An Oro-Medonte woman captured gold for Team Canada at the North American Regional Powerlifting Championships (NAPF) in the Cayman Islands this week.
After finishing in second place at the event last year, Kayla Casey, 35, told OrilliaMatters that she would be back to claim the top spot on the podium and she was true to her word.
“I felt pretty good coming into the event,” she said. “My training had been going really well, I had recently switched powerlifting coaches, and I was feeling fired up.”
The Park Street Collegiate Institute graduate and Rama paramedic says it took countless hours in the gym — and sticking to her nutrition plan — to become a champion.
“Once I was selected for the team three months ago, I started really focusing on my nutrition and putting in the work,” she explained. “I really dialed things in and fine-tuned it in the last six weeks or so.”
On game day for Casey, she says it was invaluable for her to have her new coach, Garrett Bentley, at her side.
“I like to think of myself as a coachable athlete,” she said. “I was going along with what my coach thought was best for me while also listening to my own body as well.”
Casey, competing at 57kg, was slotted into the first session of the competition. She walked onto the platform and squatted 154kg, a new NAPF record.
She also set the record for bench press at 95kg. She finished off with a 170kg deadlift for a total score of 419kg, also a new NAPF record.
“It was pretty exciting,” Casey said. “This is my first-time winning gold. It was surreal.”
Casey is now currently holding the top 57kg Open Female spot in all of Canada.
“It’s super cool,” she said. “I’m super proud of that.”
Now Casey is headed into her off-season where she will work with Bentley on getting even stronger.
“I’m really excited to see what we can do together to build my strength,” she said.
Casey’s goal for her next competition season, which will begin in the spring, is to qualify for the World Powerlifting Championships.