If I ever find myself trapped under the weight of an immovable object, like James Franco’s real-life character Aron Ralston in “127 Hours,” I sure hope Joseph Pena is around.
The 6-foot-1, 31-pound San Antonio (Texas) Holy Cross junior squatted a state-record 930 pounds during the Texas High School Powerlifting Association’s state meet this past weekend. Adding a bench press of 455 pounds and dead lift of 545 pounds, his total of 1,930 pounds easily earned him the Division 2 super heavyweight individual state title, although that number would’ve won titles for any weight class in Divisions 1 and 3, too.
None of the other 546 competitors at the state meet squatted more than 800 pounds.
Burleson (Texas) senior Kody Russey also set a state record with a 740-pound deadlift to capture the Division I 275-pound individual state title with 1,925 total pounds — the day’s next-highest total. Dickinson (Texas) senior Chance Harmanson had the day’s best bench press at 495 pounds and placed second in the Division I super heavyweight division.
— Josh Mauntel (@maunteljoshua) March 12, 2016
Competing at the 2015 International Powerlifting Raw World Championship this past summer in Salo, Finland, Pena set world records for his weight class in the sub-junior division with a squat of 722 pounds and a total weight lifted of 1,703 pounds. The 16-year-old took home gold medals in the squat, bench press, dead lift and overall weight.
Pena also plays center for the Holy Cross football team and throws for the track team.
Russey also plays center at Burleson and earned a football scholarship to Louisiana Tech, while Harmanson is headed to Coffeyville Community College as an offensive lineman.