Kylberg wins State Championship
Thorndale’s Hayden Kylberg won his “weight” class in gold, as he took top honors at the Texas High School Powerlifting Association (THSPA) state meet on Saturday held at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene.
The junior won first place in the Division 3 198-pould weight class, out lifting the second place finisher boy 45 pounds.
All the lifts for Kylberg on Saturday were not only personal best, but new Thorndale school records as well in that weight class.
The Bulldog squatted 520 pounds, bench pressed 375 pounds and hit a dead lift weight of 530 pounds for a total of 1,425.
Heading into the meet, Kylberg was sitting second in the state standings by 15 pounds to Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco’s Robert Cardenas.
“We knew we had to hit personal records to get more than we did at the regional meet,” Thorndale powerlifting coach Hudson Evans said.
The regional meet on March 11, Kylberg a total of 1, 340 pounds with a squat of 485 pounds, a 355-pound bench press and a dead lift of 500 pounds.
“He did the heavy lifting. I came up with a little of the game plan and he ran with it,” Coach Evans added. “We decided ‘we are hit to win the thing’ so we went ahead and started higher. We put pressure on the other lifters and set the pace to cause lifters have to set amounts higher.”
First lifts in each disciplines tend to not be max out weights, but the Bulldog wanted to set the pace of the completion, Coach Evans said of the lifter’s strategy. Kylberg’s final lift weights from regionals were near his first attempt amounts at state.
In squat, Kylberg was red flagged on the first attempt for a technique deduction, but had a good second lift and then put up 520 pounds on his third lift.
“After squat he was sitting in fourth place and we knew had to make up ground in bench press so started at 350 pounds,” Coach Evans said. Kylberg ended up maxing out at 375 pounds in that discipline. That put the Bulldog up by 10 pounds heading into the dead lift.
Once Kylberg hit 530 pounds in the dead lift, it caused the second place lifter, Cardenas, to set his weights so high that he could not hit enough to surpass Kylberg.
Cardenas actually ended in third place overall with 1,370 pounds. Daniel Sambrano of LaPryor was the silver medalist with 1,380 total pounds lifted.
Coach Evans said seeing Kylberg win gold was icing on the cake to a great season.
“Hayden is a tremendous hard worker and does anything we ask him to do. He epitomizes what it means to be a Thorndale athlete with his hard work and determination,” Coach Evans said.
With the gold medal, Kylberg becomes the first ever state champion for Thorndale in the power lifting program.