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4 PHS students bound for state contest

Aviana Baca spends time at practice with muscle recovery.

Four Princeton High School powerlifters will be southbound to Corpus Christi later this week to compete at the state powerlifting meet.

The athletes who excelled throughout the season and at regionals to earn a trip to the championship meet include, sophomore Aviana Baca, juniors Deysy Fuentes and Caroline Speer and senior Natalie Walker, who has qualified for state all four years of high school.

"I am really excited for this experience," Natalie said. "I think it's going to be a great meet because I'm really confident in all of us."

The girls have spent this week preparing for Saturday's competition. including muscle treatments by using the NormaTec compression therapy, with leg wraps to promote healing and recovery through increased blood flow and circulation, while decreasing muscle fatigue.

Although this was an unusual year in terms of fewer meets as a result of COVID-19, the team made up for the lack of contests by pushing themselves during daily after-school practices.

"We worked out and practiced a lot after school," said Natalie, who earned her trip to state by winning first at the regional meet in the 114-pound division. "We didn't get to have as many meets this year, so these practices really helped."

They also believe this dedicated time after school each day encouraged the team to create a stronger bond.

"Our bond as a team has definitely grown," Natalie said. "If we hadn't gotten so close we wouldn't have had teammates that would push us to improve and exceed our expectations."

The new qualifying guidelines this year took some getting used to, but the powerlifters didn't let it slow them down.

Deysy Fuentes spends time at practice with muscle recovery.

"This year was really different, and understanding how we qualified was a little confusing, but there were more available spots to qualify," Deysy said. "I advanced to state because of my weight total, and I found out I was headed for state at the regional meet. It was pretty exciting."

The state-bound powerlifters are ready to enjoy the experience in Corpus Christi.

"I'm just excited for all of us to go," Aviana said. "We will like being together and having that extra support."

Natalie Walker spends time at practice with muscle recovery.

Natalie believes her teammates will be there for encouragement as she seeks to snag a state title for Princeton on her fourth trip to state (well, technically third since COVID robbed the qualifiers of a state contest in 2020).

"I'm feeling good about state because right now I'm 115 pounds ahead of the competition," Natalie said. "But no matter what, this will be a great trip and something we will have fun doing together as a team."