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Paredes sets two PRs, wins state



ABILENE, TX – Jourdanton senior Issac Paredes will have his name etched in stone.

Paredes lifted two personal records at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene on Saturday en route to the Texas High School Powerlifting Association state title in the 220-pound weight class for Division 2.

Paredes squatted 675 pounds and deadlifted 595, both were new personal bests for the UTSAbound senior. Those lifts helped him total 1,675 pounds lifted at the meet and become the first Jourdanton lifter to win state since Nathan Garcia in 2016.

The reward of winning a year after the state meet was canceled due to COVID-19 was immense.

“It feels really good because we trained all year, then quarantine came,” Paredes said. “Then we went into football and I had to get back into the powerlifting mindset [after football] and just train every day. So, it feels really good to come out as a state champ.”

After two lifts, Paredes needed a big lift in deadlift. He trailed Snyder’s Reyes Silva by five pounds entering the final lift. He would deadlift 10 more pounds to secure the state title.

“We knew it was going to be deadlift. Deadlift is king for a reason,” Head Coach James Martin said. “We saw exactly what we had to pull, he had the right mindset, he had the right amount of intensity and he made it look easy. That all had to do with his mental focus and mental preparation.”

Paredes had been eyeing new personal records in squat and deadlift since before the regional meet. He was unable to hit those marks then due to soreness.

Heading into the state meet, Paredes worked on recovery so he could set those new bests.

“I was not surprised he was able to squat the 675. Honestly, I think he had a little more in the tank,” Martin said. “But it wasn’t worth the gamble.”

Paredes didn’t start the year in the 220-pound division. At the start of the season, he weighed 250 pounds. In order to get down to 220, Paredes had to be disciplined in his training and his diet.

The senior made weight in the 220 division in the final meet before regionals back in February.

“We went through the process of getting on a lean diet and working out every day … to get to the goal of being the 220 Division 2 champ,” Paredes said. “That was the goal at the beginning of the year and we came out on top in the end. That’s all that matters.”

The process to get to 220 was remarkable to Paredes’ coach.

“High school athletes, they surprise you,” Martin said. “I set the expectations high for Issac. He set them high for himself. When we made the decision to be in the 220s, he was all in. It took accountability from his friends, from his parents, from me, but ultimately himself to do what he needed to do, not just to lose weight. Anybody can lose weight by going on a crash diet. Issac did it the right way. He trained the way he needed to train. He ate what he needed to eat. He rested the way he needed to rest. That’s what ultimately paid off and he’s a testament to what someone can do when they put their mind to something.”

In addition to Paredes, Chris Verdin competed at the state meet on Saturday.

Verdin was disqualified after bench press and lifted 585 in squat and 300 in bench before his day was over.