Powerlifter Advances to State


Juan Vasquez, Reporter

As he felt the weight of 435 pounds, he realized this was the moment he had been waiting for all season, breaking the 198 weight class state bench record. He slowly brought it down to his chest and… PRESS!

Senior Damien Hinejosa competed in powerlifting for three years, slowly improving every single year. He narrowly missed the state qualifying total to go to the state finals last year.

After moving up a weight class this year, he competed in the 198-pound class hitting a 415-pound bench. This accomplishment was the second highest bench in Texas weight classes during the regular season. Hinejosa advanced to regionals, placing fourth with a bench press of 425 pounds. At regionals, he surpassed the state qualifying total, which made him eligible for the state meet.

“It feels great to compete at state,” Hinejosa said. “I’ve been training this entire year for it.”

Damien trained four days a week and overcame many obstacles on his journey to the state competition.

“Knowing this is my last season, I wanted to go all out,” Hinejosa said. “I didn’t want to leave anything left in the tank.”

Damien even trained through minor injuries, but eventually he was able to get healthy before regionals.

“I have been training for a year nonstop so most of the strength was already built,” he said.

At state, Damien benched 415 pounds on his second attempt.

“Unfortunately I didn’t get the 435-pound state bench press record I wanted,” Hinejosa said. “Anything can happen in big moments, things can always go better or worse than you hoped, but overall I’m super satisfied with how this season went.”