STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
ABILENE — When Llano High School senior Dakoda Trull set a state record for squatting 860 pounds at the Texas High School Power Association state meet March 24, he immediately knew what kind of day was ahead.
“I couldn’t believe it, especially since it was such a big record,” he said.
By the time he finished the deadlift and the bench press, Trull had lifted a combined total of 1,930 pounds to earn the state title in the 275-pound class.
“He had a goal of winning the state championship,” powerlifting coach Clint Easley said, adding Trull focused on that as a sophomore. “His squat was pretty impressive. Not many can do that.”
“It feels fantastic,” Trull said with a smile. “Winning state has always been a big motivator. Having improved all the time, I believed I could do what I needed to do.”
Trull’s bench press of 500 pounds on his first attempt was a new personal best as was the combined total of 1,360 pounds. His deadlift was 570 pounds, but had he not had a tiny rock when he attempted 650 pounds, Trull would have set a meet record for overall weight.
“He made a good effort,” Easley said.
“I wanted the record, but I can’t complain,” Trull said. “I’m still a champion and did something very select people will do.”
Trull has been to the state meet the past four years, so that experience helped.
Easley said Trull’s work ethic and commitment to the sport are illustrated by the number of extra lifts the Jacket gets. The coach noted that he’d find Trull and senior lineman Ray Dixon in the weight room after football practice. Trull was preparing for the powerlifting season, which started in January.
Easley said their coaches enjoyed watching the two get the best out of one another on the football field, as throwers for the track team, and as lifters.
“They spent a lot of time in the weight room together,” he said.
Lifter and coach watched videos of other powerlifters and noted technique, hand placement, and other important elements that separate champions from contenders.
Trull plans to join the powerlifting team at Texas Tech University. Powerlifting is considered a club sport, which means there are no athletic scholarships.
“Now that his high school career is done, we’ll hear about him down the line,” Easley said.