By LARRY GAGE
Head Port Isabel High powerlifting coach Justin Stumbaugh can be found, on a given school day, at the computer in the athletic offices at around 6:00 A.M. Male and female Tarpon lifters start arriving for their morning workouts around 6:30.
Each athlete will work out for about an hour before going off to class. The schedule is set up partly according to whether there is a meet that weekend. “Typically on an off week we like to go light,” Stumbaugh said. “On a week with a meet we go heavy. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are the hard work days, and we always have Fridays off.”
Powerlifting is not an officially recognized high school sport in Texas, insofar as it is not recognized by the University Interscholastic League, the governing body for Texas high school athletics. The rules are set down by and meets conducted by the Texas High School Powerlifting Association.
A limited number of meets are held before the regional meets take place in March. Lifters qualify for the regional meet if they rank high enough in their region. The rankings are done according to each individual’s best total lift in any meet held before the regional meet. The total lift is the total amount of weight successfully lifted by the athlete in three separate events; the squat, the dead lift, and the bench press.
To qualify for the Women’s Regional Meet a particular competitor must rank in the top 15 lifters, all classes considered, in the region. For the guys it’s the top ten ranked lifters in each of three divisions, according to class. As a 3A school, Port Isabel is in Div. II. The state is divided into four regions. P.I. competes in Region IV.
For more on this story, pick up a copy of the Feb. 24 edition of the Port Isabel South Padre Press or check out our E-edition by clicking here.