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By Elizabeth Tanner
The Red River Sun
CORPUS CHRISTI – Kaidie Hackler finished 10th in weight class 181 at the Thursday, March 18 Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association State Championship, breaking her personal record in squat with 340 pounds and lifting 825 total pounds.
Only a sophomore at Childress High School, age was the last thing on Hackler’s mind as she geared up for the competition.
“I wouldn’t say it was challenging being one of the younger competitors, but it definitely set me apart from the other girls experience wise,” Hackler said. “Going into the competition, I felt everyone there was on the same level. We were labeled ‘best of the best’ and now we had to compete against each other no matter our age or grade because that didn’t matter.”
However, helping Hackler gain useful experience that
powerlifting Coach Matthew Olson said will benefit her in years to come, being one of the younger competitors at the meet had its perks.
“Kaidie had a terrific year,” Olson said. “She is only a sophomore and accomplished so much this season. It will be fun to see what she can do in the next couple years in powerlifting.”
Putting in countless hours at the gym, Olson said Hackler’s passion is what truly sets her apart from the crowd.
“I’m very proud of her hard work,” Olson said. “She competes with so much passion.”
Athletic Director Jason Sims agrees, stating Hackler’s ability to always gives 100 percent is what continues to propel her to greater heights.
“Good things happen when you go all out,” Sims said, “and Buster is always flat out.”
And flat out she is. Breaking her personal record in squat by 25 pounds, Hackler snagged a 340-pound squat, 185-pound bench press and 300-pound deadlift to secure her 10th place 825-pound total.
“Buster gave everything she has for herself, her coach and her school,” Kevin Hackler, Hackler’s father, said.
As for Hackler herself, she remains thankful for the opportunity.
“Having the opportunity to represent Childress High School and Childress ISD at that high of a level was really an honor,” Hackler said. “I was blessed to be able to represent Childress in this way.”
Crediting everyone who stood behind her on her journey, Hackler said she couldn’t have made it as far as she did without the support of her community and school.
“Childress is special and filled with special people,” Hackler said. “You don’t find many places like this one. It wasn’t just a few people or just a couple of the faculty behind me. It was everyone. Everyone’s encouraging words and their faith in me took me farther in the competition than anything else ever could have.”
Already looking forward to next season’s endless possibilities, Hackler said she will continue to do what she does best – bust the competition.
“I’m proud that everything I worked for and all the time in the gym paid off,” Hackler said. “This is just the beginning of my future athletic career.”