Three Lady Tarpons Medal at State Meet

By Larry Gage
Special to the PRESS

Sophia Aguilera, Madelyn Galvan, April Puente, Chelsea Gonzalez. Photo courtesy of PI-ISD.

Four Port Isabel Lady Tarpons competed at the Women’s State High School Powerlifting Meet in Corpus Christi two weeks ago, and three of them came home with medals.  The Press spoke with assistant lifting coach Jessica Hedrick and she shared her thoughts about it all.

“They did amazingly well,” Hedrick said.  “We have six girls on the team and three of them brought medals home from State, and that’s something to be very proud of.” 

The three medalists are Sophia Aguilera, Madelyn Galvan, and April Puente.  Aguilera and Galvan each placed fifth in her weight class, and Puente was third.  Chelsea Gonzalez, competing in her first state meet as a freshman, was seventh in her division.  The top five placers in each weight division receive medals.  

“I was extremely impressed with Chelsea Gonzalez,” Hedrick said last week.  “She didn’t bring home a medal but to place in single digits at state as a freshman is unheard of.  This is a four-year sport and we don’t expect our kids to even attend State until their junior year.  So for her to place that high is really something.”

Each lifter is allowed three attempts in each category, discipline, and the best successful lift in each one counts toward that individual’s total lift. Following is the best lift for each athlete in the squat lift, bench press, and the dead lift.  The lifts are always taken in the same order.   

Sophia Aguilera, 132-pound class:  Squat-295 pounds.  Bench press-135 lbs.  Dead lift-295 lbs.  Total lift; 725 pounds.  5th in class.   

Madelyn Galvan, 165-lb. class: Squat- 380 lbs.  Bench press-175 lbs.  Dead lift-330 lbs.  Total lift; 885 pounds.  5th in class.

April Puente, 220-lb. class: Squat-390 lbs.  Bench press-180 lbs.  Dead lift-335 lbs.  Total lift; 905 pounds.  3rd in class. 

Chelsea Gonzalez, 259-plus class:  Squat-330 lbs.  Bench press-145 lbs.  Dead lift-300 lbs.  Total lift; 775 pounds. 

Gonzalez summed it all up

“After all these morning practices and hard work I put in, and it being my first year, I’m very proud of my accomplishments.”  

Gonzalez will continue to be involved athletically this spring.  She plays first base for the softball team.  

April Puente is a sophomore and this was also her first time in state competition. 

 “It actually felt pretty good,” Puente said. “I wasn’t expecting to place, because it was my first time.  I was really excited and really thrilled.”  

Puente is also in softball, also plays first base and sometimes catcher, and occasionally gets an at-bat as a designated hitter. 

Madelyn Galvan is a senior and this was her first time at the state meet as well.  

“I was excited just to even make it to state, but I was more excited that I actually placed.” 

Galvan plans to attend Oklahoma University in the fall.  OU has a powerlifting program and Galvan wants to be a part of it.   

Kept in proper perspective with each other, athletics and academics combine to give these student/athletes the best possible education. 

“We’re trying to get our kids college ready,” Hedrick elaborated. “All our kids are SAT-tested and they are really strong academically.  Athletics is just a tool that we can use to get these kids prepared.  In athletics you learn so much; focus, hard work, dedication, and being part of a team.  And these are things you don’t really get to teach in the classroom.  We want our kids to be successful in life.” 

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