Gold Cup

by Steve Gardner

James Gardner won the overall Gold Cup Award, the Prechtel Memorial Award, with this amazing lift in the Shoulder Drop of 92.5 kilograms!

The Gold Cup took place at the Burton Powerhouse All Round Weightlifting Academy in Burton on Trent on Saturday 25th October. In short…it was a fantastic day! We had 56 lifters entered for the day, the biggest turnout in IAWA’s 28 year history for an International event, with 6 Nations represented (Unfortunately Kim and Graham Alway had to leave before the event started due to a death in the family and our deepest sympathy goes out to them) but it was still a massive event.

I was so proud to be there on the day with so many great people and to witness them performing so many outstanding lifts. Thanks to all the overseas lifters who brought the International Flare. Every lifter brought new energy to the platform and we saw about 50 different lifts performed to exceptional standard, I wish I could mention them all in this report but there are just too many.  There were several records on the day that were the ‘heaviest ever performed’ in IAWA. I know big Mark Haydock had two….one in the 2 Inch Bar Deadlift and one in the Alternate Grip Clean and Press. James Gardner also with a massive 92.5 kilos in the Shoulder Drop, and Neil Keddy too with the French Press I think. James’s lift earned him the ‘Howard Prechtel Memorial Award’ which was presented to him by last years winner  Al Myers’ and Neil Keddys exceptional 60k French Press saw him in the Runners Up spot. The lifting was just ‘Outstanding’ and Frank Ciavattone hit big numbers in the Ciavattone Deadlift. It was great for me to see my 8 year old Grandson Dominic perform a lift to earn a Gold Cup, and my heart melted when I heard he asked his Mum if the cups were real Gold. So proud to have lifted on the same platform as my Wife, and my two Sons: John and James and also my Grandson..three generations! I am so very pleased with the tremendous help from my team members at our Burton Club as they helped load all the lifts for the other loaders. Everyone helped everyone else, and that is what enabled us to get through at least 275 record attempts. The final showdown between Al Myers and his Dad Laverne brought the house down as they went head to head in the struggle for supremacy in the One Hand 2 inch Dumbbell Deadlift, Laverne winning out over Al in the finish. It was most refreshing to have 12 female competitors really leading the way for the Ladies..well done girls, and 8 Junior lifters as well, from young Dominic at 8 yrs, Elena De La Mata at 9yrs through to Matt Jones at 18yrs and Maddie Ell at 19 yrs, well done young ones you are the future of our sport. Our Masters division was really well represented too with 78 yrs old Gerry Davidson our most Senior lifter on the day.

Steve Gardner (right) was presented this new gym sign by IAWA President Al Myers (left) for all his hard work in promoting the IAWA Gold Cup on behalf of the IAWA membership.

It was just so great to have so many people from the IAWA family with me, and the evening Dinner and Presentation was also tremendous. As well as the Gold Cup presentation, I was knocked out by the super present given to me by Al Myers..the stunning Gym sign to hang in the Burton Powerhouse, thanks again big Al. And then later in the evening, well how could anyone forget Nick Swain and his mate Ben performing as ‘ The King Elvis’s..Lol! Just Priceless.Thanks again to everyone, and I mean everyone who helped me to make the day a great success…..Long Live IAWA!

MEET RESULTS:

2014 IAWA Gold Cup
Burton Powerhouse Gym
Burton, England
October 25th, 2014

Meet Promoter:  Steve Gardner

Announcer: Steve Gardner

Recorder: Judy Habecker

Record Keeper: Chris Bass

Loaders: All members from Powerhouse Gym

Officials:  Several IAWA Officials in attendance

Results (PDF) – Gold Cup 2014 Results

Frank Ciavattone – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

Frank Ciavattone (right) receiving the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit from IAWA President Al Myers.

The “second Frank” that was awarded the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit at the 2014 IAWA World Championships went to Frank Ciavattone. It was a great honor to me to be the one  that got to  make this presentation – as I’ve always looked up to Frank and have considered him a role model.  Below is my presentation speech, for those that were not there to here it firsthand.

I’m honored to be the one that gets to award the IAWA Award of Merit to Frank Ciavattone. This Presidential Award has only been given out a few times, as it represents recognition of the highest form in the IAWA. I could go on forever about Franks lifting accomplishments in the IAWA. As I was doing preparation for this presentation, I realized that Frank has won so many titles and has set so many records and has so many lifting accomplishments that this speech could get very long on me if I wasn’t careful. I’m not going to make Frank stand up here that long – so I’ll just hit a few highlights of his IAWA lifting career. I’ll try to keep this speech as short as I can here.

• Started training in 1971 under coach Joe Mills of the Central Fall Weightlifting Club
• Began involvement in the IAWA in 1988
• IAWA World Championship Meet Promoter 1993, 2000, 2014
• IAWA Gold Cup Meet Promoter 2010
• Holds MANY IAWA World Records
• First US lifter to lift the Dinnie Stones barehanded in 1995
• Won 20 IAWA World Championship titles
• Founder of Franks Barbell Club, and has mentored and coached many new lifters
• Best lifts: One Arm Hack 402.5#, One Arm Deadlift 562.2#, One Arm Ciavattone DL 331#, Neck Lift 808#,Hand and Thigh 1610#, Hip Lift 2515#
• Lifted overseas 7 times – in 6 IAWA World Championships and the Millennium Gold Cup

I’m sure I’ve left off many of Frank’s accomplishments within the IAWA in this short list – but you get the idea here – he has been a major contributor to the IAWA during the entire span of the history of the IAWA. I would like to say a few words about why Frank REALLY deserves this honor. I made this comment in Frank’s USAWA Hall of Fame writeup, and I would like to repeat it here as I think it sums up Frank Ciavattone – “Frank is the ultimate sportsman by demonstrating that a big man can be very strong without the use of drugs, showing that strength comes from within, and displays the unselfish attitude of always helping out his fellow competitors.”

When I first became involved in this great sport of all round weightlifting , I immediately took notice of Frank. We both shared being in the heavier weight classes together. But instead of becoming heated opponents, Frank encouraged me in ways I wasn’t expecting. My involvement in IAWA might not have matured like it has if not for Frank Ciavattone. He has been an inspiration to me, as well as many others, to become more involved in IAWA. Frank has always strived to “give back” to our sport more than he has taken. We would not be here this weekend if not for Frank.

Frank – I consider you a great friend. You are more than deserving of this Presidential Award of Merit and it is my privilege to be the one to get the opportunity to present this award to you. Thank you for all you’ve done for our sport.

Frank Allen – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

Frank Allen (right) receiving the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit from Steve Gardner (center) and IAWA President Al Myers (left).

It was a very exciting last weekend in Boston.  One of the most important aspects of the weekend was the presentation of the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit.  This the IAWA version of the “Hall of Fame”, and only goes to individuals that are extremely worthy.  Only a handful have been presented this prestigious award, and this weekend included the presentation of the Merit Award to two outstanding men.

To earn this award, a person must not only have shown outstanding accomplishments in performance in All Round Weightlifting in IAWA events, but have been a major contributor in other aspects as well – such as event promotions, leadership responsibilities within the organization,  and be of outstanding character.

It was an honor to be part of the induction ceremony honoring the great Frank Allen. Steve Gardner gave a very eloquent speech highlighting Frank’s illustrious career in IAWA.  Frank was an original member of IAWA, and was the promoter of the VERY FIRST IAWA World Championships in 1988.  He has attended practically every Worlds and Gold Cup through the years.  Congrats Frank!

Team Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2014 USAWA Team Championships (left to right): LaVerne Myers, Al Myers, Chad Ullom, and Dean Ross.

I started promoting the USAWA Team Championships in 2007, so this year makes it the 8th year! I remember thinking this would become a popular meet amongst the lifters because it gave a different element to lifting than other meets -that being you lifted “on the bar” with a team mate! Well, in these 8 years it has not seemed to grow as I imagined back then, but none the less, always gives an entertaining day of lifting.  This year Chad and I again competed to “defend our title” from last year, and were challenged by the Dino Gym elders LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross.  These two team up well in size and lifting ability, plus have “been around the block a time or two” so they know how to play dirty.  I knew they would give us a good fight.  That was true.  Dean employed various means of chemical warfare against us, while LaVerne used mental persuasion to get us to swap out a lift for another to give them a competitive advantage.  When Chad and I was still dizzy from the nerve gas that Dean imposed upon us, we agreed to this request of LaVerne’s without contention.  Their teamwork was in full force before the meet even started!

So the Clean and Jerk with the Fulton Bar AND the Jefferson Lift was replaced by the Deadlift with the Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip.  And as it turned out – the meet came down to this last lift.  LaVerne and Dean pulled together an outstanding lift of 551 pounds!  I knew with their added age allowance this was going to make us really push ourselves.   But thankfully, my partner didn’t let me down and Chad and I pulled a PR of 672# for the win and a new Dino Gym Record (breaking our previous record of 640#).

This may have been a small meet, but we had a lot of fun in the gym today.  The meet even got over quick so the meet report/results is being posted on the same day as the meet.  That might be a first!

MEET RESULTS:

2014 USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
August 24th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials (1 official system used): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, LaVerne Myers

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Curl – Cheat, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Lifters:

Dino Gym 1
Dean Ross – 71 years old, 267 pounds
LaVerne Myers – 71 years old, 247 pounds

Dino Gym 2
Al Myers – 48 years old, 236 pounds
Chad Ullom – 42 years old, 253 pounds

TEAM C&J-1 Curl DL-FB,CG TOTAL POINTS
Dino Gym 2 105 165 305 575 467.1
Dino Gym 1 40 105 250 395 400.2

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in kilograms.  TOTAL is total kilograms lifted.  Points are adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2014 USAWA Presidential Cup (left to right): Art Montini, Al Myers, Denny Habecker

Denny Habecker,  our USAWA President, hosted the USAWA Presidential Cup this past weekend at his gym in Lebanon, PA.  This is the third year for this now annual event.  The Presidential Cup is the USAWA version of the IAWA Gold Cup – which features lifters picking their best and favorite lifts to be contested in a record day format.  The Presidential Cup is the “Championship” of record days in the USAWA.  Each year the USAWA President picks a lift/lifter that he feels “worthy” of winning the Presidential Cup. Denny watches each lift with scrutiny as he is making his decision!

