Lindale High School senior power lifters Ryan Taylor, 17, and Tyler Segrest, 18, are the top seeds in their weight divisions, 181, and 275 respectively. They are two of seven Lindale lifters qualifying for Saturday's regional meet and vying for a spot at the state meet in May.
Segrest joined the team his freshman year. As a member of the football team, he knew that power lifting would help him become an all-around better and stronger athlete. In February he signed to play football at Tyler Junior College next year.
He competed in the state meet last season, but earning a fourth place score he missed a spot on the podium.
"This weight room is my home," Segrest said. "This is where I get bigger. This is where I get stronger and compete my butt off to defeat my opponents."
Power lifting is comprised of three types of lifts: squat, bench press and dead lift. Each athlete has three attempts at each of the lifts. The scores are determined by combining the highest weights each athlete successfully lifts in each lift.
Lindale's Joe Ryzman has coached power lifting for 26 years and has served as the regional power lifting director for the area for seven years. This season the high school is hosting two regional meets, including the 5-6A Region III Division I boys meet where the Lindale team will face opponents such as John Tyler, Robert E. Lee, Longview and Lufkin. The meet will be held Saturday at the Lindale High School Gymnasium. Lifting begins at 9 a.m.
The state power lifting meet will be held May 2 in Abilene.
Ryan Taylor is also working toward his goal of competing in Abilene. He enjoys competing at meets, putting in as much time in the weight room as he can. Taylor will play football for Southeastern Oklahoma State next fall.
"My favorite thing about being on the team is spending time with the other power lifters and knowing everyone has the same goal to get big and strong," Taylor said. "We go out and compete as a team and bring back medals. We represent Lindale in a good way."