Abilene Wylie's Carlton eyes title at boys' state powerlifting meet

Landry Carlton has a shot at winning a medal at the Texas High School Powerlifting Association Division I state meet Saturday at the Taylor County Expo Center.

The Wylie senior might even win the 148-pound weight class.

“I think it would be a great accomplishment if I did medal, and I think I can medal,” Carlton said. “I think I can win the thing as well. That’s my goal. It would be a big accomplishment for me after all the work I’ve been putting in the last three years.”

Wylie's Landry Carlton lifts in the bench press during practice Wednesday at Wylie High School's Doghouse.
Wylie's Landry Carlton lifts in the bench press during practice Wednesday at Wylie High School's Doghouse.

Carlton, who began powerlifting his sophomore year - the first year the Bulldogs started competing in the sport - earned his first state berth last year. He finished sixth in the 148-pound weight class, lifting a total of 1,325 pounds in the three lifts – squat, deadlift and bench press.

Carlton won his second straight region title this year, beating teammate Jaxon Peacock. Carlton won it with a 1,515 total, while Peacock lifted 1,290 to also earn a state berth.

Carlton goes into the state meet with the second-best lift based on region marks. Conroe’s Rogelio Barrera won Region IV with a 1,535 total. Region V champion Christian Gomez is third (1,495), while Region V runner-up Devon Trevino is a distant fourth (1,375).

“There’s three guys in the 148 who are a little bit separated,” Wylie coach Cort Arthur said. “It’s going to be a really cool competition to watch those three guys. It’s going to be insane. I’m excited for that group.”

Arthur, Wylie’s second-year coach after five at Hawley, likes Carlton’s chances, too.

“He has a great chance at medaling,” Arthur said. “I like where he’s at because he’s gotten better every meet that we’ve been to. That’s all you can really ask for. He’s moving the bar pretty fast right now in all his lifts. He squatted 650 pounds at a 148-pound body weight. That’s pretty incredible, no matter how you look at it.”

Arthur said Carlton’s Schwartz/Malone formula, which is how lifters are compared based on their weight and how much they lift, “is one of the highest numbers we’ve ever seen.”

Carlton, who was the starting running back for the football team, credited his work in the weight room with making him a better runner when talking about his breakout season in the fall. The added strength, along with his speed and quickness, allowed him to break tackles when he couldn’t elude a defender.

“Definitely working out and lifting and going through the whole Wylie strength and conditioning program all four years of high school has helped me a lot,” Carlton said. “I’ve come a long way from where I started.”

He lifts the way he runs, too.

“His lifts are very comparable to the way he runs with the football,” Arthur said. “It’s fast, bursty, and it happens really quick and then it’s over. His lifts are the same way.”

Wylie, the defending state champion, won its third straight region title this year. The Bulldogs won the Region I Division I title with 35 points earlier this month at Wylie High School. Aledo was second (22), and Midland Legacy was third (21).

The Bulldogs will send four other athletes to the state meet – Weston Ross (220 class), Cayden Clay (308), Gonj Gjocai (308) and Cam Vann (super heavyweight).

Carlton is happy to have them competing with him this weekend..

“It definitely gives you more confidence because you’re around people you know and you’ve been working out with,” he said. “It’s a good atmosphere, especially when you have your teammates around you.”

One Cooper lifter, Noel Herrera, qualified in the 275 class.

Arthur believes Peacock, Clay and Van all have good shots at medaling.

“It’s exciting to get a couple of kids who can score points,” Arthur said. “It’s so much fun. They work so hard.”

Wylie running back Landry Carlton slips past El Paso linebacker Edgar Garcia before stepping out of bounds during a Class 5A first-round playoff game Nov. 10 in Abilene.
Wylie running back Landry Carlton slips past El Paso linebacker Edgar Garcia before stepping out of bounds during a Class 5A first-round playoff game Nov. 10 in Abilene.

Peacock has the 12th best total in his class based on region numbers, while Clay (1,695) has the sixth-best mark in his class. The top four – led by San Antonio East Central’s Michael Pinones (1,890) – have all lifted 1,800 or better.

