Published Jan. 29, 2024
BY ALEXANDER FREDERICK
A senior at Carmel High and member of the varsity football team, Betzy Paz-Perez will graduate this year, taking with her CHS girls’ weightlifting records for the squat, bench press and clean.
Paz-Perez tops the girls’ lifting record boards in every category, squatting 235 pounds, benching 160 pounds and cleaning 155 pounds. The senior lifter has been in the gym since she was in eighth grade and playing high school football since her sophomore year as a defensive linewoman. Paz-Perez has loved contact sports since childhood and was promoted to the varsity squad during her junior year.
“Football has been a great experience,” Paz-Perez says. “It taught me to be tough.”
The linewoman had a season-ending injury in her junior year, a broken wrist that kept her out of pads for the rest of the season.
Aside from being a linewoman, Paz-Perez is also a varsity member of the track and field team and soccer team. Paz-Perez throws the shot put and hopes to continue with track and field in college.
“Sports and lifting inspire me to work harder academically and get me off the screen,” Paz-Perez says.
Sports have been a part of her life since Paz-Perez was a kid. The varsity athlete describes it as a core part of her childhood, with her love of sports imparted by her older brother and family. Paz-Perez was inspired by her older brother who also played football and track.
“I grew up playing sports with my brother, and that’s where my passion started,” Paz-Perez says. “I wanted to follow in his footsteps.”
Paz-Perez started playing soccer at a young age and now fills the role of goalie for Carmel’s varsity team.
“My parents put me into soccer when I was a kid, and I stopped playing for a while,” Paz-Perez says, “but I started again in high school.”
Looking forward, Paz-Perez says she plans to attend Monterey Peninsula College for two years and then hit the transfer portal. At MPC, Paz-Perez hopes to continue lifting and participating in track and field.
“I think I’ll go to MPC and try and throw the other events: discus, shot put and maybe hammer,” Paz-Perez says. “Hopefully after that I’ll transfer.”
After graduation, Paz-Perez would like to be a part of MPC’s strong track and field program.
“I want to keep lifting competitively in college,” Paz-Perez says. “It keeps me working through the day.”
At MPC, Paz-Perez plans to study kinesiology, the study of the body and its movements. For now, Paz-Perez will graduate in June holding the top record in every girls’ weightlifting category at Carmel High.