De La Salle’s Anthony Killop is no hulk, but he is an incredible powerlifter

Warren De La Salle senior Anthony Killop competed four years in the Michigan High School Powerlifting Association state finals. He did his best this year, lifting a total of 965 pounds for third place. (Photo provided by Killop family)

WARREN — At a slender 141 pounds on a frame a notch or two below six feet, Anthony Killop is no hulk.

But he is incredible, lifting 965 pounds of barbells, nearly seven times his weight.

The 18-year-old senior from De La Salle Collegiate won a third-place bronze medal March 8 at the Michigan High School Powerlifting Association state meet at North Branch High School.

“Wow!” you may be thinking. Let me clarify: Killop didn’t raise the nearly half-ton in one super-duper effort.

According to powerlifting rules, you add the best total you get from three chances lifting the barbells from three different platforms: the squat, bench press, and dead lift.

Killop’s best in the squat was 375 pounds, bench press 205, and dead lift 385.

That adds up to three wows!

In the squat in which you stand from a crouch with the barbells on your shoulders, Killop started at 355, then added 20 pounds for his second attempt. He failed 385 for his third attempt. “I didn’t have it in me,” he said.

In the bench press, raising the bar laying on your back, Killop made 205 but couldn’t succeed in two tries at 210.

The dead lift requires lifting the bar standing erect with your shoulders back.

Killop did 385. Aware that the second-place opponent was just 10 pounds ahead of him, Kilmer tried 405 unsuccessfully twice for the silver medal spot. (The winning lift of 1,025 wasn’t feasible.)

He was disappointed. “I felt comfortable at 405. I’ve done (heavier) 425 multiple times.” He added: “I had a cold and cough all week. I hadn’t lifted. I rolled my ankle playing basketball, too. It’s no excuse. It’s my fault.”

About how he started lifting, his brothers “kept pushing me ... One day I tried it and fell in love with it. I stopped playing soccer my freshman and sophomore years to commit myself to powerlifting. I worked out on my own with my own workouts. Little by little, I built up.”

His brother Stephen, a 2017 De La Salle grad, placed second in the state finals 180 weight class his senior year, lifting (445-275-475) 1,195. He’s a 215-pound senior linebacker on the Ave Maria University football team, fifth-best with 43 tackles last fall.

Social studies teacher Brent Castine moderates De La Salle’s powerlifting club. He said about a dozen students work out. 

“Anthony has an intrinsic motivation,” he said. “He’s worked hard to achieve what he’s done. He has an amazing work ethic to make it to the state finals four years.”

Killop’s year-by-year progression in the state finals is evidence of his commitment.

As a freshman in the 114 weight class, he lifted 200-120-230=550; as a sophomore at 123 pounds, 255-150-300=550 for second place among junior varsity competitors; on the varsity level, in the 145 class, as a junior, 335-195-375=905 for tenth place.

“I did my best for the last,” Killop said. 

“Last” as in his last-ever competition. “I’m hanging up my lifting belt,” he said. “Everyone has been so supportive. I’ll miss it, but I’ll continue to lift.”

He’ll take a 3.8 GPA to Oakland University in the fall as a business major.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].