2014 Meeting Minutes

by Al Myers

The 2014 Meeting of the USAWA was called to order by USAWA President Denny Habecker at 6:00 PM at the Salvation Army Gym in Macomb, Illinois on June 20th.  Roll call was taken with these USAWA members in attendance: Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Art Montini, Dean Ross, Randy Smith,  Helen Kahn,Tim Piper, Mike Murdock, Dennis Mitchell, Eric Todd, Logan Kressly, and Lance Foster.  Al Myers, USAWA Secretary, read the 2013 minutes in an abbreviated form as they were 5 pages long.  Dean moved to accept the minutes, Randy gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The Treasurer’s report was given next by USAWA Treasurer Al Myers which included a summary which showed a yearly profit for the USAWA over the past year.  The budget which was approved at a prior time by the Executive Board was explained. Dennis moved to accept, Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The special directors reports were next on the agenda.  The Website Director, Al Myers, gave a report on the success of the website over the past year, and how it now contains over 1300 blogs and all the meet results from the past 5 years plus much USAWA historical information.  Randy moved to accept, Tim gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The Awards Director, Al Myers, then gave a report of the USAWA Awards Program.  He explained how the USAWA budget money of $750 is used to buy the yearly awards and the special awards, given on behalf of the USAWA.  Tim moved to accept the report, Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The Official’s report was next on the agenda.  Since the Official’s Director Joe Garcia was not in attendance, and he had not given a report to anyone to give on his behalf in advance, no report was given.  The Drug Enforcement Director’s Report was next.  Chad Ullom, the Drug Enforcement Director, was not in attendance but the report was given by Al Myers who does all the duties for this position anyways.  Al explained that the USAWA does testing at over half the USAWA competitions, and just recently purchased more testing kits.   He stated our drug testing is more extensive now than ever before in the history of the organization. Eric moved to accept the report, with a second by Dean, and it passed unanimously. The next agenda topic was the official appointment of a new Records Director and Postal Meet Director.  Since the last USAWA meeting Records Director Joe Garcia and Postal Meet Director John Wilmot have resigned.  The Executive Board had appointed Al Myers as the Record Director and Denny Habecker as the Postal Meet Director to act in an interim basis for these positions during this past year until official appointments could be made.  Dean moved to appoint Al Myers as the Record Director and Denny Habecker as the Postal Meet Director, with a second given quickly by Randy. There was no discussion.  The motion passed unanimously. Next up was the discussion and vote on two new proposed lifts. The first lift discussed was the Thor’s Hammer, a lift proposed by Thom Van Vleck as an OTSM lift in the USAWA.  The written rule by Thom Van Vleck was read to the group, and discussion ensued. Most seemed confused and dazed by the way the rule was written.  Many questions arose that were not addressed in the written rule as presented.  Most were in agreement that the lift, as verbally described and performed at Thom’s recent OTSM meet, was a very good lift, but the presented written rule had way too much fluff and not enough technical details. It seemed at this point that the lift was going to be rejected on this issue, but Al Myers moved that he would rewrite the rule with specific technical details, and once it met the Executive Boards approval, would be accepted as a new USAWA lift. Dean gave a second, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and it passed unanimously.  Al then moved that prior records set at Thom’s OTSM meet in the Thor’s Hammer be accepted as USAWA records retroactively. Tim gave a second, and it passed with majority vote.  Mike Murdock was the lone no vote, and Randy abstained from voting. The next new lift, the Kennedy Lift proposed by Al Myers, was next presented.  Al read the written rule that he wrote for the Kennedy Lift, that was performed at the Dino Challenge in January as an exhibition lift.  There was no discussion or questions on any aspects of the written rule,  Dean moved to accept it, Eric gave the second, and it passed unanimously.  Eric moved to accept prior records set in the Kennedy Lift at the Dino Challenge, Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The next agenda item was the discussion and vote on rulebook changes.  Al read a list of changes that have been brought up during the prior year, which included: 1. allow knee bend in the shoulder drop, 2. matters of appeal should be presented to the secretary in writing who will then present the issue to the executive board for a vote to be decided by majority, 3. allow the chain to touch the body in the teeth lift but not be supporting the weight, 4.  for the Anderson Squat, rules of the squat apply to bar position on the back, 5. Remove the rulebook wording of allowing rosin as this is often confused with tacky, 6. Add “if a lifter fails at an attempt, the lifter may call for the same weight on the next attempt”.  Discussion centered around the proposed rule change on the shoulder drop. The question was asked who proposed this rule change, and Al responded that it was requested by Thom Van Vleck, which brought laughs from several in the group.   Arguments in favor were given to include the safety issues of having the knees bend.  Since Thom was not in attendance and could not support his argument to the group, Al explained that having the legs straight can make the lift dangerous, as he had witnessed Chad have a near death experience doing the shoulder drop at Thom’s place  with straight legs. Al then mentioned that this whole Chad catastrophe was filmed and is now on YouTube.   Arguments against included causing a deviation away from the written IAWA(UK) rule which also requires straight legs. Denny moved to accept all the proposed changes, with the exception of the shoulder drop change which would be presented to the IAWA Technical Committee to be discussed and voted on.  Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The last agenda item was asking for bids for the 2015 USAWA Nationals.  Denny stated that York Barbell has expressed an interest of us hosting a meet there  next year in conjunction with their strength extravaganza.  Denny had presented this to the EB prior and had full support on this bid.  Al moved to accept this bid, with Denny acting as the meet director.  Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  At this point our allotted time was done in the meeting room.  Dennis moved that the meeting be adjourned, Dean gave a second, and it passed unanimously.   The meeting ended at 7:00 PM.

