Valentine Senior Elvis Tarango at powerlifting competition in Monahans
Photo by Gabby Tarango
By Coach Lonnie Flippen, VISD
I’m sure that David might have been a little bit intimidated going up against Goliath, but Valentine powerlifter, Senior, Elvis Tarango didn’t seem to consider himself the underdog when he pulled up in front of one of the several gyms in Monahans last Saturday for his first powerlifting meet of the year. The white Valentine ISD suburban was certainly dwarfed by the big buses adorned with school colors and mascots from Crane, Alpine, Fort Stockton, and Pecos, but Elvis did not seem to notice.
Elvis is well aware of what some of their weight rooms look like with all of their state of the art machines and weights that their many lifters have available to train on. He doesn’t seem to mind walking into the Valentine boy’s dressing room/weight room with the two racks and two or three weight trees and the rack of dumb bells, some bought just for him. Our junior high boys have a hard time handling the 55 pound dumb bells with both hands. He understands that those things don’t always a powerlifter make. Elvis started his powerlifting journey at his “home gym” that started out with a bar and some tire rims, as I understand it.
Elvis dominated his opponents in Monahans on Saturday setting four personal records in the process. Competing in the 148 pound division at 147 pounds. Elvis squatted 410 pounds, benched 260 pounds, and deadlifted 460 pounds for a total of 1130 pounds for his three lifts. That total was 50 pounds better that his best outing of the year last year which occurred at the regional meet in March 2016. His 1130 pound total would have won the 165, 198, and 220 pound divisions at Monahans had he been one of the “big” guys.
Looking at other meets from across the state, Elvis may have the second best total in the state in his weight division. Class A, six man-sized school athletes like Elvis, are required to compete against athletes from 2A and 3A schools in all of these competitions.
Elvis is a goal-setter and has his site set on the state meet in Abilene in March. If his first competition is any indication of what his season holds in store, it might be wise for some of these large school athletes to look at the parking lot when their big buses roll in and see if the little white Valentine suburban is there and if so, they may need to put on their big boy britches on and get ready to be pushed by the powerhouse from the tiny school of Valentine somewhere in the Davis Mountains of far West Texas.