By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
Lopez came in as the top-ranked lifter in the 123-pound class in Region V and backed it up by taking the gold medal for first place with a total lift of 1095 pounds. The total was a new personal best as well as a new record for the regional meet in the 123-lb. division.
“To tell you the truth I’m not sure how much he can do,” head P.I. lifting coach Victor Rubalcaba said. “He hit all his lifts except his last dead lift. I was very pleased with him.” Lopez won the 2012 state title, competing at 114 pounds, with a total lift of 990 pounds.
Rivera, competing in the 198-pound class, also set a new personal record with a total lift of 1385 pounds, which earned him the silver medal for second place in his class. The top two lifters in each weight class go to the state meet.
Rivera did 530 pounds for his best effort on the squat lift, 350 pounds for his best bench press, and 505 pounds on his third and final attempt on the dead lift. That one was a new personal best by 40 pounds, exceeding the 465 pounds he lifted off the floor on his second attempt. He succeeded with 445 pounds on his first try.
Lopez handled 445 pounds on his third try on the squat lift, 240 pounds on his third try on the bench press, and 410 pounds on his second attempt on the dead lift. He missed on 420 pounds on his final attempt on the dead lift. His squat and bench totals were new personal records. His personal best in the dead lift is 415 pounds. His total lift was 25 pounds better than the second place lifter.
“Overall everything went perfect, except for my last attempt on the dead lift,” Lopez said. “I feel pretty excited and I have more time to focus on lifting this week.” There are no classes this week because of Spring Break.
Lopez won two other awards at Kingsville in addition to his gold medal. He was given the Outstanding Lifter award for the lower weight classes and also the Outstanding Lift award for his Region V record squat lift.
“I messed up on squat and on bench,” Rivera said. “If I’d (made) those lifts I would have (had) first.” Rivera’s total lift amount was only 15 pounds less than the first-place total. He missed on his first attempt at 515 pounds on the squat lift and got it on his second attempt. Rivera made 335 pounds on his first bench press attempt before missing at 350 on his second attempt.
Lopez is well positioned to win his second straight powerlifting title. “It’s going to be between Jerry and the guy who placed second,” Rubalcaba said. “We’re about 100 pounds ahead of everybody else in the other four regions. He knows what he has to work on…and he wants to break the state record in the squat lift, which is 450 pounds.”
It’s a different story in the 198-pound class. “Fernando’s weight class is a lot tougher. We’re looking to medal. Going in he’s probably going to be ranked seventh or eighth, but you never know. The guy who was number one going into regionals ended up fourth, and the guy who placed first was ranked fourth going in.”
The Men’s State Powerlifting Meet will take place in Abilene on Saturday, March 23.
Read this story in the March 14 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.