Hornet powerlifters dominate
Jaelynn Clark performs a a dead lift.
It was a great year for the East Central powerlifting team, and the athletes have the hardware to prove it. With more than 50 top-three medals, and many more top-five and top-10 finishes, the Hornets caught their competitors’ attention everywhere they went.
On the boys side, nearly 30 different athletes represented the Hornets throughout the season. Elijah Gonzales, Michael Gutierrez, Mark Saldana, Ashton Williams, Braden Sekula, Rickey Kester, and Juan Trevino all represented the sophomore class. Gonzales led the way with a pair of gold medals, and also picked up a silver medal at Medina Valley. Williams finished just off the podium with a fourth-place finish in Somerset.
Representing the junior class were Jarett Moreno, Isaac Mendoza, Hector Soria, Kaleb Brogdon, Caesar Soto, Reuben Duran, Emilio Sanchez, Hector Sandoval, and Tyler Cagle. Mendoza and Soto paced their class as each earned a first-, second-, and third-place finish during the season. Soto went on to finish sixth at the regional meet and eighth at state, while Mendoza finished eighth in the region. Sanchez earned a silver medal at the Edgewood Invitational, and Moreno earned a bronze in Poteet.
Elvis Benitez, Nathan Ruiz, John Pond, Dustin Webb, Miguel Garcia, Raul Chavez, Matt Ritch, Josh Garza, Jeremy Chamberlain, Tom Anthony, Daniel DeLeon, and Alec Gonzalez all represented the East Central senior class. Nearly every lifter earned a gold, silver, or bronze medal, and five lifters went as far as state.
Benitez earned a trio of gold medals, and even did so while competing in two different weight classes. He finished first in the region, and was sixth at state. Gonzalez started the season with a win at Edgewood, and then grabbed silver at the Westside Bar Bender Bash. He finished fourth in the region and was seventh at the state meet.
Ruiz earned two gold medals in the regular season and just missed the podium at the regional with a fourth-place finish. He made up for it at state, though, winning silver in his weight class. Ritch won gold at Medina Valley and then again at the regional. He tied for first at the state meet. Chamberlain started the season with a silver medal at Edgewood, but then won gold at Medina Valley, the regional, and at state. He also received a most-outstanding lifter award. Garza and DeLeon also advanced to regional.
On the girls side, Hailey Tapia was the lone sophomore, and she earned a bronze medal at Medina Valley. Juniors Esther Garza, Madison Schultz, Linda Rodriguez, and Courtney Delgado also got in on the action. Delgado won a gold and two silver medals during the regular season, and then grabbed a pair of bronze medals in the region and state meets. Schultz won a gold at Medina Valley, and Rodriguez just missed the podium there with her fourth-place finish.
Elaine Ruiz, Karina Valdes, Amy Moore, and Jaelynn Clark represented the senior class. They were a great group of leaders for the Hornets, and each won gold medals throughout the season. Ruiz, Valdes, and Moore each won gold at Medina Valley, while Clark followed suit, but then took things to another level.
Not only did Clark win gold at the Edgewood and Medina Valley meets, she also won gold at the regional, state, and national meets. She was named the most-outstanding lifter, and set regional and state records en route to her third-straight state title. She was named the best lifter at the national meet, and has received an invitation to the world team.
Congratulations to the East Central powerlifting team on an amazing, record-setting season.