ROBSTOWN, Texas — For international women's day it's important to talk about powerful women, and these girls from Robstown have a title to defend.
"It's okay to be strong. It's okay to lift. It's not a masculinity thing," De'Andre Holmes, Robstown second-year powerlifting head coach, said. "We have girls that are cheerleaders, that are on the dance team, that are in color guard and then they come out here and they lift a lot of weight."
The Robstown girls powerlifting team is strong. 10 athletes have qualified for state including back-to-back regional bench record holders Jamie Casas and Jozannah Rodriguez.
"I had a really bad (state) meet last year," Jamie Casas, Robstown senior, said. "I only got my openers, so this year like I hope I will do better. I know I will."
Last season, Rodriguez won the 2022 individual state championship in the 132lb class. After suffering an injury in the offseason she is now competing in the 132lb class.
"I ended up not getting last year's state record," Jozannah Rodriguez, Robstown senior, said. "If I can get it this year that would be the big hooray."
Last year, Leaya Alaniz placed third. This season, the sophomore ranks first in the entire state for the 97 pound weight class, and at regionals she broke the squat record lifting 305 pounds which is over three times her weight.
"It's amazing. You know like dynamite comes in small packages," Leaya Alaniz, Robstown sophomore, said. "That's what I carry around with me. I love it."
Robstown's goal is to defend their 4A crown. Last year the team won their school's first ever girls state championship, and their first powerlifting title between boys and girls in 30 years.
"That was like one of our goals, but I don't think any of us really thought that we'd get it compared to our competition," Casas said. "It would mean like so much to continue the tradition."
"We're basically changing what the stigma around Robstown is," Rodriguez said. "Everyone, oh Robstown is a little town just known for baseball. We are literally setting history with powerlifting."
Robstown will compete in the Texas High School Women's Powerlifting Association state meet on Friday, March 17 in Frisco.
Leaya Alaniz 97lb Wt class
J'lynn Fernandez-105lb Wt Class
Amelynne Olguin-105lb Wt Class
Jozannah Rodriguez-Senior-123lb Wt Class
Jamie Casas-Senior-148lb Wt Class
Jaley Larivey-148lb Wt Class
Jianna Olguin-148lb Wt Class
Olivia Morales-165lb Wt Class
Janessa Vela-198lb Wt Class
Lorena Paredez-Senior-198 lb Wt Class
DeAndre Holmes Head Coach
Jennifer Martinez & Edward Margenau-Assistant Coaches
10 @Town_Athletics_ girls are getting ready for the @thswpa 💪🏽 state meet March 17 in Frisco. Looking to win the team title in back-to-back seasons! @jamielcasas @CoachDeHolmes #InternationalWomensDay pic.twitter.com/TGhMXxMrfZ— Larissa Liska (@LarissaLiska) March 8, 2023