Sandies win 8th straight championship
Some things do not change down in Port Lavaca - the gentle sea breeze rolling in off the bay, the football team making the playoffs and the girls powerlifting team winning a state championship.
The Sandies won an eighth straight Texas High School Women's Powerlifting Association championship last week in Corpus Christi.
Sophomores Moriah Guzman (148 pounds) and Kassidy Meyer (165 pounds) helped Jason Bagwell's team accrue 28 points, which was more than the combined total from second place Kyle Lehman and San Antonio Southside.
Guzman's total of 950 pounds allowed her to win a second straight championship by 85 pounds. She bench pressed 190 pounds, which was more than Meyer and the champions in the 181- and 198-pound classifications.
Meyer lifted 915 total pounds. She was able to beat Lindale's Shayla Hill because her 170-pound bench press was one of the best in her weight class.
"This is a sport where age is everything," Bagwell said. "The older you are, you have had more time in the weight room. It's an incredibly rare feat when a freshman wins state. It's happened somewhat when a sophomore wins state. Those are two young ladies who are very talented and work very hard."
Despite the record-setting victory, it was not all smooth sailing for the Sandies.
One of the team's most experienced lifters did not make weight at the March 14 weigh-in. Bagwell was initially concerned that would impact the team. It did not.
"That put a panic in me that we weren't going to win," Bagwell said. "I was worried the girls would let it break their confidence. They didn't miss a beat. The other girls carried on and did what they were supposed to do."
In all, six girls earned points. Kristian Villegas was third in the 132 pound classification. Katie Pecena (181 pounds) and Kassidy Colianni (97 pounds) finished fourth in their classifications.
The coach, who has won eight THSWPA championships in his 14 years coaching at Calhoun said all nine of his girls who participated in the meet set personal records, including Pecena with 825 pounds and fellow senior Victoria Velasquez (114 pounds) with 675 pounds.
Late in the season the Sandies rested some days and tapered off on others, a tactic which allowed them to be at their best when it mattered.
Not only is Calhoun's streak a record, but the Sandies currently hold state records in six of the 11 weight classes.
"It's a long season," Bagwell said. "We start the first week in January. If you go out in January and you get these enormous totals, it's not any good. . It's almost an art - you want the girls to peak at state. If you peak earlier then they might burn out."