La Porte Independent School District

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La Porte High School Homecoming Queen competes at state in powerlifting

The 2017 Homecoming Queen is also the 2018 regional champion in power-lifting who advanced to the state competition, where she finished 10th and recorded personal bests on all three of her lifts. That’s quite an achievement for someone who just started training two months before.

“She finished basketball season on Tuesday night and attended her first meet on Thursday night,” said Beck Neal, LPHS powerlifting coach. “After her first meet, she was already ranked high enough to qualify for the regional meet.”
Neal remembers when the all-around athlete came into the weight room and decided to try to her skill with some of the weights that the male athletes were lifting. She did so easily, and with encouragement from her friends and Neal, she decided to try powerlifting after her commitment to basketball was over.
“I’ve always enjoyed lifting and have been strong naturally,” she said. Little did she know that after her first meet, she would be ranked high enough to qualify for the regional meet.
Neal described that as a fun and exciting time as they began to realize Promise’s potential.
“It was still so new, and with every meet, we were trying to learn just what she could do,” he said.
At each competition, powerlifters compete with three lifts—squat, bench press and dead lift—in 12 different weight classes, Neal explained. Each competitor gets three attempts at each lift, and their highest score from each lift determines the rankings.
At the regional meet at Splendora High School on Feb. 24, Promise and another competitor tied with the total amount lifted. Because she weighed one pound less than her counterpart, Promise earned the title of Division I Regional Champion.
The top two competitors in each weight class at regionals then advanced to the state competition, which was held on March 16 in Waco. For Promise, that meant a spring break filled with early morning lifting sessions, including auxiliary lifts focusing on different muscle groups, to get ready for the contest.
“My family was so surprised,” she said. “When I called and told them I was going to state, they would say, ‘In basketball?’ And I’d say, ‘No, in powerlifting.’ They didn’t even know I was doing it.”
Neal believes that she is the first LPHS female student to advance to the state powerlifting competition since the powerlifting program started around 2005. LPHS male athletes Ian Ogando and Blake Gamez advanced to the state powerlifting contest in 2009 and 2016, respectively.
At the state meet in Waco on March 16, Promise squatted 420 lbs., bench-pressed 155 lbs., and dead-lifted 330 lbs.  In addition to earning a letter in basketball and powerlifting, Promise participated in track and field and volleyball, raised pigs in FFA for two years, and held down a job after school.
“I always have to be doing something,” Promise said.
“She just bounces from one thing to another and has success in all of it,” Neal said.
Promise is the daughter of Thomas and Alicia Green and has four siblings. She is a product of LPISD schools, having attended Heritage Elementary, James H. Baker Sixth Grade Campus and Lomax Junior High before entering high school.
“D’Lisa is a very unique person who is obviously very hard-working and dedicated,” Neal said. “She has a great personality and is nice to everybody.” For several years in basketball, she received the “Most Heart” award for her team spirit and competitive drive.
Promise plans to continue training over the summer and will compete in USA Powerlifting meets in the future. Her plan is to attend Blinn College and Texas A & M University next year. She plans to become a teacher and coach, but is also interested in cosmetology.
Photo: State powerlifting competitor D’Lisa Promise, right, stands in La Porte ISD’s new weight training room in the multipurpose center with her powerlifting coach, Beck Neal. D’Lisa, who qualified for regionals at her first-ever meet, was the regional champion and placed 10th at the state competition.