The Presidential Cup

This year only Denny, Art, and myself participated.  Art and I have been to this meet each year.  Art,  the defending Champion of the Presidential Cup, is tough competition.  Practically everything he lifts is worthy of being the winning lift. He started off with a 163# 2-bar deadlift.  I knew that would be tough for me to beat. So I started off with breaking Chad’s record in the Dumbbell Walk.  I was hoping that would “seal the deal” for me, but I could tell that Denny wasn’t fully impressed.  Art then went onto to some impressive finger lifts. He lifted 113 pounds on the ring and middle finger.  That’s IMPRESSIVE! Art’s fingers are hardened like steel cables, and I doubt if he has any pain sensor’s in them anymore.  I also planned to do some finger lifts beforehand as well – and felt good breaking a couple of records held by USAWA legends Joe Garcia and Bill Clark, but my finger lifts were not comparable to the ageless Art Montini’s finger lifts.  Now I knew things were “on the line” for me as it looked to me that Art was going to repeat as the Presidential Cup Winner.  So I had to stoop to a low and go after my dads best lift  in the one handed pinch. I managed a 83 pound performance using each hand, topping his best of 77 pounds.  My dad has become known for his gripping strength, always placing high in the USAWA Grip Championships.  This must have done it for me – as I was honored to win the Presidential Cup.  Denny even commented “that is was won by my pinch lifts!!!”   Sorry Dad.  You should have came along.

Denny did several very impressive lifts himself. His pressing of 143 pounds in the Press from Racks and Maxey Press stood out.  Also his 90 pound Two Hands Anyhow which almost took out a light bulb was memorable.  This was a great meet and I encourage others to attend next year.  Anytime one gets to spend time with Denny and Art is something to remember.  After all – these two guys are NUMBER ONE and NUMBER TWO on the All Time USAWA Record List!

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Presidential Cup
August 9th, 2014
Habecker’s Gym
Lebanon, PA

Meet Director:  Denny Habecker

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Officials (2 used on all lifts with both deeming the lifts good): Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Al Myers

Lifters/Lifts:

Al Myers – 47 years old, 236 pounds BWT

Dumbbell Walk 107 lbs.
Finger Lift – Left Little 69 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Little 69 lbs.
Finger Lift – Left Ring 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Ring 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Index 130 lbs.
Pinch Grip – Left Hand 83 lbs.
Pinch Grip – Right Hand 83 lbs.

Denny Habecker – 71 years old, 193 pounds BWT

Two Hands Anyhow 90 lbs.
French Press 53 lbs.
Maxey Press 143 lbs.
Pullover and Press 187 lbs.
Press – From Rack 143 lbs.
Jackson Press 121 lbs.

Art Montini – 86 years old, 176 pounds BWT

Deadlift – 2 Bars 163 lbs.
Finger Lift – Left Middle 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Middle 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Left Ring 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Ring 113 lbs.

WINNER OF 2014 PRESIDENTIAL CUP

AL MYERS w/ 83 POUND PINCH GRIP ONE HAND

Simple Liars, Damned Liars, and Experts

by Thom Van Vleck

I like talking about training.  Even if half the time it evolves in an argument.  The one person I have learned the most about weight training is from my Uncle Phil Jackson.  He would often say to me, “I’ve forgotten more about training than you’ll ever know”.  I still often think he is right.  Another guy I’ll mention is Al Myers.  I have learned more about throwing for the Highland Games from Al than any other person.  A lot of the USAWA crowd may know Al competed in the Highland Games but are not aware he was world class at it.  The reason I listened to Al and Phil was not because they were considered by the majority of the lifting or throwing world as experts but because both had something in common with me.  None of us were what I would call natural or “gifted”.  We all had to work for every bit we have.

First I’ll say this.  There’s a fallacy out there that great athletes make bad coaches and mediocre athletes make great coaches.  The “logic” given is that great players never really learn how to play and rely on their natural abilities while mediocre players have to learn every trick to get better.  The evidence given is that there are many coaches that were mediocre players.  Well, that’s just Bull!  The reality is that there are MANY more mediocre players and it would make sense that they would end up a majority in the coaching world over the handful of great athletes.  What really defines a great coach is knowledge and the ability to impart that knowledge in a way another will take it and use it.  They have what’s been called “Practical IQ”.

Now, I don’t know for sure about Al, but I do know that my Uncle Phil would say I’ve barely listened to him at all over the years.  He’s partly right, I have been stubborn at times.  But I would argue he’s mostly wrong.  If you look at how I train there’s more of him in there than any other person on earth.  As for Al, I know I’ve frustrated him from time to time with a million questions and when he’s been nice enough to answer me I’ve often ripped apart his answers.  Al’s such a nice guy this may be hard to believe….but I’ve made him mad more than once!  Yet, if you look at how I throw…NOBODY has had more influence on my throwing and how I train for throwing!  I have just learned over the years that there are….Simple Liars, Damned Liars, and Experts.

The title for this article refers to a saying among lawyers and judges.  It refers to the “expert” witness.  It is often used to make the point that you can get an credentialed expert witness to support about anything.  Kind of like the saying “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” that make the point that you can find stats to support just about any point of view….whether that point of view is right or not!  This is the attitude I bring into how I approach all experts.

Heck, I AM AN EXPERT!  I have been called into court numerous times to provide expert testimony as a licensed professional counselor.  I have frustrated many judges and lawyers in this role because when I KNOW I’m being looked to as an expert then all the speculation, logic, “makes sense to me” is shoved out of my brain and I got with cold, hard, facts.  And the truth is…..you can’t get much from cold, hard facts!  You need to take that leap and expand out beyond what is known and take your “best guess” sometimes to find success.  When pressed by a lawyer or judge, I would preface my “best guess” by saying this is my “opinion based on what I know”.  That rarely helped….they wanted me to tell them that I “unequivocally” knew the truth and to say it as such.

So, what does all this mean.  I guess (based on what I know…..HAHAHA) that I’m trying to say that we need to seek out experts and understand that one person’s “expert” may not be your “expert”….we all have different needs.  These experts can be anywhere and don’t always need to be the “greatest” or the “most famous”.   We also need to look at being able to mine what an expert can give us even if sometimes they aren’t the best communicators.  We should never throw out the coaching of on person simply because they gave bad advice one time.  That’s like the old saying of throwing the baby out with the bath.  Finally, we need to open ourselves to find people who know more than us and take a leap of faith on what they are telling us…..but always remember there are liars, damned liars, and experts.  It’s all in how you want to look at it.  If you think it’s a lie….or the truth…you’ll probably be right.

National Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2014 USAWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Tim Piper (left), meet promoter of the 2014 USAWA National Championships, and Al Myers (right) at last years meet at the Salvation Army Gym.

The date has been set – June 21st – so mark this day off your calendar and make plans to attend the USAWA Nationals in Macomb, Illinois. Tim Piper, of the Salvation Army Gym, will be this years host and meet director.  Macomb is the perfect location for our National Championships since it is located in the center of USAWA activity.  It’s within driving range for practically everyone.

Tim has planned a one day meet with 6 lifts. The lifts chosen are very traditional all round lifts, and lifts most everyone should like.  Tim is a very seasoned meet promoter and I know he will have everything planned and organized well for a great day of lifting for everyone.

LIFTS:

Crucifix
Snatch – One Arm (Barbell)
Clean and Push Press
Jefferson Lift – Fulton Bar
Curl – Cheat
Zercher Lift

ENTRY FORM – USAWA 2014 Nationals-Macomb IL

Lifter of the Month: Al Myers

by Chad Ullom

Lifter of the month for November is Al Myers, here doing a 182.5 KG thumbless grip DL at the Gold Cup.

November lifter of the month goes to Al Myers.   Al was succesful with a 145kg (319lb) Power Row at the Gold Cup. Not only was this a new world record, but also earned Al The Howard Prechtel Memorial Trophy! This trophy is presented to the highest amended total lift using Age, weight, and Blindt formulas.  Al also did a thumbless DL of 182.5KG (401lb) for his second world record. The contributions Al makes the USAWA and IAWA cannot be overstated. I’m not sure where we would be as an organization without Al’s committment, time and effort he puts into it every day! Congratulations Al!

Battle in the Barn II

by Eric Todd

Group picture of participants at the Battle in the Barn II. (left to right): Conan Wass, Mike Pringle, Eric Todd, Lance Foster, Thom Van Vleck, Dean Ross, and Scott Tully

Battle in the Barn 2013 is done and in the books.  We had lots of fun, and some great lifting occurred.  I would like to thank Al for coming out and running the score table, and Thom for being our Judge.  I would also like to give a huge thanks to Conan Wass for loading for us.   Five lifters competed in 4 lifts.  Dean Ross came all the way from Oklahoma for the event.

Eric Todd (left) being presented the overall lifter awards from Al Myers (right).

Some of the highlights from the meet for me were:

Dean Ross absolutely grinding out his last deadlift.  HE just got edged out on a final lift from getting 3rd by formula.

Lance Foster’s Dumbbell to the shoulder.  He hit a big number, but missed out on his next one which would have been a BIG PR.  If he had not bombed on the deadlift, he would have been right in the mix.

Thom Van Vleck, the USAWA chair of the OTSM, served as the official.

Professor Scott Tully making a clutch Dinnie lift to put himself into 3rd by formula.

What I was most impressed with was a lean, mean Mike Pringle.  I hardly recognized him when he rolled in. This was Mikes the second ever all-round meet that he has competed in, and he came in STRONG!  I was very impressed with his dumbbell to the shoulder technique.  It seemed very efficient, though I could not duplicate it.  His People’s deadlift was also incredibly strong.

We scored this meet two ways.  One was by the standard formula, and the other was by straight weight lifted.

