KENNEDALE ó Itís a pleasant surprise when a powerlifting coach like Venusí Josh Stepp miscalculates on an athleteís strengths.

In this case, itís a good thing because he realized that freshman lifter Halie Hall is stronger than at first thought.

He surmises this by looking at Hallís deadlift, which comes with ease.

Itís all part of the landscape during the Kennedale Meet, which is the second of four regional qualifiers the girls must compete in if they stand a chance to advance to the regional meet later in the spring.

The last qualifier is Saturday, Feb. 21; the Region III Meet is Feb. 28 in Forney.

ďI saw what she was able to do, had I known, I would have asked her to start at a higher weight,Ē Stepp said.

Weight is critical when it comes to lifting in the categories of deadlift, squat and bench press. The more combined weight each competitor can lift in three attempts, the higher their ranking is among their region. But coaches and lifters have to approach it very carefully.

They donít want to lift too much to the point where the athlete canít lift at all, barring her chances from placing high.

And it is a tough region when you consider that Red Oak aims to repeat its feat from a year ago when it had five lifters advance to the state meet.

All of those girls return, which may pose a problem for teams like Venus and Midlothian that were competing in the Kennedale Meet.

Red Oak was also fresh off a successful meet in Forney, in which the team captured first place. And amazingly, the team was without one of its state finalist, Hunter Porter. The Kennedale Meet was the first time that all lifters were assembled.