Shelby Stricklin puts Kelly Walsh powerlifting on the map

Published: Apr. 16, 2022 at 8:42 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Shelby Stricklin is a sophomore at Kelly Walsh High School. Her fellow Trojans may not know it, but they are walking the halls with one of the United States’ best young powerlifters.

“Shelby’s one of those special kids that she does everything the right way,” said Bart Stricklin, Kelly Walsh’s powerlifting coach and Shelby’s dad, during an interview last week. “Whether it’s powerlifting, or volleyball, or going to her job, or just being a great student. She does the right thing all the time. It’s just a joy to be around somebody who is consistent in their life and how they hold themselves and treat others.”

Stricklin plays volleyball and powerlifts for Kelly Walsh. She was introduced to powerlifting by her dad and started her own powerlifting journey when she was eight years old.

“I liked it ever since,” said the younger Stricklin with a smile inside the Kelly Walsh weight room.

Since that introduction to the sport, Stricklin has made a name for herself in the powerlifting world. She holds numerous Wyoming state records, 16 American records and six national championships.

When Stricklin arrives at the national competitions, she’s usually a cool customer and said any nerves dissipate when she starts lifting. Her dad and coach can’t say the same.

“[Shelby’s] very even-keeled and just kind of goes about. She’ll hit a big [personal record] and just walk off the platform like it’s nothing, and I’m screaming and yelling, so I’m a lot more emotional than she is,” said the elder Stricklin.

She added the sixth national title in late March at the USA Powerlifting High School Nationals in Lombard, Illinois. She stood atop the podium for the JV 60kg Weight Class.

“Just thinking about being a national champion is a lot of motivation,” said Stricklin about why she loves to compete in powerlifting. She also said she enjoys getting stronger and loves lifting.

It’s not just about the titles, according to the sophomore Trojan. The feeling that comes with being crowned a national champion is also exhilarating for her.

“Standing on the podium just thinking about everybody else that I have out-lifted is always really cool.”

“I think it’s a testament to her work ethic and to all the reps and all the work she’s put in the weight room because to achieve that level to be the best lifter in the country is something pretty remarkable,” said Shelby’s father about what it means to see his daughter succeed on a national stage.

“For her to come away with that national championship and to be able to execute that, it’s a very proud dad moment because I’ve seen the work she puts into it and for her to be able to accomplish her goals is amazing.”

Shelby’s journey through powerlifting has also allowed for a special father-daughter bond.

“Just that time that we’ve had one-on-one together is just amazing. In a couple [of] short years, it’s gonna be hard to let that go,” said Bart about what the journey has been like watching his daughter succeed at a sport he introduced to her.

The connection between the two is not lost on the teenager either.

“He’s been there since day one and always helping me get through mental blocks and anything I need I can always talk to him.”

Shelby and the rest of the Trojan powerlifters will be competing at the 2022 Wyoming Open at Kelly Walsh High School on April 30.

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