By formula, the meet ended like this:

5th-Lance Foster
4th-Dean Ross
3rd-Scott Tully
2nd-Mike Pringle
1st-Eric Todd

By straight weight the results are as follows:

5th-Lance Foster
4th-Dean Ross
3rd-Mike Pringle
2nd-Scott Tully
1st-Eric Todd

 
 
Lance Foster performing a 495 pound Dinnie Lift.

MEET RESULTS:

2013 Battle in the Barn II
Saturday, October 19th, 2013
ET’s House of Iron and Stone
Turney, Missouri

Meet Director:  Eric Todd

Meet Announcer & Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Official (1 official system used): Thom Van Vleck

Loader:  Conan Wass

Lifts:  Cyr Press, Dumbbell to Shoulder, Peoples Deadlift, Dinnie Lift

LIFTER AGE BWT Cyr DB DL Din TOT PTS
Eric Todd 38 262 170 265 605 770 1810 1402
Mike Pringle 37 175 110 225 520 535 1390 1342
Scott Tully 37 342 130 150 565 605 1450 990
Dean Ross 70 273 60 125 375 435 995 989
Lance Foster 47 330 80 175 0 495 750 562

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds.  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are adjusted points for bodyweight and age correction.

RECORD LIFT FOLLOWING MEET:

Eric Todd – Neck Lift 1000 lbs.

This lift was officiated by three officials (Al Myers, Thom Van Vleck, and Lance Foster).   The plates were weighed individually as well as the bar to verify the accuracy of the final weight, and the lift was held for 2.06 seconds.

World Championships

by Steve Gardner

IAWA World Championships – Accrington, England 2013

Mark Haydock, Best Overall Open Lifter and Best Overall Male Lifter with IAWA President Al Myers (left picture). Paula De La Mata, Best Overall Female Lifter with IAWA President Al Myers (right picture).

Right, I don’t know where to start…so much to report on… this had to be one of the best IAWA World Championships ever! Sorry that with illness and injury problems Gary Ell and Mark Rattenberry didn’t make it but they would sure have been proud of their young team mate, Junior lifter Jevan Cockbain who was great. In the Junior ranks young Connor Mansell was also outstanding! Mark Haydock and his team of support headed up by wife Sam, put on an amazing championships, full marks guys, and also Dean Kent and Exertrain who provided equipment etc all in all a great job.

Dan Butterworth and his partner Andy Milner were ace on the platform loading every lift over the weekend, and the other platform was looked after by a rotation of the lifters, I have never known so many to volunteer to help and get stuck in – a credit to IAWA. The referees were diligent and ever keen to take position when asked in the hot seats, we used 21 officials this year, 17 in the chairs, 1 as Technical Officer and Drug Tester (many drug tests carried out and Technical issues addressed – well done Frank Allen) and 3 working the scoring announcing table. I was so impressed with my assistant on the MC Announcing / recording task, I have had a lot of experience of handling 2 platforms at the same time, but Al Myers, our IAWA President, from Kansas USA took to the task like a ‘good un’ and made my job easier and well done again Al! Chris Bass was on top of his game with all the figures and records on his computer, he was a great aid to the lifters throughout the weekend! We had a great young man named Ollie Melidoni in action all weekend providing a great service for sport massage and injury / strain treatment. Everyone commented on his friendly and professional approach to the job, he doesn’t know it yet but  he will be adopted by IAWA and we hope to see him at future events!

As for the lifting…where to start? on a personal note, some of the most exciting moments for me were: Timo from Finland with an amazing World Record Vertical pull on the 2 inch bar, Paul Barrette pulling the 250 kilos on the Trap Bar for a record at 70 kilos bodyweight, John Kavanagh with his 65 kilos Dumbell Clean and Jerk (also Sam Trew on that lift) Jenn Tibbenham on the Squat, new World Record, my son James taking the World Record with 260.5k, Mark Haydock with his 342.5 Trap Bar – heaviest ever! the list is endless, of course I was overjoyed for the lifters from my club who I have worked hard with over the last 8 weeks and it was magic to see them come through: my son James, Paula and Graham taking World titles and Luke Davis with a super performance and taking a runners up spot (it will be there for you if you keep working like you do Luke)

On a general note, I was so impressed with all of the lifters, it really was an outstanding weekend, The Scotland team did a great job! the lifters from Spain were great and took a bagful of records home with them as did the Australian team – excellent guys, just cant say enough, our friends from the USA stalwarts like Denny Habecker and Art Montini – hey what about it Art Montini 85 years of age, a role model to us all. and the other Nations represented too for Ireland, Pakistan and Finland – just amazing! The lifters from across England came together for a great display, and the Metamorfit Club from the South East bringing 7 lifters along to have a great time, full of enthusiasm – just great. Well done to all, each and every one who made the effort to be there. More info and results to follow soon!!!

MEET RESULTS:

World Champs 2013 Day1         World Champs 2013 Day2       

World Champs 2013 Both Days

My Visit to Ledaig Heavy Athletics

by Thom Van Vleck

Banner that hangs in the Ledaig gym

Recently I got to make my first trip to Ledaig since Dave built his new facility.  This is Dave Glasgow’s family gym.  I say family gym because it belongs to his whole family.  You drive down that road and it’s hard to figure out which “Glasgow” to stop at as each mailbox has that name on it. But if you know Dave and he counts you as a  friend, then you are family, too!  This sits on some family property about 30 miles from Wichita, Kansas but really miles away from anyone!  It is near Rainbow Bend, Kansas and if you can find that then you are right up there with Columbus and Magellan as an explorer.  Dave used to train in a round metal tank that would literally roast you on a hot day.  The frame for the gym was put up years ago, I believe Dave’s Dad had built a metal frame and never finished it.  Dave got it done and there is a gym, shop and garage housed in the large building.  You could park a dozen cars in there if it were cleared out, but Dave has a quarter sectioned off for the gym that is walled in and the rest is full of tools, cars, and projects!

Dave Glasgow cutting some steel rod in his gym to make stakes for Highland Games trigs.

I have been to many gyms overthe years and to me my favorites also include other “manly” pursuits.  My Uncle Phil has a reloading room attached to his gym.  Al Myers has a full scale metal shop in his gym.  Randy Richey (http://www.usawa.com/omega-force-christian-strongman-team/) has one of the coolest gyms I’ve ever seen with the a massive metal shop.   Hard to believe anyone could top Al’s gym, but Randy just might! I can’t top those guys but my gym has a workshop as well. Dave has entered the fray with a huge workshop area with the ability to cut, weld, and shape metal along with working on the two antique corvettes parked in his gym.

Some old school Eleiko bumpers at Ledaig

Another hallmark of a cool gym in my book is to have historical and cool things to lift.  Ledaig has many things, old and new to lift.  I was especially salivating over his Eleiko plates.  They are old and well used, but still cool nonetheless.  Dave has some equipment that he has used for many, many years in his gym and you can just feel the positive “mojo” in there!

If you get a chance to make it to a USAWA meet at Ledaig, it’s worth the journey.  You can fly into Wichita and that gets you close.  But if you drive there just know this:  The cell phone reception is not very good and on more than one occasion I have fielded a call from a lost lifter driving the countryside looking for “Rainbow Bend”.  Be sure you know how to get there!   Because it truly can be one of those places that “you can’t get there from here”!

David Webster & the Dinnie Stones

by Al Myers

I was able to catch up with David Webster again (I've met him many times at prior Highland Games) at the 2013 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Pictured left to right: Al Myers, David Webster, & Chad Ullom

If it wasn’t for David Webster, the stone lifting World might never have heard of the Dinnie Stones. David Webster  is the man who made the presence of the Dinnie Stones well known.  Without this, all the recent notoriety the Dinnie Stones have received would have never happened.  These famous lifting stones might be laying obscure at the bottom of the river bed in the River Dee instead. Today I would like to share some previous published information about David Webster’s and his tie to the Dinnie Stone’s legacy.

From the book “The Super Athletes” by David Willoughby:

Here is an example of how strong Dinnie was is a simple feat of lifting and carrying.  This information was kindly furnished to me by David Webster of Glasgow, a famous strand-pulling expert and an authority on Donald Dinnie.  Outside the hotel in Potarch, Scotland, are two large and heavy boulders which used to be used in tethering horses (while their masters went into the hotel to refresh themselves). One of the boulders weighs 340 pounds and the other 445.  In the top of each weight is fastened a ring made of 1/2-inch round iron and just large enough to grip with one hand.  The story is that Dinnie’s father was able to lift the 445 pound stone onto a wall 3 1/2 feet high and that Dinnie himself carried both stones (one in front of him and the other behind) a distance of five or six yards.

Another great resource on Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones is David Webster’s and Gordon Dinnie’s  book, “Donald Dinnie – The First Sporting Superstar”. This book is a MUST for anyone who has interest in the Dinnie Stones or stone lifting in general (YES – that’s a plug for the book!).  This is a short piece from the  book, which is written in such manner as to reflect Donald Dinnie’s own account.

In the Deeside district there are many stories told of his extraordinary feats. Just let me tell you one.

On the granite stone bridge that crosses the River Dee at Potarch there were, and still are, two large stones weighing about 8 cwt the pair, placed in a recess.  In the early 1830’s massive iron rings were placed in them, to which ropes were fixed so that scaffolds could be attached for pointing the bridge.  Now, one of those stones was somewhat heavier than the other. Very few strong men of that day could lift the heavy one with both hands, but my father could raise one in each hand with apparent ease, and could throw the heavier stone of the two on to the top of a parapet wall of the bridge.

On one occasion, I have been told, he took one stone in each hand and carried them both to the end of the bridge and back – a distance of 100 yards.  This achievement has been pronounced the greatest feat of strength ever performed in Scotland.

Those stones are still on the bridge and I myself lifted  one in each hand on many occasions and one market day, I carried them across the bridge and back, some four to five yards.  I did not, however, attempt to go to the end of the bridge, as my father had done.

