By Pete Banda
While the football and softball teams grab all the headlines when it comes to San Benito sports, there is another quiet dynasty building inside the halls of SBHS. With one more meet to go, the San Benito Girls Powerlifting team has already qualified two girls for the Regional competition, and a handful are just a few pounds away from joining them. Led by the number one ranked lifter in the State of Texas, Leann Ramirez, this team seems poised to carry on the tradition of dominance this program has established over the last half decade.
Still only a junior, Ramirez already has a fourth and second place finish at the State competition under her belt. If all goes according to plan this year, not only will Ramirez finish with a gold medal around her neck, she would end the year as the State record holder in Squat, deadlift and bench press. She is also the Captain of the cheerleading team and currently holds the number 13 student ranking in her class.
“I know how much hard work we put into this as a team, we may not get all the attention of other sports, but I guarantee we work just as hard, if not harder than any other program.”
In order to qualify for regionals, a lifters total in bench press, squat, and deadlift are combined, with a total score of at least 725 to reach Regionals and 825 to reach State. AS it stands, Ramirez has a total of 1,050 pounds, which would be a State record.
Cassandra Perez, one of the few seniors on the team, has also punched her ticket to the Regional competition already. A four year member of the team, this is the first year Perez has qualified.
“I cried when I realized I had finally made it to Regionals,” said Perez. “I worked so hard during the offseason and it was all for this… Making it to State would be everything to me and I think I have a pretty good chance this year.”
After missing out on last year’s competition by less than 100 pounds, Perez dedicated herself to increase her personal best and now finds herself within striking distance of a long awaited appearance at the State meet in a few weeks.
With still one more meet to go, Julissa Zuniga, Aleiyah Mireless, and Stephanie Cantu are all within 20 pounds of qualifying as well. Abriana Luna, Mayra Yanez, and Caroline Hernandez round out the rest of the squad, made up of mostly underclassman.