Cove junior Tyler Morrow wins state powerlifting championship
By TJ MAXWELL
ABILENE – It’s time to update the annals of Copperas Cove sports history as a new state champion will need to be added to the list.
Copperas Cove junior Tyler Morrow lifted his way to a state title and brought a gold medal home to Copperas Cove after lifting a combined 1,010 pounds to beat out Brownsville Lopez senior Erick Estrella by five pounds in the 114-pound to bring home the state title at the Texas High School Powerlifting Association Division I Boys’ State Meet held at the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene.
“It’s weird,” Morrow said about being a state champion. “All this hard work I’ve been putting in for so long, and to finally become a state champion is a weird feeling. I mean, it feels good, but it’s still kind of hard to believe at the same time. It’s good though.”
Estrella beat out Morrow in the squat with 415 lbs. to Morrow’s 380 lbs. Morrow, however, outlifted Estrella 215 lbs. to 205 lbs. in the bench press and 415 lbs. to 385 lbs. in the deadlift to secure the title.
Morrow was coming off a record-breaking performance at the Region II Division I meet where he set a new meet record for the deadlift at 455 lbs. and total weight for the 1,025 lbs.
“At regionals, I took home the deadlift record and the total record,” said Morrow. “At state, I attempted the state record, but I was unable to get it. We’ll get it next year though.”
Los Fresnos’ Rudy Garay currently holds the record with 1,190 lbs. set in 2011 and holds the record for squat (550), and bench press (275). Eric Torres of Weslaco East set the deadlift record of 465 lbs. in 2009.
Morrow has been lifting since seventh grade but can thank an unsuccessful bid for the basketball team in high school for making him a state champion.
“I started lifting weights in seventh grade and I started powerlifting in eighth grade,” he said. “In high school, I started lifting more because I didn’t make the basketball team, so I decided to do powerlifting. I was really good at it, so I just kept doing it.”
Morrow started realizing his chances as a state title early in the season and began to slowly improve his numbers before his record-setting performance at regionals highlighted his season.
“I think it was after the second meet,” said Morrow. “I was seeing everybody else’s numbers coming in and they weren’t beating mine, so I started thinking I have a chance to take it home this year.”
Morrow opened the season with a combined 915 lbs. (315, 185, 415) at the Belton Tiger Dual before combining for 865 lbs. (315, 195, 355) at the temple Duel held in Copperas Cove. He competed in the 123 lb. division as he weighed in at 114.8. He combined for 920 lbs. (315, 200, 405), but the results were dropped.
That set up the record-breaking regional meet where he hit his personal best 1,025 lbs. before the state title two weeks ago.
Morrow’s senior teammate Thomas Holman also earned himself a trip to the state tournament in the Super Heavyweight Division where he finished seventh with a combined weight of 1,605. He lifted 630 lbs. in the squat, 420 lbs. in the bench press, and 555 lbs. in the deadlift.
Tyler Legacy’s KahLil Montague won the division with a total weight of 1,885 lbs. (750, 585, 550).
Morrow feels like next year he’ll even be better after the COVID pandemic truncated his offseason this year.
“I’m going to keep working this offseason, keep my mindset right and not be lazy,” he said. “To be honest, I was lazy last season because the season got cancelled due to COVID. I should have been better this year.
“As long as I stay committed, dedicated and consistent, I should be ready for next season. Hopefully, I will break some of those records that I attempted this year and hopefully I will have those records fort years to come.”