If you want more information than THAT from the book, you should buy it!  I consider both of these literary accounts as the basis of the history and legend of the Dinnie Stones, which David Webster is a big part of.  You can read lots of speculations and opinions from those posting on the internet on how Donald Dinnie intended the Dinnie Stones to be lifted, whether Donald Dinnie actually carried both stones at the same time unassisted across the bridge,  and so on.  All of that is just talk and is meaningless, as I have not been aware of any ACTUAL PROOF of the feats of Donald Dinnie in regard to the Dinnie Stones.  That only actual support to the Dinnie Stone stories are the written accounts passed down in history, like the two above.

I chose to believe the above words of David Webster because I WANT to believe in the legend of Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones . Let the Dinnie Stone legacy continue to  live!

Club Award to the Salvation Army Gym

by Al Myers

The Salvation Army Gym - Runner Up CLUB OF THE YEAR in the USAWA.

I was glad to be able to personally award the Salvation Army Gym their Runner Club Award from the USAWA at their USAWA meet last weekend.  These awards, presented on behalf of the USAWA, were given out at the National Championships.  However, since no representatives from the Salvation Army Gym were able to be present at Nationals, this meet of theirs was the perfect opportunity for me to be able to give them the recognition they deserve.

Tim Piper (left) receiving the Club Award from USAWA Awards Director Al Myers (right).

The Club Awards are the only special USAWA awards that are not selected by membership nomination/vote.  Points are accrued throughout the year for various things like USAWA memberships that represent the club, club promotions, and participation of club members in USAWA competitions.  The points are simply “added up”, and the clubs that earn the most points are the winners.  So you can see that this award is actually EARNED! 

Congratulations to the Salvation Army Gym for an outstanding past year in the USAWA!  The next year will be a BIG ONE for them as well as they will be the host of the 2014 USAWA National Championships.

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom (center) receiving the 2012 USAWA Athlete of the Year Award from USAWA President Denny Habecker (left). USAWA Award Director Al Myers (right) also was involved in the presentation.

The TOP AWARD given out every year by the USAWA is the Athlete of the Year.  This award is “for the individual who has accomplished the most athletically within the last year in the USAWA.  Top placings at the Nationals and World Championships should figure in high. Also, participation in other Championship competitions such as the Heavy Lift Championships, the Grip Championships, the Club Championships, the OTSM Championships, the Team Championships, or the National Postal Championships could factor in.  Participation in elite IAWA events such as the Gold Cup or the IAWA World Postal Meet should make an influence on earning this award as well.”

The two winners this year were pretty much a “no brainer”.  These two lifters exemplified the above criteria to a tee.  They both are more than deserving of this prestigious award, which I consider the “Heisman” of the USAWA.  The winners are:

WINNER – CHAD ULLOM

RUNNER UP – DAN WAGMAN

They were chosen by a nomination/vote of the USAWA membership.  Chad and Dan together received over 90% of the votes cast, so I would consider them “landslide winners”.  Chad was SUPER ACTIVE in the USAWA this past year, winning or placing very high in so many meets that it would make a long list.  He added numerous titles to his USAWA resume.  He is “on pace” to be a future USAWA Hall of Famer.  I will try to remember as many as I can here:

2012 Dino Challenge Overall Winner
2012 IAWA Gold Cup  in Glasgow, Scotland  – World Record
2012 USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships – Overall Winner
2012 IAWA World Championships – World Class Champion and 2nd Overall
2012 USAWA Team Championships – part of Overall Winning Team
2012 IAWA World Postal Championships – part of Overall 2-man Winning Team
2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas – National Class Champion and 2nd Overall
2012 USAWA Club Championships – part of Overall Winning Club
2012 USAWA Grip Championships – Class Champion and 3rd Overall
2012 USAWA Postal Championships – Overall Winner
2012 USAWA Postal Series – Overall Winner

I didn’t even mention the numerous other smaller USAWA events that Chad participated in!   Chad’s  yearly success in the USAWA for 2012 could be argued as  one of the BEST years any lifter has ever had in the USAWA.  Runner Up Dan Wagman is just as worthy – as he took the OVERALL WORLD CHAMPION  TITLE at the 2012 IAWA World Championships in Salina, Kansas.   That’s the biggest title any lifter in the USAWA/IAWA can win during the course of a year. Chad received his award at the USAWA National Championships, and I plan to present Dan his award later this summer when I will see him next.   Congratulations to both of these tremendous lifters.

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

Dave Glasgow (left) receiving the USAWA Sportsmanship Award from USAWA Secretary Al Myers (right).

While at the Club Championships at the Ledaig HA Club in Rainbow Bend, Kansas, I was able to personally present a USAWA annual Award Winner.  Every year the USAWA gives a SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD.  This award goes to an individual who “possesses and shows great sportsmanship within the USAWA.  The act of sportsmanship may be conduct at all events, or by an specific example of exceptional sportsmanship.”

This year award winners are:

WINNER – DAVE GLASGOW

RUNNER UP – LANCE FOSTER

Both Dave and Lance are very worthy recipients of this award.  They both are very tough competitors, and always exhibit great effort on the platform, but at the same time are tremendously supportive of the other lifters.  Congratulations to Dave and Lance!

LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker receiving his Leadership Award in the left picture from Al Myers, and Al Myers receiving his Leadership Award from Denny Habecker in the right picture.

The Leadership Award given on behalf of the USAWA goes to individuals “that have shown exceptional leadership qualities within the USAWA during the past year.  This could be going above the level expected of an Officer position, promoting sanctioned events with emphasis being on promoting National or World Competitions, promoting the USAWA by developing a strong club, writing articles for publication about the USAWA, or through any other means of providing leadership within the USAWA.”

This year Leadership Award Winners are:

WINNER – AL MYERS

RUNNER UP – DENNY HABECKER

I was honored to share the stage with Denny in receiving this award from the USAWA.

National Championships

by Al Myers

MEET REPORT
2013 USAWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
HABECKERS PROMOTE ANOTHER FABULOUS NATIONALS

Group picture from the 2013 USAWA National Championships in Lebanon, PA

Denny and Judy Habecker put on ANOTHER great USAWA National Championships.  The weekend was filled with fun times and great lifting.  Denny had planned the championships to be another “tent meet” like the last one he did in 2010 due to the low initial entry list, but this time he had a surge in late entries and ended up with 17 competitors – 4 women and 13 men.   Luckily we had great weather all weekend (there was ran in the forecast) and uncharacteristic cool temperatures. Denny set up a big platform covered by a big tent in his backyard for the event which gave us lots of room to lift and move around.

The womens division had 4 entries – the most since the 2004 Nationals where 5 women were entered.  This makes this the second most competitive womens class since the first USAWA Nationals was contested.  It was also exciting to see two young Junior gals making their first National appearance – Molly Myers and Brianna Ullom.  These two lifted outstanding, with both edging past last years Overall Champion Susan Sees. Molly was solid in all lifts, and Bree seemed to get stronger with each attempt she took. Both of these girls have “loads” of natural lifting ability, and if they keep interested in lifting both have very promising lifting careers ahead of them.   Susan was great as always, and made MANY fourth attempts for new records. I was glad to see Colleen entered in this meet.  Colleen made her USAWA debut at the Heavy Lift Champs in May, so this made two big meets for her in less than two months.

Frank Ciavattone performing his signature lift, the Ciavattone Grip Deadlift, with 202.5 KG.

The mens division had several of the “regulars” entered.  Going to these meets is like going to a family reunion.  You see old friends that you might only see once a year or so.  There was plenty of great lifting over the two days. I was especially impressed with the three lifters that were over the age of 80 that competed – Art Montini, Dick Durante, and Dennis Mitchell.  These guys are seasoned all rounders who are extremely experienced, and give inspiration to anyone who thinks they are too old to lift weights. 

Randy Smith made the long drive from Marquette, Michigan to compete in his 9th USAWA National Championships. Randy lifted exceptional, gathering a fourth place Overall and earning another National Champ award.  Randy is a very consistent lifter year to year, having placed in the TOP TEN in each of  his National appearances.  He’s on track to becoming an eventual hall of famer. Speaking of Hall of Famers, recent HOF award winner Bob Geib made his appearance at the meet.  Bob is one of my favorite all round lifters to be around at meets.  He is always upbeat, and just seems to always be having a fun time!!  He’s also serves a very critical function in keeping lifters ready to lift, as he has his chiro table on sight and does many adjustments on lifters throughout the weekend.  Bob mentored under THE LEGEND Howard Prechtel and when Bob is “at work” at a USAWA event it keeps Howard’s memory alive in my mind.  Many lifters owe Bob a big thanks for what he does to help out their lifting. Bob also “saved me” over the weekend.  I was doing the scorekeeping and announcing in addition to trying to lift, and it seemed I was a little overwhelmed at times during my lifting session.  I take great pride in not making any scorekeeping or announcing errors, and I would have made one if it wasn’t for Bob.  I accidentally got “out of call order” once, but after talking Bob into changing his attempt to a higher weight, which he agreed to with a smile, it kept my perfect record for the day intact! And he got the lift!!!

James Fuller made his first appearance at a USAWA National Championships.  James is an eccentric individual, who is filled with enthusiasm for all round lifting and the USAWA.  He kept everyone entertained with his jokes and antics over the course of the weekend, in addition to putting on several strength demos in the evening for us (after a day of lifting!!).  He demonstrated unusual all rounds lifts such as the Bent Press, self loaded leg press, Kelly Snatch, and the likes.  He just never seems to tire out!  I consider James one of the great new additions to the USAWA, and I hope that he keeps himself really involved in the organization.  He placed extremely well – fifth place overall in the standings. Several of his lifts really impressed me - his 65 KG One Arm Snatch, the 180 KG Continental to Belt Zercher style, and his 55 KG straight arm pullover.

