LINDALE, Texas — It takes a lot of power to lift the city Waxahachie to state recognition — 3,080 pounds to be exact.
Caleb High, Anthony Perez and Nick Stewart's tonnage as well as the veteran coaching of Head Coach Rocky Robinson, helped them join 23 other powerlifters on the road to Abilene.
Waxahachie High School not only placed second overall in Saturday's Region 3 Division I Powerlifting Meet at Lindale High School, but it also watched three of its most powerful athletes punch tickets to state.
As a team, the Iron Indians finished in second place with 26 points behind Huntsville High School, which claimed 47 points in the bench press, squat and deadlift events. The other 19 schools — including Ellis County staples Ennis, Midlothian and Red Oak — were at least seven points behind in meet scoring.
Greenville scored 19 points, Sulphur Springs scored 15, Hallsville finished with 14 and Mount Pleasant ended the meet with 12 points. Corsicana, Ennis, Jacksonville, Lindale, Longview, Lufkin, Marshall, Midlothian, Nacogdoches, North Forney, Texarkana, Tyler, Tyler Lee, Red Oak and Whitehouse High Schools each finished with nine or fewer points and placed between No. 7 and No. 21 in the regional meet.
Perez, the strongest Indian of the day, won first in the 242-pound class after lifting a bone-crushing total of 1,545 pounds (550 squat, 420 bench, 575 deadlift). High also finished first in the 220-pound weight class with 1,520 pounds (615 squat, 330 bench, 575 deadlift).
Nick Stewart earned second in the 220-pound weight class with a 1,510-pound total (580 squat, 370 bench, 560 deadlift).
High and Stewart were ranked first and second in the region's 220-pound weight class according to Texas High School Powerlifting Association results and standings. Perez was the No. 1 242-pound lifter in the region. The three qualified for the THSPA State Meet in 2016 under Robinson.
They joined 220-pound Midlothian powerhouse Dylan Hipsman, who was the only Panther of six that qualified for state with a 1,490-pound total lift. He squatted 560 pounds, benched 330 and tied Sulfur Springs' D'ldrec Dugan and Lufkin's Carl Williams for the meet high with a deadlift of 600 pounds.
Ennis' Devin Collins also qualified for state with 1,635 total pounds.
That's not to say the other Waxahachie strongmen didn't make their mark and nearly earn bids for their first state meet. While junior Chavez placed fifth in the 114-pound class, Tony De La Cruz placed fourth in the 123-pound class and Cam Morris placed fourth in the 165-pound class.
The trio, which joined Kace Cotton, Nick Henderson and Matt Rolen as the school's only other regional competitors, lifted a combined total of 2,601 pounds in the three events. Henderson finished fourth in the 148-pound class and Morris placed No. 34 overall in the deadlift.
Waxahachie's High, Perez and Stewart, Midlothian's Hipsman and Ennis' Collins will vie for a state championship. The THSPA State Meet kicks off at 8 a.m. March 25 at the Taylor County Expo Center located at 1700 U.S. Highway 36 in Abilene.