Powerlifting is a way of life in the Villarreal household and on March 23, Briana Villarreal of Mission became a Texas State Champion in Powerlifting in the 148 division held at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.

Briana knew four years ago that she was going to be a powerlifter. Her sister, Bianca Villarreal, was a powerlifter all through high school and she placed third at the state meet.

“My sister did it for her four years of high school and she got third place at state her senior year,” Briana said.

Aside from the obvious of lifting weights, other factors are involved in becoming a champion powerlifter. Briana had to diet, she ran three miles a day two weeks prior to each meet and she had to fight to keep her weight at the mandatory 148 pounds.

“This year I’m higher that my weight division,” Briana said. “Every two weeks before a meet I have to diet hard core and run three miles a day every day just to keep my weight under because if you don’t make your weight you complete at a totally different level.”

Briana also explained that next year she is still undecided whether she is going to continue to diet at a hard core pace or if she is going to move up in weight class.

Sharyland is in Region 5 of the state which is from Del Rio to the Gulf Coast and south from there.

“Region 5 is the strongest region in the state of Texas,” said JR Villarreal, Briana’s father. “When you go to the state meets Region 5 dominates clear across the board in every different weight division.”

There are multiple divisions that competitors compete in and they are divided by weight. There is a 97, 105, 114, 123, 132, 148, 165, 181, 198 and 220 pound divisions. Each weight class has a champion and the way they are determined is by the total amount of weight from the bench press, dead lift and squat.

The future for Briana just doesn’t encompass whether she’ll move to a different weight class or whether she’ll win another state title, which she is not only in training for already but is also the favorite, she is already looking forward for her next step in life.

“I’ve been planning on it and I’ve been looking at those schools mainly because they have powerlifting,” she said of Texas State University, University of Texas San Antonio and Louisiana State University.

Also for Briana and her family are plans to go compete at the national meet in Cleveland, Ohio, this year but they are not certain yet because she would have to raise all the funds to make the trip.