Joe Ciavattone Jr. performing the best Clean and Press, 12" base of the meet with this 100 KG

It’s always a pleasure having the “Ciavattones” at meets.  Frank is one of our sports foundation members – and his influence on the USAWA has been huge.  Frank still has some BIG LIFTING in him.  He did an easy 162.5 KG right arm deadlift and a 202.5 KG Ciavattone Grip Deadlift.  Frank was the one who introduced the Ciavattone Grip to the USAWA (overhand grip with NO HOOK).  When I explained this to Molly, she had this stunned look on her face as she realized that she had just met the person the lift she was doing  was named after!  Frank spent a good part of the meet sitting in the head officials chair.  Frank is an excellent official – and is very fair in his officiating.  I always feel comfortable with him sitting as the head official.  Now onto the other two Ciavattones in attendance – Joe Jr. and Joe Sr.  I knew announcing I was going to have a problem with these two keeping their names straight in my announcing so I referred to Joe Jr. as Junior most of the day to keep things in order. Junior is a lifter who has LOTS of future potential.  Actually, he is stronger than he realizes right now and with just a little more meet experience he will soon capitalize on his untapped strength.  I said this when I was presenting his Championship Award, but I would like to mention it here as well.  I predict him to be a OVERALL NATIONAL CHAMP  in a future Nationals very soon.  On top of his gifted natural strength, he has a tough lifting mentality and wants to learn more about the all round lifts.   Now a little on Joe Sr., who also lifted excellent.  I will say Joe Sr. does not look his age. My wife initially thought both Joes were brothers instead of father-son.  Joe Sr. could have had a higher total but he backed off on what he could have lifted in the Ciavattone Deadlift because he didn’t want to erase John Vernacchios National Record off the record list. That’s showing great respect to someone who was a role model and great friend. 

My training bud Chad Ullom has had a busy past 6 weeks of competition.  The week he left for Nationals he just got back from a very busy competition schedule in Scotland and Germany (I’ll save the details of that for another story).  He lifted beyond what I expected of him, considering the travel lag he had to be feeling and the lack of contest preparation.  Chad was “nip and tuck” with Denny in the overall till his last lift, which he needed to get to secure a second place overall in the meet.  He pulled a Personal Record 210 KGs in the Ciavattone Deadlift to edge Denny out by only 1 point!  Denny was sitting in the Head Officials chair at the time so I waited till after Chad’s successful lift to inform him that Chad just nipped him!  LOL

The Dino Gym won the BEST CLUB of the National Championships. Club members (left to right) in picture: Al Myers, Molly Myers, Brianna Ullom, and Chad Ullom.

There are still several more stories of this meet that I could tell in this meet report, but I’ll cut it off here (I’ll save my “wordiness” for the writeup of the meetings minutes).   But before I end, I have to mention the work and hospitality done by Judy.  Judy prepared meals for EVERYONE both days – including breakfast!!! I sorta embarrassed myself when I didn’t announce the plans for Sunday night’s banquet until reminded, but I assumed the big delicious meal that Judy served us Saturday night was the banquet meal instead!!  Judy goes way beyond anything expected with her hospitality.  I hope everyone who attended takes the time to write her (and Denny!) a personal thank you card thanking them for the weekend.

I want to mention the outstanding efforts by the officials over the course of the weekend.  The head officials (Frank, Scott, Barry, and Denny) were top notch.  Also, the loaders were outstanding (Terry Barlet and John Horn).  These guys DID NOT make a misload all weekend.  I want to thank my wife Leslie and daughter Kate for taking lots of pictures of the lifting (625 to be precise).  These pictures will be available on the USAWA facebook page for all the view (and download if wanted).  But above all – thanks to the lifters who showed up and supported the USAWA!

MEET RESULTS:

2013 USAWA National Championships
Habeckers Gym
Lebanon, PA
June 29th & 30th, 2013

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Announcer and Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Caterer & Host:  Judy Habecker

Photographers:  Leslie Myers & Kate Myers

Loaders:  Terry Barlet and John Horn

Officials (3 official system used):  Scott Schmidt, Barry Bryan, Frank Ciavattone, Chad Ullom, Joe Ciavattone Sr., Dennis Mitchell, Denny Habecker

Lifts  Day 1:  Deadlift – One Arm,  Clean and Press – 12″ Base, Pullover – Straight Arm, Continental to Belt

Lifts Day 2:  Snatch – One Arm, Pullover and Push, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

WOMENS DIVISION

DAY 1

Lifter AGE BWT DL-1 C&P Pull Con
 Molly Myers  14  167  70-R  40  15  72.5
 Brianna Ullom  15  143  50-R  35  15  40
 Susan Sees  50  214  55-R  35  12.5  70
 Colleen Lane  57  214  60-R  25  10  50

 EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Brianna Ullom: Deadlift – Right Arm 60
Susan Sees:  Deadlift – Right Arm 60
Colleen Lane: Deadlift – Right Arm 65
Susan Sees: Clean and Press, 12″ Base 40
Susan Sees: Pullover-Straight Arm 15
Molly Myers: Continental to Belt 80
Susan Sees: Continental to Belt 75

DAY 2

Lifter BWT SN-1 P&P DL-CG TOT LYN PTS
 Molly Myers  169  25-R  50  85  358  354.0  424.8
 Brianna Ullom  143  20-R  40  80  280  308.2  354.4
 Susan Sees  214  17.5-R  40  80  310  266.8  296.2
 Colleen Lane  214  10-R  30  85  270  232.4  274.2

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Susan Sees: Snatch – Right Arm 20
Susan Sees: Pullover and Push 43.5
Molly Myers: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 92.5
Brianna Ullom: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 85
Susan Sees: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 96

MENS DIVISION

DAY 1

Lifter AGE BWT DL-1 C&P Pull Con
 Al Myers  46  231  173-R  80  55  180
 Chad Ullom  41  252  190-R  90  45  200
 Denny Habecker  70  185  120-R  67.5  37.5  122.5
 Randy Smith  58  194  137.5-R  60  35  140
 James Fuller  41  232  140-R  72.5  55  180
 Joe Ciavattone Jr.  20  229  137.5-R  100  40  180
 Joe Ciavattone Sr.  44  217  120-R  77.5  30  155
 Scott Schmidt  60  239  115-R  70  20  110
 Art Montini  85  175  80-R  30  22.5  60
 Dick Durante  81  180  70-R  40  20  80
 Dennis Mitchell  81  151  60.5-R  20  25  50
 Bob Geib  70  264  75-R  45  15  80
 Frank Ciavattone  58  292  162.5-R  0  0  0

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Denny Habecker: Clean and Press, 12″ Base 70
Denny Habecker: Pullover-Straight Arm 40
Denny Habecker: Continental to Belt 130
James Fuller: Deadlift – Right Arm 155
Joe Ciavattone Sr.: Deadlift – Right Arm 137.5
Dennis Mitchell: Deadlift – Left Arm 60.5
Dennis Mitchell: Continental to Belt 52.5
Bob Geib: Continental to Belt 90

DAY 2

Lifter BWT SN-1 P&P DL-CG TOT LYN PTS
 Al Myers  231  65-R  160  195  908  750.0  802.5
 Chad Ullom  253  65-R  150  210  950  750.5  765.5
 Denny Habecker  186  35-R  102.5  140  625  583.3  764.1
 Randy Smith  197  45-R  107.5  160  685  621.9  740.1
 James Fuller  234  65-L  140  200  853  702.0  716.1
 Joe Ciavattone Jr.  228  47.5-R  140  192.5  838  695.2  695.2
 Joe Ciavattone Sr.  219  42.5-L  126  150  701  597.7  627.6
 Scott Schmidt  241  35-R  90  140  580  470.7  569.6
 Art Montini  175  15-R  60  105  373  359.7  525.1
 Dick Durante  DNW  25-L  40  100  375  355.9  505.5
 Dennis Mitchell  151  12.5-R  35  90  293  310.9  441.5
 Bob Geib  264  22.5-R  42.5  130  410  316.5  414.6
 Frank Ciavattone  291  20-R  0  202.5  385  283.0  336.8

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Bob Geib: Snatch – Right Arm 25
Dennis Mitchell: Pullover and Push 38
Dennis Mitchell: Deadlift- Ciavattone Grip 95
Bob Geib: Pullover and Push 46
Bob Geib: Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip 140

NOTES:  AGE is age in years.  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All lifts recorded in kilograms.  TOT is total kilograms lifted.  LYN is adjusted Lynch Points. PTS is adjusted points for age correction.  R and L designate arm used.

BEST LIFTER AWARDS

Best Womens Junior:  Molly Myers
Best Womens Master:  Susan Sees
Best Women Overall: Molly Myers
Best Mens Senior 20-39: Joe Ciavattone Jr.
Best Mens Master 40-44: Chad Ullom
Best Mens Master 45-49: Al Myers
Best Mens Master 55-59: Randy Smith
Best Mens Master 60-64: Scott Schmidt
Best Mens Master 70-74: Denny Habecker
Best Mens Master 80-84: Dick Durante
Best Mens Master 85-89:  Art Montini
Best Mens Master Overall: Al Myers
Best Mens Overall: Al Myers
Best Club:  Dino Gym (Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Molly Myers, Brianna Ullom)
Best Club Runner Up: Joe’s Gym (Joe Ciavattone Sr., Joe Ciavattone Jr.)

Team Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2013 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

I'm a little reluctant to share this picture, as I don't want to discourage participation in the Team Championships. But Team lifting can be a different challenge - and when things go bad - there can be a disaster! It's pretty easy to tell how this lift ended for Chad and I as we were preparing for the Team Champs a few years back!!! Not good and it was all Chad's fault.

Every year the Dino Gym has an annual weekend celebration which we call the DINO DAYS.   It usually includes competitions of different kinds, and lots of good food and socializing!   This year will be no exception to that.  It is a gym affair, but the invite goes out to anyone else who wants to show up and be part of the fun.  Also, as has been the case the past few years, the USAWA Team Championships will be held at the Dino Gym that same weekend. 

The Team Championships are different than any other type of meet that you can enter.  It involves having a teammate that joins you in lifting – with BOTH of you lifting on the bar at the SAME TIME!  Team Lifting has three categories for Team Lifts:  2-Man (male & male), 2-Female (female & female), and Mixed Pair (female and male). The weight class the team is entered in is the weight class of the heaviest lifter, and the age group the team is entered in is the age class of the youngest lifter.  An exception is if a Junior lifter is teamed with a Senior (20-39 age) or Master Lifter (great than age 40).  In that case, the age class designation will be designated as open.

