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Robstown Early College girls powerlifting team heads to state

Team hopes to bring home a state title after a 30-year drought
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Posted at 3:30 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 06:40:38-04

It's been three decades since a Robstown high school took home a state title.

Its girls powerlifting team is looking to break the 30-year drought as it heads to the big stage Friday.

Coach DeAndre Holmes said the team has seven girls competing in bench press, deadlifts, and squats.

Its biggest competition: Perryton High School. That team has won state the last several years.

Holmes said in order to win this year, his team will need to place in the top five in each event.

"Essentially, you have 12 weight divisions and then the number of kids that you get out helps you, obviously, place," he said. "You place you get placements for first through fifth."

Junior Jamie Casas said her favorite event is bench press, and that, come Friday, she is hoping to beat the state record again.

"I broke the bench regional record with 270 (lbs.) and I received the outstanding bench press award," she said.

For senior Illiana Cortinas, this is more than just a competition.

She hurt her back freshman year, and was sidelined for nine months because of COVID-19 her sophomore year. When she came back her junior year, she won in her division. This year, she took time off to take care of her back. The thought of having to retire her lifting chalk for good was disappointing.

"It upset me, like, seeing everyone lift and knowing that I couldn't do it, physically, because my back was hurt," she said.

However, Cortinas was able to start lifting again a month ago. And now, she is headed to state to compete with her team.

"It has been very rewarding," she said. "We have all put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this sport, and it has been a long journey. But it has definitely been worth it."

Holmes said he is proud of the hard work the girls have put in, which was goal No. 1. Goal No. 2, he said, is winning state.

The Robstown girls powerlifting team will compete at 8 a.m. Friday at the American Bank Center.