CORPUS CHRISTI — Johnson County is home to four state powerlifting champions after two Cleburne Lady Jackets and a couple of Joshua Lady Owls took home first-place finishes Saturday at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association 2022 championships in Corpus Christi.
Competing in the Class 5A small school championships, Cleburne’s Morgan Marvell and Avery Tapia brought home gold medals and state titles while Joshua’s Hannah Willis and Abigail Mitchell did the same for the Lady Owls.
From a team perspective, the Lady Jackets finished third in the state, three points ahead of Joshua in fourth place. It’s the second consecutive season Cleburne finishes third in team rankings at the THSWPA state championships.
For Tapia, her high school powerlifting career ends as a back-to-back state champion after she successfully defended the state title she won in 2021. Tapia squatted 490 pounds, which set a new state record in her weight class, she bench pressed 255 pounds and dead lifted 315 pounds for a total lift of 1,060 pounds.
Tapia not only defended her state title from a year ago, but she dominated the field. Tapia’s 1,060-pound total was 90 pounds ahead of second place in her weight class.
After placing second in her weight class at state last year, Marvell finished at the top this year. She squatted 405 pounds, bench pressed 205 pounds and dead lifted 325 pounds for a total combined lift of 935 pounds — five pounds ahead of second place.
Joining Tapia and Marvell as medal winners from Cleburne is Audra Parsons, who placed third in her weight class. A year ago, Parsons finished sixth in her weight class so the jump up to third was a big move. She squatted 405 pounds, bench pressed 200 pounds and dead lifted 350 pounds for a total of 955 pounds.
Rounding out Cleburne’s state lifters include Kylee Grigsby and Lydia Guereca. Grigsby placed sixth in her weight class (450 squat, 205 bench, 365 dead lift for a total of 1,020 pounds) and Guereca finished eighth in her weight division (340 squat, 165 bench, 340 dead lift for a total of 845 pounds).
For the Lady Owls, Willis and Mitchell each came away with solid wins to bring home state titles to Joshua.
Willis squatted 365 pounds, bench pressed 155 pounds and dead lifted 335 pounds for a total of 855 pounds, 15 pounds clear of the second-place finisher in her weight class.
Mitchell squatted 460 pounds, bench pressed 280 pounds and dead lifted 340 pounds for a total of 1,080 pounds, 45 pounds ahead of second place. Mitchell was also rewarded the “most outstanding bench press” at the state meet.