This is a fun event to compete in.  As I’ve said before – if you have a bad day you can always blame it on your partner!  And if you have a great day – you can take all the credit!   This is one of the “signature events” in the USAWA since it is one of our Championship Events, and the winners will be declared the USAWA Team Champions for the year. 

ENTRY FORM – TeamChampionships2013

Heavy Lifting Objects

by Al Myers

Frank's "1 TON" Train wheels, that he uses for hip and harness lifting.

The other day I covered a story about Frank’s big “1-TON” train wheels in his backyard, and how he uses them in his training for heavy hip and harness lifting.  These big train wheels are more than just “yard art”  to Frank – they are an important apparatus used in his all round training.  Several other all rounders have similar things they use for training the heavy chain lifts.   I have been in many all round club gyms and have seen other heavy things used.  It goes to show that there are things to train on besides bars and plates. 

Al Springs uses these "giant tires" to train the hip and harness lifts.

Al Springs has his “giant tires” that he uses for Hip and Harness lifting.  Very impressive setup!

This is All-Round lifing legend Steve Schmidt's setup for training the Heavy Lifts, complete with his walker.

Steve Schmidt has his “big frame” that he uses.  He did many of his 3000 pound plus Harness Lifts using this setup.

The Dino Gym's Train Wheels, which reside by the front door of the gym.

At the Dino Gym, I have a couple of Train Wheels on a Heavy Lift bar that I use to train the hip and harness lifts.  Altogether, they weigh in at 1425 pounds including the bar.   I have done a set of 20 reps in the Harness Lift with these, and sets of 5-10 for hip lifting.  As of yet, I have not done a Hand and Thigh with them.   I’m gonna make that a goal of mine this summer – 1 rep in the Hand and Thigh with these train wheels!!! That’s a perfect summer challenge for me!!

World Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2013 IAWA World Championships

Mark and I enjoying some "beach time" on Scarborough Beach near Perth, Western Australia, while there for the 2011 IAWA World Championships.

The entry form and meet details have been released for the 2013 IAWA World Championships.  Mark Haydock, of Preston, England, will be this year’s meet director and host.  Mark runs an all round club, the Houghton Barbell Club. Mark has been very involved in IAWA and has attended many World Championships.   He was the Overall Best Lifter in the 2009 Championship in Lebanon, PA.

All it takes for a USAWA member to enter the IAWA World Championships is to be a USAWA current member.  There are NO pre-meet qualifications to enter. Just fill out the entry form completely and send it to Mark, then book your flight to England.  That’s it! The entry deadline is August 31st.

The meet is a two day meet (Saturday October 5th & Sunday October 6th).   In the Info Sheet Mark has given several suggestions for places to stay.  The lifts for the World Championships are:

DAY ONE

Clean and Press

Continental Snatch

Pullover – Straight Arm

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Arm, 2″, One Hand

DAY TWO

Squat

Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, One Arm

Deadlift – Trap Bar

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2013 IAWA World Championships Entry

INFO SHEET (PDF) -  2013 IAWA World Championships Info

Introducing the DRAGSTER

by Al Myers

The DRAGSTER

I’m constantly thinking up new ways to impose self-induced torture on my training partners.  It’s the DINO GYM mentality!  We have a 150 foot cement “runway” in front of the gym that is perfectly level – that we use for pulling sleds, walking with yokes and farmers implements, carrying kegs,  and the like.  It’s a great way to get in a little “cardio” after a lifting session, and after a few runs, you are totally “wiped out”.  Plus doing these activities are WAY MORE fun than sitting like a puppet on the stationary exercise bike or walking  aimlessly to nowhere on the treadmill.  That type of cardiovascular training bores me to tears.  Actually, I can’t even stand it its so boring.  I just watch the clock constantly – waiting for my 30 minutes to elapse so I can quit.  Training is suppose to be fun!!!!!

Al "the DINOMAN" Myers giving Darren Barnhart a fast run on the DRAGSTER.

Well – NOW IT IS!!!  I’ve pushed on all types of prowlers, and love them.  But I always felt like the prowler could be improved, so thus, the invention of the DINO GYM DRAGSTER!  You can think of the dragster as the “ultimate prowler”  – it takes the prowler to a whole nother level!  I’ve spent a lot of time on this design, and after much prototype redesigning, it finally is perfected. 

Last weekend was the BIG TEST DAY for the final design of the dragster. I gathered several of my training partners for this grueling experiment, and we spent a couple of hours being test subjects.  I had no idea how exhausted I was becoming because I was having so much fun!  The next few days I paid the price with my front quads being so sore I couldn’t go up steps. The unique thing about the dragster is that it can take “live weight” along with added plates.  Of course, when I say “live weight” I mean one of your training partners.  Actually, I had as much fun riding the dragster as pushing it.  Sorta made me feel like a kid again riding my sled down the hill when it snowed.  This “live weight” added a whole new dimension to the training as when you were the one pushing you wanted to give the other guy a fast run – thus the reason for the name DRAGSTER!!!

This is the perfect training implement for everyone – lifters, athletes, strongmen, etc.   I’m going to take the Dragster to production. If anyone is interested in one – send me an email and I’ll give you a quote.

My tribute to Dale “THE MIRACLE MAN” Friesz

by Al Myers

Dale Friesz made the trip to Las Vegas for the 2012 USAWA National Championships last summer. This was Dale's 20th National Meet that he has competed in. Pictured left to right: Art Montini, Al Myers, Dale Friesz

The USAWA will greatly miss Dale Friesz.   Dale’s passion for All Round Weightlifting and his love for the USAWA was “way beyond” that of  most lifters.  He was in a ”class of his own” in terms of dedication.  Several lifters “come and go” in the USAWA through the years, but Dale kept steady with his never-ending involvement.  I want to take today’s story to share my tribute to Dale with everyone.  I know lots of the newer USAWA members are not aware of the things Dale has accomplished in the USAWA.   Dale stated in his USAWA Hall of Fame biography that he got started in lifting by the encouragement of his brother Leonard.  Leonard had a stellar lifting career, and at one time was competing in Olympic Weightlifting in the Missouri Valley Region.  I remember seeing Leonard’s  name in numerous  past meet results.  Dale was influenced into becoming involved in the USAWA by two legendary USAWA lifters, John Vernacchio and Bill Clark.  This was also stated in his HOF bio.  I want to mention this footnote as well – when I was working on the project to get all USAWA Hall of Famers to have a biography on this website I set out questionnaires to each member which I based writing their bios on.  Dale was one of “the few” who wanted to write his bio himself, which he did.  He told me in an email he wanted it to be written right! (which I took as him not trusting me to get all the important facts and details in it!!!!) .  

Dale receiving the award for winning the FIRST EVER Presidential Cup in 2012. Dale is on the left, with the USAWA President Denny Habecker on the right doing the presentation.

Dales first competition in the USAWA was on November 11th, 1989, in a meet in Valley Forge, PA hosted by John Vernacchio.  Dale’s first year of USAWA membership began the very first year the USAWA began collecting dues – 1988.  Since that time Dale has had a CONTINUOUS membership in the USAWA (26 years!!!).  Dale always joined before the membership year began, and often he was the FIRST MEMBERSHIP for the year I would receive.  That’s a testament to his strong connection and support to the USAWA.  Dale is one of only four USAWA members that has maintained continuous membership in the USAWA (Bill Clark, Joe Garcia, and Art Montini are the others) since the organization formed.  This makes him one of the CHARTER MEMBERS of the USAWA.  At this past year’s Nationals, a very special award was given to Dale.  It was called the “25 Year Participation Award”, given to the lifters that have participated in the most USAWA National Championships in the 25 year history of the USAWA.  Dale had competed in 20 out of the 25 Nationals!!!  That’s an amazing track record!!  The other winners were Denny Habecker, Art Montini, and Dennis Mitchell.  Dale only missed the 1988, 1989, 2000, 2006, & the 2011 Nationals.  I was glad to see him involved in our 25th Nationals in Las Vegas last June.  I met him at the airport and I could tell that the flight had taken a toll on him, but he seemed very excited to be there and able to take part in this very important USAWA meet.  No matter how Dale felt physically, he always seem upbeat and glad to be taking part in the competition.

Dale performing one of his favorite lifts, the Neck Lift, at the 2009 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in Lebanon, PA. This was the day that I got Dale to reveal his "neck lifting secrets" to me. He was the master of technique in the Neck Lift!!

Dale competed in several meets in Clarks Gym through the years.  His favorite was the Zercher Classic, which he competed in for the first time in 1991.  Dale had a good meet that day – placing one placing higher than Bill Clark!  The next year Dale returned to the Zercher and moved up a few places to fourth place out of 10 lifters (behind Steve Schmidt, John Carter, and Joe Garcia).  It was a tough field and had to be one of Dale’s best meets of his USAWA career. He raised his total by 735 pounds from the previous year. Then in 1994 he placed THIRD in the Zercher (his highest Zercher placing).    I know Dale was a big fan of this meet as he has provided me a complete historical review of all past Zercher Meets.  That’s one of the many reasons why I have often referred to Dale as the HISTORIAN of the USAWA even though it was a unofficial title.  He keep a record of this type of information and was always there for me when I had “questions”.  Much of the information on this website under the “history section” was researched and documented by Dale. Another one of his favorite “Clark Meets” was the Hermann Goerner Deadlift Dozen.  Dale has the distinction of WINNING the first ever Goerner Deadlift in 1995.  He beat such notable lifters that day as Rex Monahan, Joe Garcia, Al Springs and others.  I say it was one of Dale’s BEST EVER USAWA days – in addition to winning overall best lifter, he set his memorable 605 pound Neck Lift in a record setting session afterwards.  He was 55 years old and weighed 183 pounds that day. 

