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Benavidez earns back-to-back titles with record breaking state performance.
Lauded as a model athlete by her coach, Cotulla senior Jennifer Benavidez added additional hardware to an impressive high school athletic resume by becoming the school’s second back-to-back state champion in any sport in claming the Texas High School Womens Powerlifting Association State Championship last week in Corpus Christi.
Benavidez was crowned champion in the 148-lb. weight class in the Class 3A Big School Division. She becomes the fifth state powerlifting champion and earned the school its seventh state title in that sport.
“Everything thing Jennifer has accomplished is due to her work ethic,” CHS Powerlifting Head Coach Lupe Hernandez said. “She made every six a.m. workout and was a great example to the younger lifters coming up.
She is the type of athlete all coaches want.”
Benavidez was so dominant at the state meet that she not only repeated as state champ, she she did so in record breaking fashion, setting new state standards in five different categories of her weight class. She shattered the Class 3A squat mark with a lift of 500 lbs. in that event. The previous record was 440 lbs. Benavidez likewise easily bested the 3A total in the deadlift. She posted a lift of 430 lbs., topping the previous standard of 405 lbs. She also set the new mark for total weight with 1,175 lbs., 105 lbs. better than the previous record. She also posted a lift of 245 lbs. in the bench press.
The Midland University-Nebraska commit etched her name in three of the four top state spots for her weight class but also set new standards across all divisions, Class 1A to 6A, with her lift in the squat and her total weight.
Suzy Kilde won back-t0-back state titles in 2003-04 and Yomi Sanchez earned a state championship in 2007. Myarae Herrera was crowned state champ in 2016 and Jasmyne Martinez earned her state title in 2017.
Benavidez was one of five Cowgirls competing at the state meet and one of three to medal at the event.
Jenivae Rodriguez was fourth in the 259-lb. division and posted lifts of 450 lbs. in squat, 245 lbs. on the bench and 335 lbs. in the deadlift for a total weight of 1,030 lbs.
Syrah Garcia was fifth in the super heavyweight division. She had lifts of 375 on squat, 205 on bench and 300 on deadlift for a total of 880 lbs.