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THSPA STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
COWBOYS DOMINATE FIELD AT THSPA STATE MEET, CLAIM TEAM TITLE AND TWO INDIVIDUAL CROWNS
For the first time in school history, Cotulla crowned a pair of powerlifting state champions and also won the state team title at the Texas High School Powerlifting State Championship in Abilene over the weekend.
Senior Kaleb Linares and junior Robert Sanchez both earned state championships in their respective weight classes while the Cowboys tallied 21 total team points to earn the Class 3A, Division 3 State Championship.
“I cannot express how proud I am of these student-athletes, these boys consistently showed up for six a.m. workouts, and committed themselves to the program 100 percent,” CHS Head Powerlifting Coach Esteban Rodriguez said. “None of this would be possible without the veteran leadership of Kaleb Linares, Joseph Salazar, and Robert Sanchez. These boys showed up with a goal of winning state, in mind, and did everything possible to achieve that goal.
“Every one of our lifters surpassed their personal records by a large margin, and it wasn’t an easy task. Once you get to this level, it will take extra efforts to have drastic increases in your weight totals. If it was easy, everyone would be out here competing.”
Rodriguez was stoic in his approach to the event, telling his athletes it was going to be all business.
“I told the boys when we left Cotulla for the state meet in Abilene, that this was a business trip and we are competing to win it all,” the coach said. “Being my first time at the state championship meet, the atmosphere was like no other.
“Our boys were completely focused on the task at hand, and competed to the best of their abilities.”
Linares was dominant in winning his state title in the 308-lb. weight class. He broke the state record in the squat with a lift of 800 lbs. and also set a new mark in total weight with a lift of 1,870 lbs. He also added a 500-lb. bench press and a deadlift of 570 lbs. He was also named the Outstanding Squatter for the Heavy Platform.
Sanchez was a state champ at 275 lbs. He posted a total weight of 1,795 lbs. with lifts of 720 lbs. in the squat, 455 lbs. in the bench press and 620 lbs. in the deadlift.
Joseph Salazar was a state-runner in the 123-lb. weight division. He posted a total lift of 1,085 lbs. with lifts of 405 lbs. in the squat, 275 lbs. in the bench press and 405 lbs. in the deadlift.
Gerardo Gonzales finished fourth at 198 lbs. with a total weight of 1,530 lbs. He recorded lifts of 625 lbs. in the squat, 365 lbs. in the bench press and 540 lbs. in the deadlift.
Aydan Martinez rounded out the Cotulla squad as he was ninth overall in the 165 lb. division. He posted a total weight of 1,345 lbs. and had lifts of 515 lbs. in the squat, 330 lbs. in the bench press and 500 lbs. in the deadlift.
“I would like to give a big thanks to the parents for allowing me to coach their children and getting them to morning practices, as well as supporting them at the meets throughout the season,” Coach Rodriguez said. “I would also like to thank all my co-workers and support staff that have helped make this opportunity possible for our athletes. There is a lot of work done behind the scenes that contributes to our success.
“Lastly, I would like to thank my family for supporting me along the way, it takes great sacrifice to fully invest in something you love, and I could not have done it without their support.”
Rodriguez added that this is just the beginning for the program.
“As stated on our state qualifier T-shirts, we have ‘Set The Bar’ for our program and I’m looking forward to defending our Division 3 State Championship.”