Recently I had received an email from Dale in which he commented how 2012 was, and I’ll quote him, “I consider this to be a decent year for me – as I broke 7 or so finger lift records (all previously set by someone with2 normal legs!), winning the Presidential Cup, and being named lifter of the month for August.  This made my efforts/pain worthwhile“.   He was looking forward to the year 2013.  Dale NEVER seemed to get discouraged, and always was thinking about his next competition.  I was so glad to see him win the Inaugural Presidential Cup last August.  His winning performance included a 154 pound Ring Fingers Deadlift with a prosthetic leg!  Later in the year I included this performance of his as one of the TOP TEN performances in the USAWA for the year 2012.  Dale sent me an email after that announcement thanking me, but he EARNED IT!

Dale performing the Pullover and Push in the 2010 USAWA Championships. This was the last meet Dale competed in before his leg amputation.

Dale has dealt with more physical obstacles than anyone I have ever known, and yet continued to train and compete.  The list is enormous and so long I have lost count.  But included is hip replacement, aortic reconstruction, back surgery with laminectomy, shoulder replacement, heart surgery several times, three heart attacks, numerous leg surgeries, and then the leg amputation.  I’m sure I’m missing many other health-related issues here.  It was common for Dale to compete in a big meet shortly after a major operation.  I remember once just a few weeks after open-heart surgery he was on the platform competing.  After his hip replacement, he was in a meet 3 months later.  This quote came from the Strength Journal from Dale before his hip replacement.  Dale said, “I always wanted to be like Tommy Kono and John Grimek and on February 12th, 2001, I’ll get me wish.  I’ll get a new hip.”  Dale always had a dry sense of humor when it came to things!  When he was staying at my place for the 2009 USAWA Nationals he “instructed me” on his medications so in case something went wrong I would be aware of what medicines he was on.  This was a list no shorter than 17 different pills!!!!  Dale’s mindset was like no other, and is the main reason he was awarded the Courage Award by the USAWA EVERY YEAR since the USAWA Awards Program  began in 2010. Before this, he was awarded the Ciavattone  Courage Award in 2004 by Frank Ciavattone, who gave out the award yearly to honor someone who showed great courage in remembrance of Frank’s dad.   I once  jokingly commented to Dale  that he’s won the Courage Award so many times it should be named after him when he’s gone!  Now…… I’m serious about that.

In 2009, the USAWA Nationals were held at the Dino Gym in Abilene, KS. Dale stayed at my house during that time and I will forever remember the stories that were told by Dale. This picture is from the meet of him performing a Cheat Curl.

Dale was inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame in 2002.  His induction happened at the 2002 Nationals, held in Ambridge, PA.  I would like to share this story about Dale and his entering into the HOF by Bill Clark, someone who Dale had great respect and admiration for. “ When Dale Friesz showed up to lift at the USAWA Nationals in June in Ambridge, PA., USAWA President Howard Prechtel was prepared.  Dale needed to medal at the Nationals to be eligible for the Hall of Fame and Howard figured correctly that Dale would do that.  So much to Dale’s surprise, he was inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame on the spot with the plaque already engraved in his name.  That Dale was even lifting in Ambridge was Hall of Fame material in itself.  In February, he spent 15 days in the hospital (six days in intensive care) and lost 21 pounds in 21 days from an already slender frame.  In a few weeks, he seemed on the road to recovery from what had been diagnosed as advanced vascular disease.  But, in May, along came what Dale called “Scary Story No. 2″ , viral heart infection, bronchial shutdown, pneumonia, liquid retention around the heart – back to the hospital for nine days.  And a matter of six weeks later, he was back on the platform earning his spot in the Hall of Fame.  I can assure you – no one was happier to be in Ambridge than Dale Friesz.”  – by Bill Clark in the Strength Journal Vol. XIII No. 3

Dale "in action" performing another one of his favorite lifts - the finger lift!

In 2006 at the USAWA National Meeting, the USAWA passed a rule requiring that all officials pass a Open Book Rules Test to be certified as an USAWA official.  Dale was the FIRST ONE to take and pass this exam.  He was one of the few LEVEL TWO officials in the USAWA.  He had a keen sense of the Rule Book, and kept up on it as things evolved.  Often he would “question” things in the Rulebook, and due to this, several discrepancies were found and corrected. Dale was never an officer in the USAWA, but his presence as a member exerted as much influence as any officer.  In my opinion, he was one of the TOP TEN most influential people ever involved in the USAWA.  He often served on committees, and provided valuable input.  His input on the HOF committee was instrumental in developing new guidelines for entry.  He also served on the Rulebook Review committee and was very helpful to me in the big Rulebook revision of 2009. In 2011 at my encouraging Dale registered his club with the USAWA.   He named it M&D Triceratops, and he was the only member.  Often at meets he would be wearing a ball cap or tshirt sporting his clubs logo.  I could tell this was something Dale was proud of, and it showed his commitment to the USAWA.

Dale’s favorite all round lifts were the finger lifts, the finger deadlifts, the Neck Lift, and the one arm deadlift.  I just did a USAWA record count of the number of current USAWA records Dale holds, and his count is at 160.  He holds records in 64 different USAWA lifts!  Dale was one of the original members of the CENTURY CLUB, a designation I gave to lifters who currently hold over 100 USAWA records.  The records he was most proud of were; 215# Ring Fingers Deadlift done at the 2001 Gold Cup, 354# Right Arm Deadlift done at the 1992 Gold Cup, and his 605# Neck Lift done at the 1995 Goerner. 

Dale’s National and World Meet Accomplishments:

2012 Nationals Best Lifter Mens Master 70-74
2010 Nationals 9th Place Overall
2008 Nationals 8th Place Overall
2005 Worlds Best Lifter Mens Master 65-69
1999 Nationals 6th Place Overall
1997 Nationals 7th Place Overall
1996 Nationals 10th Place Overall
1996 Nationals Best Lifter Mens Master 55-59
1995 Nationals 4th Place Overall
1992 Nationals 8th Place Overall

*plus numerous class/bodyweight National & World Championship awards*

Dale would often sign off his emails with these words, “Don’t let the USAWA die!!” That’s a promise that I will not let him down on. I owe Dale alot- he really helped me understand the historical importance of the USAWA and the philosophy of the organization. I will never forget Dale and his love for the USAWA and all round weightlifting. Often when I’m having a “rough day” in the gym, I think of Dale and the hardships he overcame with his lifting and it motivates me to keep positive and work harder. Afterall, my physical problems are NOTHING compared to what he endured when training!! I gave Dale the nickname “MIRACLE MAN” in several past blog stories. I know he appreciated that (he told me so) as it was given as a sign of respect to him in his ability to overcome serious physical  barriers miraculously.

Dale – YOU WILL BE MISSED! But I promise everyone this – I will keep Dale’s memory alive in the USAWA for as long as I’m involved.

The MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD – Dr. Robert Goldman

by Al Myers

Thom (right picture) and myself (left picture) with Dr. Goldman at the 2013 Arnold Higland Games in Columbus, Ohio.

A few weeks ago I made the trip to the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio.  The plans were made for this trip to be in conjunction with the USAWA  Club Championships in Pittsburgh, but when the Club Champs were called off because of bad weather that didn’t really end up happening , we decided to just make the trip to the Arnold anyways.  The four of us (me, Chad Ullom, Thom Van Vleck, and Mike McIntyre) had already made the plans to be gone, so instead of only getting one day at the Arnold, now we got two days. 

You always meet interesting people at these kind of events.  Some you heard of beforehand, and others for the first time.  On Sunday we attended the Arnold Classic Highland Games to support several throwers that we know.  It was a grand event, and sponsored by Dr. Robert Goldman.  Dr. Goldman put up the prize money for the invited pros as well as funding the game expenses. This was the first time I had met him, and I was very impressed.  When I got back home I did some research on him, and I might have to say, he is the MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD.  In fact, I have not met anyone who has accomplished what he has in his life in so many different arenas.  Add in the fact that he has a little “all round weightlifter” in him and I was thoroughly impressed.  But before I get to that, you need to read his resume first:

http://drbobgoldman.com/

Dr. Bob Goldman performing a WR 321 consecutive handstand pushups (photo courtesy of Dr. Goldman's website).

It would take a book to write about all of the accomplishments that Dr. Goldman has achieved (or a very extensive website like the one he has!). One of his first books was titled “Death in the Locker Room” which was one of the first unveiling’s of the drug and steroid scene in competitive sports. Dr. Goldman is very anti-drug, and even required steroid testing  at the Arnold Highland Games (which is not the common practice in Highland Games) .   Thom and I compared him to the mysterious Dos Equis man that you often see in beer commercials (who is portrayed as the Most Interesting Man in the World in the beer advertisements).  Dr. Goldman  just radiates confidence and vitality, and after meeting him, you know there is more to the story than what you experienced in that interaction.  On top of all the books he has written and the medical advances he is responsible for, he has achieved some great All Round lifting accomplishments.  He has set several Guinness World Records in such strength events as the handstand pushup, situps for repetitions, one arm pushups, and many others.  The following YouTube Video is very interesting, and is worth the 15 minutes it takes to watch.

YouTube Video –  A lifetime of firsts: The story of Dr. Bob Goldman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyDgV5WOxH8

It’s great the World has men like Dr. Robert Goldman.  He is proof that if you have a positive attitude and strong work ethic, anything is possible to achieve.  He’s a great role model for all of  mankind.

Presidential Speech

by Al Myers, IAWA President

Another year is underway in the World of All Round Weightlifting and the IAWA.   Our history has been a rich one over the past 25 years in IAWA.  I feel the time is here that I should make my “presidential speech” – since being elected the IAWA President last October at the AGM of IAWA.  I know this is an expected duty of any incoming President -  but  I am doing this with some reservations, as I feel that we “have a good thing going” and BIG major changes are not really needed in our organization.   This is due to the previous administration, especially under the guidance of Past IAWA President Steve Gardner.  Steve has lead IAWA in excellent fashion over his two 4-year terms as IAWA President.   I am only hoping that I will be able to “follow in his footsteps” with the same enthusiasm and passion that he has shown for IAWA.   One thing that has always impressed me with Steve is his belief in the democratic principle within the organization, which I wholeheartedly agree with.   IAWA is a democratic body, and in turn should represent the majority viewpoints of the membership.   I promise that I will do my best to represent the feelings of those that elected me, even if my feelings are different on issues.   I’m your elected representative and it’s my duty to represent your views.  Please contact me with your concerns if you have them.  I am “very open” to hearing from the membership and encouraging discussions to solve problem issues.

