To be the strongest high school girl in the state of Texas.

That’s the lofty goal of Greenville senior Brandy Pearson, who’ll be competing along with other qualified lifters from Greenville, Leonard, Royse City, Caddo Mills and Community at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association State Meet today and Saturday in Killeen.

Lifters in classes 2A and 4A will compete today, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center. The competition for classes A, 3A and 5A is set for Saturday, also with a 9:30 a.m. starting time.

Pearson, who finished second in her weight class last year, not only ranks first among the qualifiers in the Class 4A 220-plus pound division but is first among all state qualifiers in every weight class and classification with her qualifying total of 1,115 pounds. Pearson lifted 465 pounds in the squat, 260 in the bench press and 390 in the deadlift to win the Region III title last week in Brownsboro.

“She’s heads and shoulders above everybody in 4A,” said Greenville coach Chawn Cooper. “She should win by 100 pounds. Ultimately her goal is to be the strongest girl in the state of any classification.”

Pearson leads the nine state qualifiers in the 220-plus pound class by 105 pounds. Hannah Becker of Calallen and Kandis Torres of Beeville rank second with their totals of 910 pounds.

Melissa Navarro of 3A Palacios is the nearest lifter to Pearson in total with 1,060. Brittany Hunt of Big Sandy qualified at 1,050.

Pearson is a four-time state qualifier. She finished second last year at the state meet to Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Michelle Daniels, who has graduated. That second is Pearson’s top finish at state.

Pearson said she has a lot of emotions about competing at state.

“You’re so excited to get to lift but it’s your last time,” she said. “I’ve been better every year. Can’t ask for more.”

Three other Lady Lions have qualified to compete and two of them should be in the running for medals.

Joanne Rodriguez, who was third last year in the 181-pound division, ranks fourth this time with 800 pounds, 15 more pounds than last year’s total. Courtney Gathright of New Caney leads at 940, while Leeza Garcia of Beeville ranks second with 830 and Tiffany Ferguson of Gregory-Portland is third with 810.

Chelsea Walker, fourth last year in the 4A 165s, ranks sixth at 820 but Cooper said Walker should go much higher with her total at state.

“She has a chance to win some outstanding lifter awards,” he said.

Walker nipped Pearson to win the outstanding lifter award for the heavy platform at the region meet.

Chelsea Tharp of Greenville also ranks 14th in the 105-pound division with her 400 total.


Lifters from several area schools have a chance to win either titles or medals at the state powerlifting meet.

Leonard’s Kelsie Franklin, who was eighth in the 2A 148-pound class last year, ranks first in the 165s this time with 870. Jamonyca Wilson of Randolph is second at 840 and Ashley Bures from Ganado ranks third at 810.

Danielle Weber of Royse City ranks second by only 10 pounds in the 3A 148s with her total of 860. Jennifer Garza from Crystal City leads the qualifiers at 870. Courtney Murchison of Jasper has also lifted 860. Weber finished fifth at state last year in the 165s.

Blanca Tovar from Royse City, 13th last year in the 148s, ranks sixth this time at 770.

Krystal Martinez of Community ranks sixth in the 198s with 755.

Jana Strayhorn of Caddo Mills is sixth in the 2A 123-pound class at 580.

Sarah Harris from Leonard ranks eighth in the 2A 148s at 735 and Lisa Westmoreland from Caddo Mills is 10th in the 148s at 725.

Bethany Barrett from Caddo Mills ranks ninth in the 181s at 675.

Community’s Kelci Ammerman ranks 15th in the 165s at 695.

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