Vann (1,600) is 10th in his class, which has three who have lifted 1,800 or better with Midland High’s John Martinez-Guedry leading the pack (1,845).

Last year, three Wylie lifters won state titles – Joel Scott (181 class), Jaxon Lunsford (275) and Xzavier Collins (308).

The Bulldogs won the state team title with 21 points, beating Kyle Lehman (14) and Everman (10).

Carlton, who will forego sports to focus on a business finance degree at the University of Oklahoma in the fall, hopes to end his powerlifting career with a flourish.

“I’m a person who loves competition,” Carlton said. “I always like to be the best at what I do, and right now I’m doing this. So, I want to be the best at it.”

Snyder athletes have shot at medals

Snyder’s Adrian Avalos and Alejandro Flores both have the fourth-best lifts based on region marks in their respective classes in Division II.

Avalos’ 1,100 total in the 275 class is just 60 pounds off the leader, while Flores (1,135) isn’t too far back of the No. 1 qualifier’s 1,300 total.

Others to watch in Division II are Sweetwater’s Noel Mekogue, whose 1,645 is ranked fifth among super heavyweights. Stephenville’s Justin Stephens also has the ninth-best lift in the 275 class.

Fish rises to top in DIII

Clyde’s Avdan Fish has the second-best qualifying mark in the 181 class in Division III with a 1,575. San Diego’s Jaime Salinas leads it with a 1,615.

Fish finished 10th in the 165 class last year with a 1,325 total.

Comanche’s Dom Rios is fifth in the 220 class (1,570).

Big Country shines in Division IV

Some of the Big Country’s smallest school have some of the state’s top lifters.

De Leon’s Mario Pena has the second-best qualifying mark in the 123 class in Division IV. His 1,080 total is just 15 pounds behind the No. 1 mark.

Roscoe’s Michael Fulton is ranked fourth in the 165 class (1,265), while De Leon’s Joe Leal (1,565) and Haskell’s Colby West (1,425) are fifth and 10th, respectively, in the 308 class.

Fulton finished fourth last year with a 1,240.

Hawley’s Alex Carey has the sixth-best total in the 198 class. His 1,405 total is 90 pounds behind the leader.

Others to watch are De Leon’s Ruben Silva, who is seventh in the 275 class (1,490); Coleman’s Oscar Camacho, eighth in the 242 class (1,480); Highland’s Tristen Harding, eighth in 181 class (1,265) and Santa Anna’s William Perry, 10th, 181 class (1,265).

THSPA State Meet

At Taylor County Expo Center

Divisions II and III, 4:30 p.m. Friday

Divisions I and IV, 8 a.m. Saturday

Big County Qualifiers

Division I

148 class – Landry Carlton, Wylie; Jaxon Peacock, Wylie

220 – Weston Ross, Wylie

275 – Noel Herrera, Cooper

308 – Cayden Clay, Wylie; Gonj Gjocai, Wylie

SHW – Cam Vann, Wylie

Division II

114 – Kaleb Grabast, Brownwood

123 – Adrian Avalos, Snyder

132 – Joel Gamino, Sweetwater; Alejandro Flores, Snyder

148 – Chandler Tran, Snyder

198 – Justin Stephens, Stephenville

275 – Noel Mekogue, Sweetwater

SHW – Abel Lopez, Sweetwater

Division III

114 – Leo Rangel, Ballinger

181 – Avdan Fish, Clyde

242 – Barrett Browning, Jim Ned

275 – Noah Powell, Jim Ned

SHW – Dalton Duncan, Merkel

Division IV

114 – Braylon Stewart, Coleman; Xavier Marroquin, Strawn

123 – Mario Pena, De Leon

148 – Ezik Hernandez, Colorado City

165 – Michael Fulton, Roscoe

181 – Tristen Harding, Highland; William Perry, Santa Anna

198 – Alex Carey, Hawley

220 – Zeke Munoz, Coleman

242 – Oscar Camacho, Coleman

275 – Ruben Silva, De Leon; Caden West, Haskell

308 – Joe Leal, De Leon; Colby West, Haskell

SHW – Jered Stiles, Strawn

This article originally appeared on Abilene Reporter-News: Abilene Wylie's Carlton has a shot at a state powerlifting title