Cove sophomore wins silver medal at Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association State Meet in Waco
By TJ Maxwell
WACO - It all came down to the last lift in the last event for Copperas Cove sophomore Alyssa Arnold.
After clearing 420 pounds in the dead lift to close out her competition at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association State Meet Friday at the Extraco Center in Waco, all she could do is watch and wait as Marlene Martinez of Edinburg Economedes attempted to dead lift 465 pounds for the win in her final lift to find out if she had a gold medal day or if she’d be leaving with silver.
“It means a lot,” Arnold said of her silver-medal performance. “I’m very excited. It’s really good to be here.”
Martinez completed her lift to tie Arnold at 1,240 pounds of total weight and edge her for the gold due to her being seven pounds lighter.
Arnold began the day with a substantial lead after the first event. She squatted 560 pounds to take a 60-pound advantage over Martinez and more than 100 pounds over the rest of the 259-plus weight class.
Martinez cut that deficit to just 45 pounds with a best of three lift of 275 pounds in the bench press to edge Arnold by 15 pounds.
It all came down to the dead lift where gamesmanship ensued.
After Arnold and Martinez both selected their final weights to lift, both lifters upped their weight by five pounds. When Arnold committed to the 420-pound attempt, Martinez changed hers to the tying weight of 465 pounds.
She cleared it for the win.
“I was glad that I got my lift and I thought that I had her, but she bumped up and got her last lift,” said Arnold. “I was upset but I’m a sophomore and I have two more years.”
It was a brutal wait for Arnold coaches as well.
“We were thinking, please don’t get it,” said Cove head powerlifting coach Brittany Smart. “We were just hoping that things were on our side, but they just weren’t this time. We’ll get it next year.”
Just getting to state as a sophomore is a huge accomplishment, but to leave with a silver medal is a big building block for Arnold.
“It’s a huge accomplishment, especially the gains she’s made throughout the season,” said Smart. “When we started the season, she was squatting just over 300 pounds and she’s ending with 560 pounds. She has set personal records every single week. Just making it here is a big deal but the fact that she just keeps getting better and better, we have so much more to look forward to.”
Arnold is proud of her accomplishment and the hard work it took to get here. She also expects to return next year.
“I’ve worked hard every day,” she said. “I had my coaches and everybody there supporting me, helping me and spotting me. It was just hard work.
“I’ve got to continue to work hard, go to the gym every day and push myself to get even better.”
Smart knows just where Arnold needs to focus to get back next year.
“The bench and dead lift are her weaker events,” she said. “If she can get her dead lift up to her what her squat is, no one can catch her.”
Also competing at the state meet for the Lady Dawgs were Alisha Donnatiens in the 220-pound weight class and Alyssa Wright in the 123-pound classification.
Donnatiens cleared 340 pounds in the squat, 150 pounds in the bench press and 290 in the dead lift for a total of 780 pounds to finish as the 15th best in the state of Texas in the Class 6A 220-pound division.
Wright finished 14th in the state in the 123-pound division. She lifted 285 pounds in the squat, 145 pounds in the bench press and 270 in the deadlift for a total of 700 pounds.