EDINBURG — Edinburg IDEA College Prep’s Mia Rincones and head coach Aida Gonzalez set a goal at the beginning of the season: break the Region V Division III bench press record of 240 pounds.

The defending 165-pound regional and state champion delivered at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Region V Division III meet Monday at Bert Ogden Arena. Rincones broke through with a 250-pound bench press on her second attempt, putting her name amongst the Texas girls high school powerlifting record holders and punching her ticket to the THSWPA state championship March 16-19 in Corpus Christi.

“I didn’t actually think that I was going to break a record, but it was amazing. It did feel a little nerve racking, but I felt really at home, so that soothed me,” Rincones said.

The previous record was set by San Antonio Brooks Academy’s Loren Chavez in 2018. Rincones received three awards for her performance Monday — Outstanding Bench Press (Heavy platform), Outstanding Deadlift (Heavy platform) and Outstanding Lifter (Heavy platform).

Edinburg IDEA College Preps Mia Rincones celebrates with her coach after a lift of 405 during the Texas High School WomenÕs Powerlifting Region V Championship Meet at Bert Ogden Arena Monday, Feb.28,2022 in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | [email protected])

“We had a plan to get her qualified, and then after that was to break the bench record. Since the beginning of the season, we knew she had a very good shot at breaking the record, and right now, from all three lifts, her bench press is probably her strongest,” Gonzalez said.

Natalia’s girls powerlifting won the team title with 36 points, followed by Skidmore-Tynan in second with 21 points and Cotulla in third with 20. Natalia had four first-place finishers, one second and one third.

Points are awarded for the top-five finishes in this manner — 7, 5, 3, 2 and 1. Each lifter goes through three different sets of lifts — squat, bench press and deadlift. The total weight combined from the three lifts determines the winner.

Edinburg IDEA College Prep’s girls powerlifting team finished fourth with Rincones and Amaris Garza winning the region in their respective weight classes and qualifying for the state meet.

Rincones posted a total of 1,045 pounds, lifting 250 on bench, 405 on squat and 390 on deadlift. Garza claimed first in the 123-pound weight class with a 925 total — 355 squat, 235 bench and 335 deadlift.

“They have their family here cheering them on. It’s close to home and we had to put on a show for them and they did,” Gonzalez said.

“To do it in my hometown, it was so much better. It was really awesome,” Garza said. “My mom, she actually lives in Austin, so for her to come here and her cheering me on, it means a lot to me.”

Edinburg IDEA College Preps Amaris Garza lets out a yell during her lift at the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Region V Championship Meet at Bert Ogden Arena Monday, Feb.28,2022 in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez/The Monitor | [email protected])

Now, Garza and Rincones will prepare to defend their Class 3A Small School state championship at this year’s state meet.

“I really want to keep our program going strong and I really want to inspire others to start doing powerlifting,” Rincones said.

La Villa’s Pauline Almazan is nearing the end of her first year competing in powerlifting. She won the Region V Division III championship in the 97-pound weight class on her last lift of the day.

Trailing Skidmore-Tynan’s Karelen Bastia in total pounds 575 to 570, Almazan stepped up with a deadlift of 250 pounds, a personal record, increasing her total to 580 and putting her over the top. Almazan hit 230 pounds on squat and 100 on bench press.

“This is my first year, I’ve never done this sport before and I’m going to state — I’m just happy,” Almazan said. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but I just locked and was able to do it.”

The RGV qualified three more for the state meet: Alejandra Reyes, Edinburg Quest College Prep (114 pounds, 795 total); Leslie Flores, Santa Rosa (148 pounds, 825 total); and Karla Rabanales, Edinburg Quest College Prep (148 pounds, 800).

Day 2 of the THSWPA Region V Meet begins at 8:30 a.m. today at Bert Ogden Arena featuring Division II — Class 4A Large and Small School. Day 3 is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Bert Ogden Arena with Division I — Class 6A and Class 5A Large and Small School.

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