National Championships

by Thom Van Vleck

Group picture from the 2014 USAWA National Championships

I attended and was the head judge recently at the USAWA National Championships in Macomb, Illinois. Tim Piper was the meet director and set up a large tent by the Salvation Army Gym. As you recall, the Salvation Army Gym is in the basement of the local Salvation Army and was the victim of a terrible flood that did a lot of damage. USAWA members helped contribute money that was used to restore the gym back to it’s former glory. It was a TON of work that Tim and his family and friends put a lot of sweat equity into as well as there was no insurance that covered this. I’ll be honest, the work was so good I may not even noticed had I not known what happened. They have some pictures of the flooding and a mark on the wall about 2ft high. One of the details that amazed me was they took water damaged photos, scanned them, and reprinted them! What a great job and lots of work that shows a lot of passion regarding the importance of the gym and what it provides the local community.

As I arrived I was concerned as there was a strong possibility of thunderstorms! Having the meet outside allowed for plenty of room but you always run the risk of weather with an outdoor meet. A little rain wouldn’t have stopped us….but a stronger win might have! However, the weather missed us and other than a few drops of rain it was a great day to have an outdoor meet! Al Myers pulled double duty as the emcee and running the scoring table. That’s pretty hard to do but Al made it look easy and was on the ball all day keeping the lifters in line and the meet going smoothly. This allowed Tim the chance to lift and I think he greatly appreciated that.

I was put in the head judges chair and Mike Murdock was my wing man. Eric Todd and Dennis Habecker swapped out on the other side. It makes it easy to I know I made a couple of minor mistakes but none impacted the outcome of the lift. Funny how you can do something perfectly a hundred times and you remember the mistakes. I redlighted a push press for coming up out of the feet on the floor using the old rules for the push press even though I KNEW the changes (old habits die hard) but the lifter still got 2 whites. Nobody slashed my tires so I think everyone was pretty happy with the officiating.

Overall best lifter Chad Ullom gets set to do a big Zercher Lift!

Tim had a crew of loaders that did a fantastic job all day. I often spend a lot of time double checking loads as the head judge and only once did I catch a mistake. It wasn’t even a mistake about weight, but on one side they had a 20kg weight and on the other two 10kg plates. Same weight but different combination. So I was very impressed…not a single misload all day! They also cheered on the lifters which was a big plus for a meet atmosphere. Tim’s daughter took care of the shirts and drinks and was a shining presence all day long!

It is really fun to have a front seat for the lifting. I got to see some great lifts and records broken. I particularly enjoy it when a lifter comes back and makes a weight he or she missed previously. Sometimes it’s not how much was lifted but seeing someone push their limits and overcome their own doubts to bring out their best. I would rather see someone gut out a tough personal best than someone stronger effortlessly make a lift and being satisfied with what they lifted as it won the event rather than going for more.

