Cyril knows how strong he is.”
Lemon has squatted 570 pounds, dead lifted 540 pounds and bench pressed 275.
Boatwright will go in the hopes that a lifter in his weight class has qualified in another division and will not compete in the 242.
“Some of those kids who are in front of him might declare to go to a heavier weight class,” the coach said. “He’s gotten so much stronger. His totals have gone way up.”
Boatwright had a combined total of 1,275 pounds at the Connally Classic.
Sparks said he was pleased with the way all 15 of the lifters performed this season. He noted many of the lifters are underclassmen.
Other lifters included freshmen Chandler Mabray, Nathan Short, Michael Buya, Aaron Hillburn, Travis Sparks, Vincent Campuzano and Kevin Reed and sophomore Chris Reaves.
“Powerlifting has grown so much in the last decade,” the coach said. “Athletes are using it for a jump-start for all the other sports. Kids are all the time trying to get bigger, faster, stronger.”