Sanchez talks about powerlifting

Alpine High School powerlifter Italia Anaya finished first in her weight class, and runner-up for Best Lifter of the Meet on Jan. 23.

Lee Sanchez is the powerlifting coach at Alpine High School, and he and his students have enjoyed much success so far this season. Sanchez recently talked with the Avalanche, and answered some questions about the sport, himself, and the team.

Powerlifting meets begin very early. Hours before sunrise, the team leaves Alpine to get to the weigh-in. Upon arrival, the team declares the first lift or squat, bench press, and deadlift. Then it’s off to get weighed.

Said Sanchez, "I have never had a lifter have to run around, cut their hair, or strip naked to make weight. After the weigh-in, everyone starts to eat breakfast. We start warming up for squat, and we get knee wraps ready. The squat is the most chaotic because of the knee wraps."

One of the reasons behind the team’s success so far this season is the number of student-athletes who want to compete. Eleven boys and seven girls are competing this year.

"The competition involves some strategy,” said Sanchez. “Last year Aaliyah Fierro was competing for a spot to advance to state. Aaliyah got the lift and qualified for state, but unfortunately due to COVID could not compete."

As the coach, Sanchez said his goals for the season were to help each student improve every week. 

"Getting medals is good, but I want them to beat their max lift from the previous week. I want more student-athletes to advance to Regionals. This group is competitive, and will do well this year," he said.

According to Sanchez, the most impressive accomplishment this season was the number of students competing. With more competing, they can work out with partners, and push each other to get stronger.

In the recent Alpine Invitational on Jan. 23, Ernesto Martinez and Alex Natera took second-place medals, while Angelique Fox and Italia Anaya won first-place medals in their weight classes. Congratulations to the students and coach for their success!

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