Tim had great meet shirts and provided drinks for those working the meet. He also had Pizza for lunch. We had short breaks between lifts and the lifters could go inside and cool off in the air conditioning and re-hydrate. Later was the banquet at Dawn Piper’s Free Range Yoga gym. At one point, myself, Tedd Van Vleck, and Randy Smith put on a juggling exhibition (isn’t it like guys to find something and turn it into a competition). There was great fried chicken, breaded fish, and sides. Dawn had made cheesecake dessert…..I had to let the belt out a notch after that!

Thom and Randy showing their skills at tandem juggling!

Then came the surprise of the evening! I had heard we would have entertainment and I wondered if Dawn would put on a Yoga demo as I know she’s incredible at it. Instead we were treated to belly dancing! That’s right, belly dancing. Dawn and another friend teach it and the perform regularly at Ren fairs and other venues. It was great fun and they were very good. Luckily, none of the members tried to match their moves….that could have been ugly!

As always, the best part of all was the camaraderie. Telling stories, laughing, hanging out…..great fun! That’s the real reason I go. I always come back refreshed and motivated to get back in the gym. I find the lifts and lifters inspiring….each one in their own way. From Art Montini still getting it done at age 86 to seeing 16 year old Logan Kressly out there putting his ego on the line. Not many 16 year old’s would have the guts to do that.

We may be a small organization and I know some might pick on our attendance…..but really…I would say we HAVE MORE FUN than any other larger group! While I hope we can grow and all that I’m still happy to be a part of the USAWA.

MEET RESULTS:

2014 USAWA National Championships
June 21st, 2014
Salvation Army Gym
Macomb, Illinois

Meet Director: Tim Piper

Meet Announcer: Al Myers

Meet Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Meet Photographer: Tedd Van Vleck

Courtesy Table: Whitney Piper

Meet Officials: Thom Van Vleck (head official), Mike Murdock, Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell, Eric Todd

Loaders: Justin, John, Paul, and Aaron

Lifts: Crucifix, Snatch – One Arm, Clean and Push Press, Jefferson Lift – Fulton Bar, Curl – Cheat, Zercher Lift

MENS DIVISION

Lifter Age BWT CR SN C&P Jeff Curl Zer TOT PTS
Chad Ullom 42 253 45.5 71 R 120 230 100 170 737 598.2
Randy Smith 59 195 36.3 40 R 70 155 80 137.5 519 564.1
Eric    Todd 39 257 45.5 57.5 R 115 200 92.5 170 681 532.5
Tim Piper 44 197 36.3 50 R 90 155 75 130 536 506.7
Logan Kressly 16 172 27.2 35 R 60 160 60 115 457 490.5
Denny Habecker 71 194 27.2 30 R 65 115 52.5 90 380 454.7
Dean Ross 71 269 22.7 25 R 40 130 40 100 358 361.1
Art Montini 86 175 13.6 7.5 R 30 85 30 70 236 334.4
Dennis Mitchell 82 152 9.1 10 L 20 80 30 60 209 315.7
Lance Foster 48 325 18.1 30 R 75 150 70 0 343 261.5

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORDS

Tim Piper:  Crucifix 40.8
Denny Habecker: Snatch-One Arm R 36
Logan Kressly:  Clean and Push Press 65

Notes:   BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All lifts recorded in kilograms.  R and L designate right and left.  TOT is total kilos lifted.  PTS is adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight allowances.

BEST LIFTER AWARDS

Best Junior Lifter: Logan Kressly
Best Senior Lifter: Eric Todd
Best Master Lifter 40-44: Chad Ullom
Best Master Lifter 45-49: Lance Foster
Best Master Lifter 55-59: Randy Smith
Best Master Lifter 70-74: Denny Habecker
Best Master Lifter 80-84: Dennis Mitchell
Best Master Lifter 85-89: Art Montini
Overall Master Lifter: Chad Ullom
Overall Best Lifter: Chad Ullom
Best Club: Dino Gym (Chad Ullom & Dean Ross)
Best Club Runner Up: KC Strongman (Eric Todd & Lance Foster)