RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – High school power lifting is fairly new to the state of New Mexico. During the COVID-19 year, championships were held virtually, and Saturday will be the first ever in person state meet.

“I am excited that we are able to do this in person now, and to have everyone bring in all these schools together and see what everyone can do,” said Rio Rancho’s Jase Smith.

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While power lifting is still new to the state, it is quickly growing and beginning to gain more popularity. 17 high schools from around the state will compete in the meet which will feature 96 boys an 79 girls.

“As a school I think we have created a really amazing team with boys and girls coming together, and I think it will be really cool in person, and hopefully we will be able to take first with boys and girls,” said Niquela Vallejos.

Rio Rancho took home the title in 2021 and the Rams like their chances of going back-to-back.

“Its going to be huge for us, especially because we are coming off of a 2nd place in state for football,” Smith said. “I know its going to mean a lot to the guys who stayed committed and hopefully we can take this again. And, bringing in the girls this year its going to mean a lot.”

“I think we are going to do well, I think we go in with the right amount of confidence,” Vallejos said. “We are not thinking, oh we will take first, definitely not and its a lot of hard work, but we have worked hard all season and I think that will show.”

The meet will begin at 10 a.m. inside the gym at Rio Rancho high school.