Looks like deja vu times four.
Last year, in mid-March, Van Alstyne powerlifter Chloe Houston became the first in a long run of Panther athletes to compete at the state championship level. This year, Houston’s senior year, three other Van Alstyne lifters will make the trip to Waco, Texas, on March 18 to compete in the girls’ 2017 state championships.
They will by joined by Howe senior Dreanna McAdams who finished first in the 148-pound weight class at the Region 6 meet, and is making her second trip to the finals. Joining Houston will be juniors Alyssa Hill and twins Gen and Gwin Tyson.
Houston said she looks forward to returning to state, especially with teammates coming along who will also be competing.
“I was a little nervous last year, being the only Van Alstyne lifter that qualified and I was really disappointed with how I did,” she said. “I think having my teammates there this year will be a plus.”
Houston is hoping to set a new state record in the dead lift. To do that, she must improve on her 345-pound lift at the regional meet, which is the state record.
“I want to beat that number with my second lift and set a new state record,” Houston said.
Hill, who transferred to Van Alstyne from Bonham High School, competed at the class 4-A level last season. She finished 12th in her class last year with a total of 700 pounds.
She won the region 6 meet with a total of 845, a new record, and also set a regional record in the squat with a lift of 340 pounds.
“I just want to do my best, keep my technique right and if I do that the numbers will be there.” Hill said.
For the Tysons, the experience is a little unnerving but they are anxious to compete.
“I’m always nervous, but this will be a new experience for me and I just have to concentrate,” Gen said. “Having Chloe and Alyssa along, with their experience, will be a big help.”
Gwin, who finished third at the region 6 meet, qualified with her total of 905 pounds, which exceeded a qualifying standard for her weight class.
“Competing with my sister has been great and I just want to do my best at Waco,” Gwin said.
Hill had some words of advice for the novices heading for their first state meet.
“It’s just a meet, nothing more, nothing different from regionals or any other event, just be the bar,” Hill said.
Van Alstyne had 11 lifters qualify for the regional meet, and for coach Dru Murray that was an all-time high.
“I’ve never had that many in 13 years of coaching this sport and I am extremely proud of all my team, but especially the seniors,” Murray said. “Chloe Houston, Bailee Glenn and Caitlin Weaver helped by leading the team, pushing the team to make them better.”
A team effort, now looking for team success.