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Powerlifting: Strong travel plans – Chico quartet heads to state

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 16, 2016
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Powerful Foursome

POWERFUL FOURSOME – Chico’s Haley Pollard, Jessica Redwine, Ana Rodriguez and Jenny Martinez will lift at the Texas Women’s Powerlifting Meet in Corpus Christi Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Jenny Martinez feared her final spring break of high school would be spent in her hometown of Chico.

Instead, the Chico senior and three other members of the girls powerlifting team will be spending part of the week in Corpus Christi – the site of the Texas Women’s High School Powerlifting championships.

“It’s exciting to go somewhere instead of staying at home,” Martinez said. I doubt I would be going anywhere if I didn’t make it to state.”

Martinez will be joined by fellow senior Ana Rodriguez, junior Jessica Redwine and sophomore Haley Pollard. The Chico quartet is the largest contingent of Wise County qualifiers, which Chico coach Tim Mynarcik points out is no accident.

“It’s a good group of kids. They’ve been here every day,” he said. “It takes time and dedication to do this. The only way to get stronger is to keep lifting. They are all on different schedules. Whether it’s showing at the Youth Fair or going to Houston for a show, they still manage to get here and get their work in.

“From the past, they’ve seen other girls going to state and it’s become a tradition here.”

The school threw a pep rally for the quartet before spring break. Mynarcik said it was a first in his 20 years of coaching the sport.

“It was a good experience,” Mynarcik said.

Three of the four Chico lifters are returning to state.

Redwine finished fourth last year as a sophomore.

“I was trying to get fifth and didn’t realize one of the girls bombed out,” Redwine said. “My goal this year is get higher on squat.”

She finished third at the Region 6, Division 3 meet last month, lifting a total of 865 in the 220-plus class. Her maxes are 350 on squat, 200 on bench press and 350 on deadlift.

Pollard joined her at state last year, finishing eighth in the 114-pound class as a freshman.

“It was exciting to go as a freshman. It’s not often that a person can go as a freshman,” Pollard said. “It was overwhelming. It’s a lot bigger than we are used to.”

In her return, Pollard has her eyes set on bringing home a medal. In the 132-pound class this year, Pollard finished third at regionals, lifting 680.

Rodriguez made it to state as a sophomore. Last year, a broken ankle suffered during a softball scrimmage kept Rodriguez from making it back to state.

“I broke my ankle before regionals and tried to lift,” she said.

She wasn’t sure if she would be able to lift this year, but decided to give it a try after being approached by Athletic Director Lane Wilson.

“He convinced me to,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d make it to state.”

Rodriguez qualified in her 97-pound class, lifting 465 pounds at regionals.

“It’s bittersweet, knowing this is my last meet,” she said. “I hope to get a medal.”

Martinez is making her state debut. She narrowly missed qualifying last year as a junior.

“I was supposed to go last year and had a terrible, terrible meet at regionals,” she said. “I had to beat this girl by five pounds and didn’t get it. I was bummed out. I was supposed to go with all my friends.”

Martinez earned the opportunity to get to state, lifting 570 in her 123-pound class at regionals. Her 255-pound deadlift pushed her to state.

“It’s thrilling,” Martinez said. “I’m not sure how I’ll do. There’s some tough girls in my weight class.”

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