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Local lifters set to power their way to state medals

By Beth Foley

Staff Writer


     Entering the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting State Meet later this week, Edna senior Olivia Sommerfeld owns one of the best chances among area lifters to bring home medals.

     Sommerfeld and teammate Mykenzie Zarate, a junior, are among 13 lifters from Edna, Industrial, and Ganado High Schools to earn a chance to compete at the state meet. The Class A/2A competition will begin at 8 a.m. today at the Comerica Center in Frisco, while the Class 3A Large School competition will begin at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the same location.

     Sommerfeld is the only county lifter ranked in the top five of her weight class, based on results from the regional meets. She ranks fourth in the 198 class, based on a 390-pound squat, 215-pound bench press, and 315-pound deadlift at the Region 4 meet held in Bay City. Her squat ranks second among the 198 class qualifiers’ regional lifts, her bench ranks fourth, and her deadlift ranks seventh. 

     Thursday will be her second consecutive year to lift at state, after finishing ninth last year.

     Zarate will be making her first trip to state after finishing second in the 105s with a squat of 185, a bench of 120 and a deadlift of 220 pounds at regionals. Her bench and deadlift each ranked ninth among 105 class qualifiers’ regional lifts, while her squat ranked 12th.

     Cowgirl powerlifting coach Matthew Kana said he was pleased with not only Sommerfeld and Zarate’s results, but with those of the entire team.

     “Overall, we’ve really stepped forward,” Kana said. “Last year, the girls really set the bar. We had three at state last year, and multiple regional qualifiers. This year, same scenario: multiple regional qualifiers -- everybody, actually. We were 8-for-8 in regional qualifiers and we got two out to state this year.”

     Having competed at state last year helped, Sommerfeld said.

     “I just stayed the same and consistently worked out the same and pushed myself harder, knowing I could get there, and I tried to place better,” she said.

     She posted a personal record in the squat at the regional meet, but hasn’t pushed herself too hard.

“I just played it safe for the most part, to make sure I was in, to get where I wanted,” Sommerfeld said. “(The regional meet) went good. I stayed the same as the meet before because I didn’t want to try anything crazy just yet.”

     For Zarate, realizing she had punched her ticket to Frisco was a special moment.

     “I was very emotional,” Zarate said, about learning that she had qualified for the state meet. “I was very excited, very happy.”

     When asked what went well for her to open the opportunity to reach state, Zarate couldn’tpoint to any one thing. Rather, everything just came together.

     “I don’t know, I just got some pretty good weight up,” Zarate said.

     Kana said her quiet façade belied a steely resolve and work ethic.

     “She’s kind of like the silent assassin,” he said. “She doesn’t say much but, like, she’s there, she gets her work done. There’s no hesitation for her with hard work. She gets her hands dirty and does whatever she can to get better and help her team.”

     Sommerfeld’s leadership comes out differently, Kana said.

     “She’s the heart and soul of our girls powerlifting team this year. She kind of took that identity on and she’s run with it. She’s helped me out, getting the girls ready for regionals and everything. She’s like an assistant coach.”

Jackson County Herald Tribune

306 N. Wells
Edna, TX 77957