Stephenville High School won the Region 2-4A girls powerlifting team title, powered by three individuals who qualified to advance to the state meet by finishing either first or second in their divisions Saturday at Del Valle High School in Austin.
For the second year in a row, Jessica Ebeling (198-pound class) and Blaine Gluck (105-pound class) advanced to the state meet. This year they will be joined by Aubreyanna Ziegler in the state competition in the 198-pound class as the runner-up to Ebeling.
Stephenville beat out all 25 of the other schools in the meet, winning only the second girls regional powerlifting title in SHS history. The first girls team title in powerlifting was in 2007.
The girls state meet will be Friday, March 15, in Waco’s Extraco Events Center.
The other SHS girls who qualified to compete in the regional meet were Elyssia Sotelo, Diandra Tejada, Amiah Rodriguez, Ariawna Burt, Kenzie Mayes, Mallory Gunter, Arianna Rosati and Norma Hernandez.
The SHS girls beat out runner-up Lorena for the girls title, while Alvarado was third.
“We had a really strong group of young girls this year and some extremely talented returning girls as well,” SHS powerlifting coach Jessie Fanning stated. “I knew early on we might have a chance at winning the team title at regionals. It was a lot of fun to watch them compete and progress as the season went on. This is a special group of girls and it was their drive and competitiveness that won them a regional championship.
“Blaine and Jessica are both special talents and they continue to amaze everyone each time they compete. Aubreyanna Ziegler is just a junior and has worked extremely hard to get to this point.”
Fanning noted that Ziegler set a goal for herself last year, but reached it even sooner than expected.
“After the season ended last year Ziegler set a personal goal that she was going to go to state before she graduated and she has achieved that goal a year earlier than expected,” Fanning noted.
“I’m excited to get to work with them for two more weeks and see how they do at state. I also want to mention senior Mallory Gunter who finished third place at regionals. Just one place away from a trip to the state championships. All of these girls are incredible and I could not be more proud of them.”
Also for SHS, Elyssia Sotelo place fifth in the 97-pound weight class.
Fanning along with John Harrell had been coaching the SHS boys and girls powerlifters in addition to their duties as assistant football coaches, but Harrell’s last day coaching at Stephenville was last Friday. Harrell told the Empire-Tribune that he has taken a position as an assistant football coach at Class 6A Rockwall-Heath.
Three SHS Yellow Jackets will be competing in the 4A boys Region 2 meet this Saturday, March 9, at Smithville High School. They are Caleb Smith (220-pound weight class), Issic DeLaCruz (198) and John Sotelo (114). The state meet for the 4A boys will be Saturday, March 23, at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene.