By Tony Adams, Sports Editor
The 2016 Belton Lady Tigers Powerlifting team travels to Kyle’s Lehman High School Saturday morning for the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association Regional Meet.
The Lady Tigers send 12 strong qualifiers into this year’s regionals, with only the 97, 220 and 220+ weight classes not represented. Belton did not have a competitor at the 97-pound class in 2016.
“Well, we have qualified 12 girls for Regionals this year,” Belton head coach Jason Moffett said. “I thought we were going to qualify three or four more, but they didn’t quite make it.”
The Lady Tigers who qualified and their current position in the region are as follows:
Arianna Garcia, second place in region at 105, Destinee Batista, fifth place in region at 114, Aabrie Hardy, third place in region at 123, Maria Martinez, eighth place in region at 123, Dana Young (state runner-up at 148 in 2015), first place in region at 132, McKenna Thompson, seventh place in at 132, Sydney Andrews, first place in region at 148, Kamiryn Rodriguez, fifth place in region at 165, Maggie Dolan, sixth place in region at 181, Morgan Callin, sixth place in region at 181, Julianna Thomas, fourth place in region at 198 and Alicia Goodridge, 10th place in region at 198.
“I feel pretty good about the upcoming regional meet,” Moffett said. “I think we will be very competitive and we’re just going to try to qualify as many girls as possible for the State meet.”
Belton’s Powerlifting program has been one of the most prolific in the state, sending several of its members to the State stage in Corpus Christi every year.
“I believe that there are a couple of reasons why we have been so successful for the last few years,” Moffett said. “One thing is that we have great kids that work really hard. We never have problems with our kids failing or getting in trouble in class, which is indicative of how reliable they are and speaks to their work ethic. Another thing is that we have a lot of kids that lift. When we have 50 kids that are posting totals throughout the year it’s inevitable that we are going to find quite a few really strong kids out of that.”
The powerlifting program, which is a portion of the strength and conditioning program in the Belton Athletic program, has benefitted girls’ athletics at Belton.
“More and more, I think that girls programs everywhere are seeing the value and importance of having a solid weight training program to be the foundation of all of the sports teams,” Moffett said. “I think we do a good job of planning and organizing the offseason programs for our female athletes here at Belton and I also think that are female athletes have done a good job of embracing what we do and making it a priority.”