For Alvarado junior Stephanie Yates, reaching the state powerlifting meet for the first time was not quite good enough.

Entering the event in Killeen, Yates was fifth out of six based on regional meet results. Yates, however, managed to move past a couple of her counterparts on her way to a third place finish at the state meet with a total weight of 880 pounds.

“I was hoping for more weight, but I was surprised I placed that high with only 30 more pounds,”Yates said, referring to her 850 at the regional meet.

It came down to the last lift for Yates as another lifter attempted to surpass her, but failed.

“There was a girl trying to beat me on her last deadlift, but she wasn’t able to do it,” Yates said. “I was really happy she didn’t get it.”

This was the first time Yates reached the state meet, but her success in powerlifting is nothing new. She reached the regional meet last year as a sophomore.

Heading into this year, Yates felt she had the ability to improve, but it wasn’t until a new coach instilled confidence in her that she realized reaching the state meet was a possibility.

“Getting a new coach really helped, he pushed me more than I had ever been pushed,” she said. “And he was here for the girls just as much as the boys.”

With her first state meet behind her, Yates already has plans on winning a state championship next year.

“Next year, I’ll know what to expect,” she said. “My goal is to get first next year and this year helped because now I know I can compete at this level.”