Palestine's Jesus Garcia-Castillo

Jesus Garcia-Castillo, a senior at Palestine High School, won his weight class at the Malakoff Invitational this past Saturday. Garcia-Castillo hoisted a three-lift combination of 1,480 pounds. 

MALAKOFF — The usual suspects showed up and succeeded on the platform during the Malakoff Invitational powerlifting meet on Saturday.

The Elkhart High School girls won their second meet of the season, and Palestine’s Jesus Garcia-Castillo garnered his weight class.

The Lady Elks finished with 41 points, two points more than Fairfield in a tightly contested battle.

“We had 14 girls lift this weekend, and 12 of them medaled,” said Elkhart head coach Glen Tunstall.

Tunstall noted Annalisa Trevino’s performance, earning second place for the Lady Elks at 123 — with a three-lift total of 600 pounds.

At powerlifting meets, girls and boys participate in three lifts (squat, bench press and dead lift). Sometimes, these athletes are putting together lifting totals three times their weight, or more.

On the boys’ side, Elkhart earned second spot with 28 points, which was two points better than Palestine. Corsicana totaled 33 points as the overall meet championship.

“We haven’t placed in the top three of a meet in two years,” Palestine head coach Ty Kuhn said. “I felt like we did a good job. We took 16 lifters to the meet.”

Here’s a rundown on how well local performers fared.


The Elkhart girls earned a pair of gold medals as state medalist Harleigh McEnturff won the 220-pound class (975 pounds), which included a 400-pound squat. Alissa Tally claimed gold at 105 pounds with three lifts summing up to 540 pounds.

Elkhart’s girls also produced several silver-medal performances with Karson Pardue second at 114, the aforementioned Trevino, Tawny Anderson and Natalie Defore. Pardue finished 15 pounds in back of Kemp’s Carmen Villarreal (605-590).

Chloe Ives added a bronze in the 132-pound division for the Lady Elks, lifting 670 pounds.

Other Elkhart finishers were as follows: Kayla Moore (8th, 123); Hunter Gilmore (11th, 123); Arrana Gonzalez (5th, 132); Breanna Warner (5th, 148); Karime Vazquez (6th, 165) and Ally Currie (7th, 165).

Grapeland earned eight points as a team with Arionna Davis third and Macy Cutler fourth at 259-plus. Davis lifted 695 pounds.

Sandiette Kiera DeGluette earned fourth at 148 (610) and teammate Jennilea Lovell was fifth at 220. Keoria Shepherd (123) and Maddy McCombs (132) also produced counted lifts.


The senior super heavyweight Garcia-Castillo produced a three-lift total of 1,480 pounds, which included both a massive 600-pound squat and 525-pound dead lift.

By virtue of his gold medal, Garcia-Castillo earned seven points for the Wildcats.

That was just the start of a banner day for Palestine — which included a second-place finish from Deonundre Hatton at 242 (1,350, 500-pound squat) while teammate Cedric Hicks was fourth in the same weight class (1,115).

Dejuan Ealy helped the Wildcats ‘double up’ in points in the super heavyweight class, taking fourth (1,290). Tradarion Sadler was sixth in the same group. DeMarques Spurlock was seventh at 275, and Camron Spurlock 10th at 198 (900).

Roderick Deyon picked up a bronze medal at 181, hoisting 1,135 pounds (440 dead lift). Keshawn Nonette was seventh in that weight group.

The Wildcats also doubled up at 132 with Justin Villatoro second and Javi Zamora fourth (695).

Villatoro had a three-lift combination of 720, including a 280-pound dead lift. All of the marks were personal-bests for Villatoro, Kuhn reported.

Teammates battled for supremacy at 181 as Elkhart’s Michael Jones lifted 1,390 for the gold medal while Ryan Lindsay was named top lifter on the heavy platform (second at 181, 1,370).

Lindsay had a 550-pound squat while Jones put up 350 pounds in the bench press. A 540-pound dead lift helped keep Jones on top.

T.J. Jones claimed gold while teammate Weldon Brooks was fifth at 242 pounds. This Jones had three lifts totaling 1,450 pounds, with Brooks fifth (1,100).

Seth Hoffman added a bronze medal for the Elks, lifting 1,160 at 275. Cade Jones picked up a bronze in the super heavyweight class (1,360) — in his first meet of the season. Michael Agan added a fourth-place effort at 198 (1,170), rounding out Elkhart’s premium performances.

Cayuga’s boys had some notable performances — with Caden Mullican third at 114 (485), Kyle Kennerk fourth at 148 (845) and brother Kevin Kennerk fifth at 181 (1,010). Robert Buckley finished just outside the medals in sixth at 165. Carter Grasch, Casen Grasch and Tristan LeGard also lifted for Cayuga.

What’s Next?

The Palestine, Elkhart, Cayuga and Grapeland powerlifting teams will be off this weekend, using this time to prepare for the Rusk Invitational set for Feb. 3.

Westwood returns to action at the Corrigan-Camden Bulldog meet in Corrigan on Jan. 27.

Frankston also competes Saturday; but, the Indians and Maidens will be at the Bo Bates Invitational in Sabine.

Saturday’s Results

At Malakoff Invitational

Team Scores


1, Elkhart, 41; 2, Fairfield, 39; 3, Malakoff, 32; 4, Kemp, 25; 5, Lone Oak, 25; 6, Eustace, 17; 7, Grapeland, 8; 8, Athens, 7; 9, Corsicana, 6; 10, Kerens, 2


1, Corsicana, 33; 2, Elkhart, 28; 3, Palestine, 26; 4, Kemp, 18; 5, Malakoff, 15; 6, Athens, 14; 7, Kerens, 13; 8, Lone Oak, 13; 9, Fairfield, 8; 10, Eustace, 10; 11, Gladewater Union Grove, 7; 12, Cayuga, 6; 13, Cross Roads, 5

Recommended for you