PNG’s Carreon, Le come long way in short time

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Two years ago, Gage Carreon didn’t know what a deadlift was.

“Coach [Dustin] Templin wanted me to come out and do it at our meet,” said Carreon, a Port Neches-Groves senior. “I deadlifted 450 pounds. I didn’t know what it was. Once you find out what you can do, you stick with it.”

The running back and fullback for the Indians found his love for weightlifting and has become a record-setter.

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Competing in the 165-pound weight class, he set two regional records during the Region IV Division I (6A and 5A) meet at Katy Taylor High School earlier this month. He deadlifted 615 pounds to break the old mark by 35 and set a record total of 1,450 pounds by the same margin.

All season long, he and at least two other powerlifters in the state have jostled for the top overall performance in the state heading into Saturday’s meet at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene, according to Templin.

“He is freaky strong,” said Templin, PNG’s football defensive coordinator. “That record he broke stood for over 10 years. He broke it with a couple of lifts to go. He and Tim, they both train really hard and are disciplined in eating and watching what they put in their bodies.”

Tim is Timothy Le, a three-year powerlifter who, like Carreon, is going to the state meet for the second year in a row. Le was third at 123 pounds with 990 total pounds lifted.

He sees firsthand the power Carreon exudes.

“He’s like stupid talented because I was really impressed,” Le said. “Last year was his first year to powerlift and he made state. This year, I started working out with him, and his workouts are super-intense.

“You do a lot of weight and volume workout. He’ll spend 3 hours in the gym, and he works out every single day in the gym.”

Templin is confident neither Le nor Carreon have reached their peak as their high school careers come to a close, adding both have “a lot left in the tank.” If that’s the case, Carreon is very likely to win a state championship.

He figured he would break the regional records because of his intense workout schedule and his passion for the sport. Now, he gets to cap a meteoric rise in the sport with another victory before going to college and majoring in radiology, which he said “doesn’t look that boring.”

“You find something you’re good at, and there are always people who put you down and kind of motivate you, and you prove them wrong,” Carreon said. “You see when you do good and you set a record, you feel like, dang, three hours in the gym is kind of worth it.”

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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