18-year-old Cary man is among the world's best powerlifters

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Colton Hurley is just a relative pup when it comes to the world of powerlifting. But this pup continues to show serious promise.

"It's taught me a lot about accountability because if you're not doing the work, it's going to show up on the platform. You really have to be the one to motivate yourself," Hurley said.

That discipline is what has helped drive him to the top of his age group in the sport. He enjoys the grind and also thrives on the fact that there's no subjectivity in lifting

"It's clear cut -- cold hard iron," he said.

We first introduced you to Hurley in July 2017, when he was fresh off winning a national championship as a junior.

Now, Hurley is just a month removed from setting an age-group world record -- 602 pounds -- in the squat at a competition in Sweden. He earned four medals for Team USA at the event, a gold in squat, two silvers in the overall and deadlift and a bronze in bench press.

"I'm not very vertically gifted so I can squat a decent amount," he smiled.

Lifting isn't Colton's only talent. The same hands that push hundreds of pounds around, can also tickle the ivories. For him, it's a respite from the sweat and toil of the gym.

"It's just a nice way to do something else where I don't have to take a whiff of ammonia to get psyched up," he said of the piano. "I just sit down and relax and play something."

He also played Gaston in a school production of "Beauty and the Beast" at Green Hope High School.

Hurley will head off to Midland University in Nebraska this fall on a powerlifting scholarship. He'll be surrounded by other top-level lifters and coaches, and he can't wait for the opportunity.

"It will definitely be a wonderful experience ... I'm going to be a part of a team where everyone's working as hard as they can toward a goal," Hurley said. "I'm looking forward to being a part of that."

His ultimate goal as an adult competitor?

"I'd really like to be the best in the world in my weight class and then I can finally rest," he said.
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