GALION — For just a hobby, Kylie Redmen’s power lifting resume is quite impressive.
In the past month, she set an American high school bench press record of 165.35 pounds at the NASA Drug Free Nationals power lifting tournament in Springfield, Ohio.
Kylie, 17, who will be a senior in the fall at Galion High School, weighs just 150 pounds.
On top of that, Kylie dead-lifted 281 pounds. And that weight, combined with her bench press, set an American record in the combined push/pull event.
Not bad for an athlete who puts maybe 2 hours of serious training into that part of her fitness regiment each week.
“I really like it. But it is more of a hobby,” she said.
But 17 years ago, a power-lifting daughter was the last thing on the minds of her parents, Todd and Gina Redman.
Kylie was born with a hole in her heart. She had open heart surgery at three months to fix that hole.
“When you see her with her chest put back together … well, it’s pretty impressive where she is now,” Todd said.
Kylie has no recollection of the surgery, but she does have the scars to remind her that something pretty serious happened when she was just a newborn.
“But it’s not something I really think about,” she said.
The records she set are with the the Natural Athlete Strength Association. It was formed in 1990 and sanctions drug free powerlifting: bench press, push/pull and other power type events. Members receive random drug tests to insure these are “clean” events.
Power lifting is not a state-sanctioned high school sport. It’s a club activity. Although there is plenty of weight-lifting going on in Galion with football, track and other teams, there is not a power-lifting team.
In that regard, Kylie is on her own.
She follows her own routine, with the help of some of her friends.
Kylie has taken part in power lifting events at Northmor and Bucyrus High Schools. The state high school meet is in Kenton, and Kylie has participated in that, as well as the Springfield event.
Power lifting events are growing in popularity and can last for hours.
“It’s a pretty long day, for less than 10 minutes worth of lifting,” Todd said.
It’s not a coincidence Kylie got into weights. Her dad, a Wynford High School graduate, has been weight-lifting and body-building since before Kylie was born.
“I’ve just been around the weights forever,” Kyle said. “I liked it. I’m not into the body building. But the power lifting, it’s something I’m pretty good at.”
“We have a weight room in our basement,” Todd said. “Kylie and our other daughter were around it all the time. They just picked it up. But Kylie, in the past couple years, really got serious about it.”
It happened in middle school. She got into the power lifting. Then, in her freshman year, she had knee surgery, which kept her from the endurance and cardiovascular training she had done. So, she concentrated on weight lifting.
She said one of her strengths is her ability to motivate herself. She used her knee as a motivator. And when someone else suggested she shouldn’t be involved in powerlifting, she took that as a personal attack and used it to motivate her.
Kylie is also a sprinter on the high school track team. And that is her No. 1 sport.
Last season, the Tigers’ 4×100 relay team didn’t quite make it to the state meet. She wants to stand on the podium at Jesse Owens Stadium in Columbus.
“That’s the endgame,” Todd said. “That’s the most important thing to her, and that’s her greatest focus.”
Kylie’s weight-training routine is altered a bit during track season. And Kylie spends much of her time lifting with boys and men, who are better spotters for the heavier weights she lifts.
“She surprises me with her workouts,” Todd said.
For her own part, Kylie’s biggest strength isn’t her shoulders, her back, her legs, her chest and her arms. It’s her determination.
“It’s like this,” she said of her dead lift style. “If I can get it off the floor, it’s coming up,”
Kylie has made a name for her self among those in her sport. A woman able to left her own body weight is far from the norm. But Kylie has far surpassed that milestone.
And she and her dad hope there are a lot more milestones in her future.
Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at [email protected]