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Iowa Park ends Kennedale's 15-year run
at Saturday's powerlifting regionals
(03/09/17)

Going into the 2017 high school powerlifting season, Iowa Park Coach Mark Zimmer and his Hawks established a goal to bring Kennedale’s 15-year streak as regional team champs to an end.
Saturday in Iowa Park, Zimmer and his Hawks did just that, beating the Wildcats for the Texas High School Powerlifting Association’s Region 6 Division 2 title, and qualifying four Hawks for the upcoming state meet in Abilene.
Iowa Park totalled 33 points, while Kennedale and Anna tied for second with 25 each.
“It is an awesome feeling when you set a goal and accomplish it,” Zimmer said of the region title. “The work that went into this is incredible. Not one time did anyone complain ... except (Brandon) Brewer,” he joked. “Kennedale has an incredible program. It is special to be the team to end their 15-year run.”
Qualifying for the THSPA State Meet March 25 in Abilene are seniors Ryan Thomas, Dalton Adkins and Dre Gresham, and junior Hunter Bagley.
Asked to provide a thumbnail for each of his Hawk lifters competing at Saturday’s regionals, Zimmer started with his smallest lifters and went down the line, revealing hard-earned nicknames for each as he went:
114s - Dallas Elmore was a new addition to the team this year. “He split time between tennis and powerlifting, which is not a combination you normally see.” Elmore tied for second, but lost on body weight.
123s - Nick Kiser, a three-year lifter for the Hawks. “He is the ‘helper’ of the team. He was always the one there to help wrap, spot, encourage.” Kiser placed fourth at region with his best career total.
132s - Ryan Thomas, a four-year lifter, qualified for his third state meet with a first place finish. “The ‘Cerebral Assasin.’ I have never coached a lifter that understands his body and technique as well as Ryan. When other people watch him lift, they comment on the ‘perfectness’ of his technique. He is also strong. He won the meet going away, setting several regional records.” Thomas won Outstanding Lifter Saturday, beating out a two-time state champion from Kennedale. He will be a favorite at the state meet.
132s - Casey Fung finished seventh. “He quietely had his best meet of the year. He is only a sophomore and has qualified for regionals both years.”
148s - Dalton Adkins won the class, and likely will compete with one other lifter in Abilene for the gold medal. He has qualified four straight years for state in four different weight classes. “Dalton is the ‘Work Horse.’ No one has logged more time in the gym. He lifts competitively year round. He set three regional records, including a 570-pound squat, and a 325-pound bench.”
148s - Talon Hise competed in his second regional meet, placing sixth. “Talon is the ‘Worker Bee’ of the group. He never says much. He just keeps his head down and does his work. Talon has gained tons of strength over the past two years. I admire him for his decision to join the Marines. He will serve and protect to ensure we have the ability to powerlift.”
165s - Dre Gresham, a three-year lifter qualified for his second state meet. “Dre is ‘Mr. Question.’ Hey coach, what do you think about this? Hey coach, what if I tried that?” Gresham tied for first, but lost on body weight. He will have a legitimate chance to medal in Abilene.
181s - Tyler Campbell is a two-year lifter, competing in his second regionals. “He is the ‘Bulldog’ of the team. Tyler was expecting to go to state this year. He made a few mistakes that cost him. More important to me was how he reacted to his mistakes. He had dropped to seventh place after bench. He could have just quit. He battled his tail off in deadlift, and pulled his way back into fourth, which was huge in the team standings.”
220s - Hunter Bagley is a three-year lifter, placing first Saturday in his second regional meet. “Hunter is the ‘Ox’ of the team. Just put it on the bar and he will do it. He has a chance to medal at state.” Bagley squatted 570-pounds, and deadlifted 560, winning the 220s by 50 pounds.
220s - Walynn “Puddin, Smiley” Williams finished seventh. “Walynn was solid all year. He just couldn’t put all three lifts together on the same day.”
242s - Brandon “Mr Positive” Brewer placed eighth. It was his second regional meet.
275s - “Baby Huey” Jeremiah Stanley, a sophomore competing in his first regional meet, placing ninth. “He is going to be a force to be dealt with in the next two years.”