Heavy lifting

Chugiak, AK, Acting Postmaster Mark Eppihimer and Soldotna, AK, Retail Associate Mykaela Rybak

Mykaela Rybak can lift the equivalent of two adults — and she has a medal to prove it.

The Soldotna, AK, retail associate recently competed in Alaska’s powerlifting state championship, placing second in her weight category and third overall in the squat, bench press and deadlift competitions.

Rybak bested her competitors by lifting 270 pounds in the squats, 158 pounds on the bench and 303 pounds in the deadlift.

“I lift amounts I never would believe I would be doing by myself,” she said. “I think I’ve come a long way and continue to improve.”

Rybak was inspired by her mother, who also powerlifts, as well as a co-worker and fellow competitor: Chugiak, AK, Acting Postmaster Mark Eppihimer, who won first place in his division and first place overall.

“Mykaela is an up-and-coming powerlifter with amazing talent and huge potential,” said Eppihimer, who has set previous powerlifting records.

Rybak is just getting started on her weightlifting journey.

“It’s amazing what you can train your body to do,” she said. “That’s why I like powerlifting and continue to do it.”