Alpine’s powerlifting team is in the heart of its season, and two lifters have set a high bar for themselves. Aaliyah Fierro finished atop her weight class for the second week in a row at the Fort Stockton Power Classic on Feb. 15. Alex Natera also finished first among the 181-pound class after finishing second in his two prior meets.
Fierro's squat and deadlift of 245 pounds each got the job done, as she out lifted 13 other girls in the 114-pound weight class. The senior softball second baseman had been curious about competitive powerlifting, but waited until this year to give it a shot.
“I’ve wanted to do it since my freshman year, but I had a really busy schedule,” Fierro said. “It’s fun actually, and it’s a lot more competitive than I thought. People are insanely into this sport. It’s mind-blowing knowing how much you can actually lift.”
Alex Natera had good totals in all three weightlifting disciplines, but set himself apart in the deadlift by picking up 450 pounds. In his last three meets, he has outdone almost everyone in both his class and the one above him. Only 11 of the 71 lifters who weighed in heavier than Alex deadlifted more on Saturday.
Like Alex, Ryan Gooch plays varsity football for Alpine, and is working on his strength in anticipation of this fall. He finished sixth in the 220-pound category, and second among 3A school lifters at Fort Stockton.
Angelique Fox narrowly fell into the 123-pound category by weighing in at 123.5 pounds. She finished seventh in her class on Feb. 15 in a sport with lots of rules to follow and precision to worry about.
“When we go and weigh in, there are girls literally naked to get in their right weight class,” said Fierro. “You have to keep a constant lift going. You can’t stop and start. You can’t move your foot.”
Only the girls will travel to the Wink meet on Feb. 22, and only the boys go to Pecos on Feb. 29. The Regional and State finals take place in March. Although it is very much an individual sport, teammates are always there to pick each other up as they try to lift just a little bit more with each attempt.
“Italia is always telling me, ‘What’s 10 pounds? What’s 10 pounds?’ and I’ll always say, ‘It’s nothing!’” Fierro said. “It’s such a small team. They’ve always been so supportive with each other. That’s how they've always been.”