Center's Aaron Liker and Garrett Stanley captured top honors in the 242-lb. and 165-lb. weight classes, respectively, to lead the Roughriders to their ninth straight meet title as they edged second-place Huntington Thursday night at the Center Powerlifting Meet here in Roughrider Gymnasium.
The 'Riders secured just two first-place finishes, but won the event on the strength of five second-place nods as they scored 39 team points. Huntington, which had a meet-high three first-place finishes, posted 31 points to come in second.
Center boys powerlifting head coach Tracy Adair said the larger number of schools made the competition tougher this week.
"It helps (competing in the larger meets) because the kids get to see other people and more competition," Adair stated. "Last week went to a meet with six teams and tonight we had 11, so it's a lot harder and the athletes have to step up more.
"Elysian Fields had some good lifters and so did Huntington, but our guys stepped up and really made up some ground in the dead lift. They did a great job."
Joaquin's Austin Underbrink won the 275-lb. class to help the Rams to a third-place finish overall, as the team scored 22 points. Shelbyville was fourth with 14 points, as Tyler West was named the Best Lifter in the light platform as he secured top honors in the 132-lb. class and Chris Valencia won the 220-lb. class.
Elysian Fields placed fifth with 12 points, Diboll and Timpson both scored seven points for the sixth and seven spots. Garrison, Hemphill, Cushing and San Augustine all competed, but failed to register any points.
Elysian Fields lifter Kevin Jones was named Best Lifter in the heavy platform as he won the 181-lb. class, totaling 1,295 pounds. He was followed by K.J. Garrett and Drew Diverdi of Center, who posted totals of 1,185 and 1,005 pounds, respectively. San Augustine's Alex Renfro placed fourth in the class with 945 pounds and Diboll's Bubba Cook was fifth with 940 pounds.
Following Underbrink in the 275-lb. class was Javaris Rankin of Center, who lifted 1,215 pounds, and Ince Spencer of Hemphill, who posted 1,200. Rhett Golden of Joaquin placed fourth with 1,195 pounds and Jacob Slaughter of Huntington lifted 1,185 pounds to place fifth.
Liker posted a total of 1,415 pounds in the 242-lb. class to take top honors, with Zach Wildes of Joaquin placing second with 1,070 and Luis Ramos of Diboll coming in a distant third with 840 pounds. Jon Serrato of Diboll lifted 1,285 pounds for the heavyweight division, with Hunter Fountain of Elysian Fields coming in second with 900 total pounds.
In the 198-lb. class, Jacob Cartwright of Huntington claimed top honors with 1,235 pounds, while Center's Kiounis Williams was second with 1,205 and Colby Simmons of Elysian Fields was third with 1,150 pounds. Nathan Sears of Center also had 1,150 pounds and was awarded fourth place, while Zach Mason of Joaquin placed fifth with 1,120 total pounds.
Valencia lifted 1,150 pounds to win the 220-lb. class, with Derrick Thomas of Center coming in second with 1,115 pounds, with Alex Moreno of San Augustine coming in third with 1,080 pounds, Michael Presley of Hemphill secured 1,040 for fourth, Braden Jett of Elysian Fields was fifth with 1,010 pounds.
Huntington's William Cross won the 114-lb. class with 765 pounds, with Center's Kais Cooper coming in second with 705, Elysian Fields' Caleb Bush posting the third spot with 565 pounds. Shelbyville's Darren Shedd and Cade Copelin placed fourth and fifth, respectively, tallying 510 and 455 points apiece.
Benny Zuniga of Timpson won the 123-lb. class with 715 points, edging Huntington's B.J. Wafer by five pounds. Garrison's Clayton Barlow was third with 600 pounds, Center's Brayan Ruiz was close behind with 595 pounds and Fred Torres of Timpson lifted 590 for fifth. West ran away with the 132-lb. class with 985 pounds, with Rhobles Armando of Joaquin coming in second with 830 and Bruce Barlow of San Augustine placing a close third with 820 pounds. Justin Adkison of Garrison placed fourth with 790 pounds and Howard Watts of San Augustine secured 755 pounds for fifth.
Huntington's Broderick Dickerson and Konner Innerarity were first and second, respectively, in the 148-lb. class, totaling 790 and 785 pounds for the night. Shelbyville lifter Blayze Kowalski was third with 755 pounds, Jacob Knight of Huntington earned fourth with 730 and Taylor Long of Elysian Fields was fifth with 665 pounds.
Garrett Stanley of Center easily won the 165-pound class, lifting 1,035 pounds. Joaquin's Dean Andrew was second with 995 pounds, Diboll's Carlos came in third with 985 pounds, Tyler Jackson of Timpson lifted 890 for fourth and Tanner Evett of Huntington came in fifth with 885 pounds.