|Lifting a state title: CPHS lifters take share of championship at meet|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
April 8, 205 - COMO - A co-champion has been crowned at the Texas High School Powerlifting Championships in Division III courtesy of the Como-Pickton Eagles.
"I thought they did an awesome job. At the state meet you are going to have the toughest competition of the year, and for two weeks prior to state we started pushing our limits and trying to get to our ultimate strength," CPHS coach Joe Ryzman said.
Sophomore John Garrett, senior J.J. Robinson and junior Ray Hayden had personal best lifts during the meet and tied for the Class 2A-A championship with Leonard as each team scored 14 points.
Hayden was the state champion in the 181-pound class after lifting 1,400 pounds total in the squat, bench and dead lift. He also received the best dead lift plaque with a lift of 570 pounds.
"Having Ray so much stronger this year really excites me, and in track he is about to get back to where he was and that will get him faster," the coach said. "I am really excited with the fact that he will be back next year as a senior really physically ready to perform."
For Robinson, a second place finish in the 242-pound class at the state meet, which included personal bests in the squat and dead lift, impressed Ryzman since this was only Robinson's first year to really compete in powerlifting.
"J.J. is the only senior and we are really going to miss him on the team," the coach said. "This was his first year to really start powerlifting, and he really didn't have any idea how much weight he could lift."
Robinson successfully lifted 570 pounds in the squat, and then pulled out second place with a dead lift of 630 pounds, which is 35 pounds more than his regional lift of 595.
Ryzman said the competition in the 242-pound class was tougher than at the regional meet because every person in that class had gotten stronger and with the way Robinson performed at the meet he was very impressed with his senior campaign.
In the 114-pound class, Garrett received fourth place honors with a total lift of 820 pounds (310 in the squat, 160 on the bench, 350 in the dead lift), and Ryzman expects Garrett to be competitive again next year with the possibility of getting back to the state meet.
"With Ray and John coming back after placing at the state championship and all of the kids that will be lifting next year, I see us being very competitive next year with due participation," Ryzman said.
With three lifters making it to the state meet this year, Ryzman said next year should be very exciting and he expects to see more kids on the team and hopefully a repeat performance of this past season.
"For the past two years, we have been building the powerlifting program and one of the things that we have done to get participation was to host our own powerlifting meet," said Ryzman. "This year, we had 15 kids participating in powerlifting, which is a lot more as compared to last year when we had only four members."