Bandera High School Senior Emily Garcia placed third at March 18’s Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting State Championships in Corpus Christi on March 18, bringing home a bronze medal for the 123-pound weight class.
Going into the state meet, Emily was ranked eighth after the regional competition.
“Emily knew she was in for a battle all week, and I knew that we had more in the tank that we had not shown before at a competition,” said Powerlifting Coach Manny Martinez. “We prepared with the mindset that we would strike when the opportunity arose.”
At the state level, every lift matters for all 13 competitors in each weight class. Garcia finished well, but was 20 pounds short due to a missed squat and a missed deadlift attempt. This is a common situation in the finals attempts and proved to create a dramatic atmosphere at the meet.
Coach Martinez recounted, “Emily was 50 pounds down from third place. The first and second place finishers did not miss any of their dead lifts. But Emily responded like the champ that she is. She came from behind on her last attempt and secured the third-place finish with a total of 745 pounds.”
Garcia finished the state meet and her high school career with a personal best of 745 pounds.
Garcia and Ashley Grodman, both seniors, were also named to the THSWPA First Team All-State Academic Team. This means both girls kept their grade point average above a 90 during the powerlifting season.
“Emily and Ashley have led the Power Dawgs Powerlifting program all season. I am proud of this academic accomplishment for both ladies. Their work ethic and leadership skills are superb,” remarked Martinez.
Even though Garcia and Grodman are graduating, Martinez will have a returning core of strong lifters next year. “Our women’s team finished in second place in four meets this year with one third place finish. Our ladies worked extremely hard this season to make BHS one of the top teams in Region 5,” said Martinez. “In those meets our ladies competed against 5A and 6A schools, and beat most of them,”
Returning next year are Kamryn Golightly, Hazel Lopez, Tanna Flewellen, Ryann Ledesma, Scarlet Line and Dorothy Magee.
“I would like to congratulate these girls on an outstanding season. They have set a high standard for the other girls who will follow,” said Coach Martinez.
Martinez would also like to thank Coach Bradley Nelson for his help this season.
“We worked great as a tandem that benefited both programs. His help made a tremendous impact on our athletes,” he said.