By Coach Lonnie Flippen
Elvis Tarango, a Junior at Valentine ISD, the first and only powerlifter in school history closed out a very successful first year of competition at Sundown, Texas on Saturday March 12th in the THSPA’s Region I meet finishing in 6th place with a total lift of 1070 pounds in the 148 pound weight class. He had lifts of 370 pounds in the squat, 250 in the bench press, and 450 pounds in the dead lift. The winning lift was 1160 pounds.
Tarango was competing against athletes from Class A, 2A, and 3A schools including lifters from Lubbock Roosevelt, Amarillo Highland Park, Colorado City, Denver City, Reagan County, Irion County, Sonora, Coahoma, and the host school, Sundown. He defeated the only other Class A lifter from Hermleigh by 35 pounds.
Tarango took up lifting at home after having put together a makeshift gym on his front porch. He approached the school administration and requested permission to take up powerlifting as a sport this year as there was no basketball team for him to participate on. The school joined the Texas High School Powerlifting Association and Tarango attended three invitational meets earning his way to the regional competition.
After looking at the results from the other five regions across the state, it appears that Tarango finished his first season as the 20th ranked lifter in the state in his 148 pound class. He would have qualified to state in one of the regions and would have metalled in three others.
Tarango has stated that he now has the inspiration to continue lifting and has set a personal goal to make it to the state competition in his senior year. With the dedication and work ethic that he has displayed this year, that goal may very well be achieved in his Senior year.