by Thom Van Vleck
The “new” Old Time Strongman format took another step forward with a Championship hosted by the Jackson Weightlifting Club on October 16th, 2011. Ten lifters showed for this inaugural event which I plan on making an annual meet on the same weekend as the Scottish Highland Games I host. My hope is that each will help promote the other. This year I had three throwers stick around and lift the second day.
We started in the JWC Training Hall with the Anderson Squat. This lift was done from a starting position 2/3 of the lifters height or less. The challenge was starting a squat from the bottom position. I have a very large dry erase board which served as our scoreboard making it easy for lifters to see where their competition was at. That paid off for John O’Brien after Al Myers hit what most of us thought would be the biggest squat of the meet with 760lbs. But John had the last lift and called for 765 and made it with power to spare. Honestly, I think both men could have went over 800lbs had they gauged their attempts better, but being a brand new lift a lack of experience showed for everyone. I cannot recall a single miss in this lift, which shows everyone had more in the tank!
The second event was the Anderson Press. The bar had to be set no higher than your height. Eric Todd and Chris Anderson both topped out over 300lbs with Eric hitting a meet best of 350lbs. It is interesting to note that you would see lifters make a lift easily, then make a slight increase, like 20lbs, only to find the bar seemed to be superglued to the rack!
The third event was the Dumbbell Shoulder. In this event you could lift the dumbbell to the shoulder in any way you wanted. This included using both hands, hooking it on the belt along the way, and rolling it up your chest! It was fun to watch guys getting creative. At one point, as Chris Anderson muscled up 300lbs for the top lift in this event, Al Myers said, “It looks like you were wrestling a bear”! Joe Costello ran out of attempts and before the dumbbell was unloaded he walked over and shouldered the 300lbs! Joe was heard to say, “Next time…..”. I’m sure this event will be in the future of Old Time Strongman and Joe will get that lift officially…and more!
The last event of the day was the only lift that had been contested before. This event was the Dinnie Lift. Two vertical bars set at the same height and loaded in offsetting weights the same percentage as the real Dinnie Stones. In other words, one had to be loaded no more than 70% of the weight of the other. We had a four way tie for the top lift in this event with Al Myers, Joe Costello, Chris Anderson, and Eric Todd all pulling 705lbs. An interesting problem led to this….that’s all we could fit on the bar with the weights present in the gym! The JWC has a lot of weights, but many of them are old school “deep dish” York and Jackson plates. These did not allow the bars loaded over the 705lb mark. We were even loading smaller plates in the space between the deep dish plates! This may have had an effect on the outcome as Eric Todd had one attempt left but no way to load the bar any higher. Here is why.
After the age and weight formulas were applied, Al Myers was the victor for overall best lifter honors. However, Eric Todd was a close second. What if Eric would have had his last attempt? I feel badly about that, but then again, Al might have hung with him as it was apparent both had more left. Interestingly, Joe Costello edged out John O’Brien in a close race for 3rd place. John lifted more weight, but Joe was lighter by nearly 40lbs and the difference paid of for him. Fifth went to Chris Anderson as he avenged his loss to me at the NAHA nationals. Chris is only 23 years old and he is sure to only improve. I was 6th followed by Rudy Bletscher, Dean Ross, Mike Murdock, and Lance Foster.
Rudy, Dean, and Mike have competed many times and this event was like the rest. These guys push each other hard and yet the the obviously have nothing but respect for one another. Rudy came out on top in what might have been a late birthday present since he turned 76 the day before. They are very evenly matched and that makes for some good competition.
I thought the meet went well other than the loading situation on the Dinnie Lift. I will have to get some thinner plates if we contest that event again because I’m going to host the event next year! The Awards were my “trademark” anvils and the meet shirts were the latest version of the JWC gym shirt. I really appreciated how the lifters helped clean up and put the weights away after the meet. You could not ask for a greater group of guys. Friendships forged in iron!
USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships
October 16th, 2011
JWC Training Hall
Meet Director: Thom Van Vleck
Officials (1 official system used): Al Myers, Thom Van Vleck, Mike Murdock, Eric Todd
Loader: Mitch Ridout
Lifts: Anderson Squat, Anderson Press, Dumbbell Shoulder, Dinnie Lift
Al Myers – Age 45, BWT 253#, 115 KG Class & Masters 45-49 Age Group
Rudy Bletscher – Age 76, BWT 213#, 100 KG Class & Masters 75-79 Age Group
Joe Costello – Age 36, BWT 253#, 115 KG Class & 20-39 Age Group
Dean Ross – Age 68, BWT 283#, 125+ KG Class & Masters 65-69 Age Group
Mike Murdock – Age 71, BWT 234#, 110 KG Class & Masters 70-74 Age Group
Lance Foster – Age 45, BWT 318#, 125+ KG Class & Masters 45-49 Age Group
Chris Anderson – Age 23, BWT 287#, 125+ KG Class & 20-39 Age Group
Eric Todd – Age 36, BWT 250#, 115 KG Class & 20-39 Age Group
Thom Van Vleck – Age 47, BWT 299#, 125+ KG Class & Masters 45-49 Age Group
John O’Brien – Age 42, BWT 291#, 125+ KG Class & Masters 40-44 Age Group
NOTES: All results listed in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Lynch is points adjusted for bodyweight. Points are overall points adjusted for bodyweight and age.
BEST LIFTER AWARDS
Best Lifter Overall - Al Myers
Best Lifter 20-39 Age Group – Eric Todd
Best Lifter 40-44 Age Group – John O’Brien
Best Lifter 45-49 Age Group – Al Myers
Best Lifter 65-69 Age Group – Dean Ross
Best Lifter 70-74 Age Group – Mike Murdock
Best Lifter 75-79 Age Group – Rudy Bletscher