Campus and Community

Top High School Powerlifter Chooses UHD

powerlifting After more than a year of recruiting, University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) Powerlifting Coach John Hudson traveled to Palacios High School to ink a Letter of Intent with Jesus Rios on Monday, May 23.

Rios, who is the third Powerliftinghigh.com five-star recruit to choose UHD in the past three years, was also vigorously recruited by larger programs in Texas and Louisiana. His decision to commit to UHD reflects positively on Coach Hudson’s program, as well as UHD in general. Rios said, “I wanted to lift at a place that would feel like family.”

Rios was attracted to the UHD small class sizes, the powerlifting team’s family atmosphere, and Coach Hudson’s impressive record as a competitor and coach. More importantly, Rios appreciated Coach Hudson’s willingness to answer questions and provide advice. For Coach Hudson, this kind of responsiveness should be standard procedure for anyone working at UHD.

“We’re all in the business of student success and I believe in recruiting; whether a question or call is from a graduating senior or from an incoming freshman like Rios, it’s important to honor their trust and  do our very best to answer questions and help solve problems,” said Hudson.

Hudson added, “Assuring students and prospective students that they are special to us can be the difference between a student remaining at UHD or transferring somewhere else.”

Rios will be the first recipient of the George Demitrios Spanos Jr. Powerlifting Award, a new scholarship sponsored by Hudson’s family foundation to honor the memory of his late stepfather, George Spanos of Petoskey, Michigan.

Rios has won back-to-back Texas State Powerlifting Titles in the 114 weight class as well as one State Runner-up finish, and ended his senior powerlifting season ranked by Powerliftinghigh.com as the #10 high school lifter in the nation for all weight classes. With a squat of over 400 pounds, a bench press just shy of 300, and a deadlift approaching 500, Rios is a force to be reckoned with at 114 pounds (116 pounds in the Collegiate ranks).

IMG_1198-1