By JUSTIN RAINS
Seven local athletes will represent their respective schools after qualifying for the state powerlifting meet Saturday at the Region III, Division III meets at Elkhart and Wills Point High Schools.
Westwood will send four lifters to state —two boys and two girls.
The Panthers’ Ciera Tillis won the girls’ 220-pound class at Wills Point Saturday, edging Hughes Springs Kaitlyn Martin by 20 pounds.
Teammate Heather Wooden is also heading to state after finishing second in the 123-pound class. The Westwood senior outlifted third-place finisher Stacy Clark by five pounds to claim the weight-classes final spot.
On the boys’ side, the Panthers came away with two second-place finishes to lock up their state berths.
Both Johney Phelps and Peter Calhoun finished second in their respective weight classes to earn a trip to the state meet in Abilene.
Phelps finished second in the 114-pound class, outlifting the third-place lifter by 30 pounds en route to the silver medal.
Calhoun missed a gold medal by only five pounds, lifting 1,330 pounds to finish second in the 220-pound class.
Frankston will send two lifters to state, led by Raven Paul, who’ll make her second-straight state meet appearance.
Paul lifted 1,105 pounds — 40 pounds more than her nearest competitor — to win the 220-plus weight class.
On the boys’ side, Frankston’s Caleb Williams finished second in the 165-pound class, edging Waskom’s J.C. Garcia by five pounds to earn a state berth.
Cayuga’s Shelby Luce also earned a gold medal, winning the 114-pound class by a comfortable 35 pounds to earn a trip to Corpus Christi for the state meet.
The Westwood girls, as a team, finished second at the meet. Lacey Tillis finished fourth in the 198-pound class, while Kierra Butler and Tyeesha Dawkins were third and fourth, respectively, in the 220-pound class.
The Panthers Jamie Chan finished fourth at 165 pounds on the boys side, while Cayuga’s Ty Tunstall recorded a top-five finish for the Wildcats at 220 pounds.
Elkhart got top-five finishes from both Cody Defore (fourth at 148 pounds) and Rodrick Arceneaux (third at 198 pounds), who missed a state berth by a tiebreaker.