 The International All Round Weightlifting Association (IAWA)  is the “umbrella World organization” of three Nations that contain organized All Round Weightlifting associations – the USAWA, the IAWA(UK), and the ARWLWA.   I feel the primary purpose of IAWA is to provide the guidance to allow all three organizations to come together for annual World competitions, ie The IAWA World Championships, the Gold Cup, and the IAWA World Postal Meet.    As President, I will make sure to represent all Nations involved.   I also recognize that we are not all “mirror images” of each other, and that is a good thing.  The USAWA has distinctive qualities to it that are different than the IAWA(UK), while the ARWLWA has it’s own very unique “flavor” to their organization.  We are all different in many ways.  History and membership viewpoints are what have driven this, and thus each organization is providing what is wanted by those directly involved.   That’s why I’m saying these differences are a good thing and should be emphasized and commended, instead of criticized and condemned.  However, there are ever-constant problems  in “coming together” for World events when ideas are different.  There has to be some “give and take” to work out these issues – and that is the primary purpose of IAWA – not to supersede established traditions within a nations governing body. 

I do feel that the relations are at an “ALL TIME HIGH” between the USAWA, the IAWA(UK), and the ARWLWA.  This has been shown over the last couple of World Championships.  Again, much of this is attributed to the work of Steve and his ability to promote unity and work through difficulties diplomatically.  He has that gift of leadership.  I will continually “lean on him” for advice in any major IAWA decision made or influenced by myself, as well as the elected board of officers and the IAWA Technical Committee.   The positive relations have also been enhanced by the available networking medias now-a-days.   The USAWA, IAWA-UK, and the ARWLWA each have active Facebook pages to facilitate communications between not only their membership, but others as well.  Practically every day I have contact with someone overseas, either via facebook, message boards,  or email. 

Ok – up till now it seems like I’m just being “general” with all this talk.  I’m sounding like a Politician just throwing out “feel good” concepts that are not specific in any way.  Well, let me give a couple “specific” ideas that I would like to see get accomplished during my next four years in office. 

Develop for the first time a IAWA Rulebook

Up till now there has not really been an IAWA Rulebook.  Each organization has followed their own rulebook which has left many rules of IAWA “unwritten”.   Examples of this is that there are NO WRITTEN rules outlining the proper approval presentation of lifts, the rules of government for  the World Championships and the Gold Cup,  rules for the IAWA Drug Testing Policy, etc.  I could go “on and on” about this as these “unwritten rules” apply to MAJOR ISSUES, which are WAY BEYOND individual lift rules which are only MINOR in comparison. 

Encourage and recruit at least one more “member Nation” to IAWA

Though the years IAWA has had many lifters from countries outside of the United States, the UK, and Australia compete in the Worlds or Gold Cup.  However, as I stated earlier, these other Nations do not have organized All Round Associations consisting of bylaws, Rules, and sanctioned competitions – and these lifters have competed in IAWA events on their own.   I would like to see other Nations “step up” and form All Round Weightlifting organizations that would join IAWA to strengthen and expand our organization.  I will make it a goal of mine to help facilitate this, and provide any guidance that is needed to accomplish this.

Develop historical archives for IAWA

I have already done some of this which is available on the USAWA website under the “history” section.  However, I would like to see our history preserved beyond what I have already done.  I hate to see the past history of the organization “lost” as time goes by.  We have to remember where we came from, as that defines who we are now.  There are VERY FEW around anymore that have been with IAWA since the beginning and know this history firsthand.  I think it is important that the younger lifters have somewhere to look to find out more about the history of our organization.

We may not be a huge organization that has thousands of members – but we are a “close knit” group.  I would contend that having a large membership with hundreds of lifters at the World Championships may NOT be a good thing.   Right now we all know each other and when we get together at meets it is like seeing your family members at a family reunion.  The camaraderie between competitors is strong –something you do not see in other lifting sports.  Little things like that would be lost with a large membership.  We presently have a great IAWA World Record data base – with thanks owed to Chris Bass for this, and before him, to Frank Allen.  The drug testing at IAWA events has been upheld to the ethics of the organization.  We state that we are a drug-free organization and we do the testing to prove it.  That’s something to be proud of.  We have been diligent in promoting our events.  Not once since the World Championships or Gold Cup has started has these events not been contested on a yearly basis.  The annual promotions of these events are vital to the future of IAWA, as they are the basis of our yearly success.   Included in this is the IAWA Annual General Meeting – which allows the membership to speak their concerns and voting to be taken place to uphold the democratic principles of the IAWA.  The AGM is held every year without fail.  Under my term, I promise to keep these events held faithfully on an annual basis.

Like I said earlier – the IAWA has had a rich history of success.  Despite a few “up and downs” and doubters through the years, the organization has not only survived but has thrived.  At the past IAWA World Championships last fall we celebrated the 25 year anniversary of IAWA.  Let’s make the NEXT 25 years just as good as the first 25 years!

OTSM Goes BIG in 2013!

by Thom Van Vleck

It’s not even 2013 yet and we already have THREE OTSM (Old Time Strong Man) contests for  next year and at least one other in the works.  For that reason, we are looking at expanding on the pool of lifts.  How this works is a lift is proposed, then used in a contest to see how it works.  If it works, it is then taken to the annual meeting for approval by the members.

First up is Al’s meet he recently posted for January.  In it he will be introducing a new experimental lift, the Hackenschmidt Floor Press.  There will be an article soon explaining this lift.  Al’s meet will have the Anderson Squat, the Hack Floor press, and the People’s Deadlift.  Rules for the other two lifts are located in the rule book.  This is basically an Old Time Powerlifting Meet!

Second will be in April.  The meet date is not set, but likely the end of April.  This will  run by Tim Piper and will be in Macomb, Illinios. This meet will be at the Salvation Army Gym and that Gym is worth the trip by itself!  I was there recently to help judge a meet and it was as “Old School” as they come and the prefect place for an OTSM meet!

The, of course, the OTSM Nationals will be held in Kirksville, Missouri for the 3rd time.  This meet will be later in the year and while the date is to be determined….it WILL happen and will be the “finale” for the OTSM season.

I also know that Eric Todd and the KC Strongman crew are looking to hold a meet and I’m hoping to talk Jesse Jobe to put one on. I would also like to see regular USAWA meets, such as Record Days, associated with these meets.  As that would help open up the USAWA to new members and fans!

Now we have the makings of a circuit!  So, for those interested, I propose that we have an “OTSM” circuit.  I am looking for ideas on how to format this so anyone that has a good idea, send it my way.  Basically, I want to reward the person who attends the most meets and places the best at those meets.  This award will be present at the conclusion of the OTSM Championships.  Maybe we should even have a club champion as well.  What do you think?  Let me know!

I hope that everyone will give an OTSM meet a look in 2013.  Maybe even host one and compete in one!

The EZ-Way Formula

by Thom Van Vleck

I like to read old weightlifting magazines….well….I like to read anything related to weightlifting!  Recently Wayne Gardner, an “old timer” in the Jackson Weightlifting Club, gave me a bunch of old magazines and books.  With this treasure trove was three issues of Dan DeWelt’s “Powerlifting News”.  Dan put this newsletter/magazine out in the 70’s for a time.  Mike Lambert who put out Powerlifting USA for 25 years was inspired by Dan.

As I was reading the February 1973 issue I found a very short article on the EZ-Way Formula to arrive at the best lifter.  It was written by Bob Shadron who seemed to be inspired to come up with something easier than the Hoffman Formula.   Shadron  said “….we can replace the Hoffman Formula for good”.  He also touts it to be accurate and fair at all bodyweights.

The formula is simple.  You divide the lifter’s bodyweight into their total or the lift.  Round that number to the nearest 100th of a percent (10.591 would become 10.59).  You end up with the the number of “times bodyweight” lifted.  You then add to this the lifter’s body weight divided by 100 (a 251lb lifter gets a factor of 2.51).  Shadron claims the second number “assures that a heavier lifter gets a little more credit….than a lighter lifter….in direct proportion to the increase in bodyweight.

So, using my examples, a lifter that lifted 10.59 of their bodyweight would add their factor of 2.51 to get a final coefficient of 13.1.

I’m not promoting this formula, just reporting it.  I know Al Myers enjoys “analyzing” these types of things (after all, he’s the “facts” guy and I’m the “fluff” guy!) so maybe Al will break this down or tear it apart!  Whichever the case may be.  I just found it interesting and thought I would share it.  Don’t worry!  I don’t plan on bringing it up to replace our current system…even it it does appear to favor the heavier lifter.

Our Trip to the Dinnie Stones

by Al Myers

The three that lifted the Dinnie Stones unassisted (without straps) - (left to right): Mark Haydock, Al Myers, and Chad Ullom

One of the most exciting experiences of my life occurred the day following the IAWA Gold Cup.  Gold Cup promoters Andy Tomlin and Matthew Finkle arranged an organized trip to visit the famous Dinnie Stones.  This trip was planned and announced many months in advance and several IAWA lifters took part.  Participants included men from Scotland, England, United States, and Finland. As we were making the road trip to the Potarch Hotel and crossing through the beautiful  Scottish Highlands and the snow covered Cairngorm Mountains, anxiety and anticipation filled the atmosphere of the car. Once we arrived it was exciting to see several locals had showed up to witness our efforts. Apparently the word had gotten out!  I would say there were 10-15 people in attendance to watch our efforts in undertaking the challenge of lifting the Dinnie Stones. 

Donald Dinnie left these stones for future generations to test their strength.  I have previously read the book, “Donald Dinnie – The First Sporting Superstar” by David Webster and Gordon Dinnie several times, and it is a tremendous account of Donald Dinnie and his achievements.  Anyone should read this book before making the trip to the Potarch Hotel to fully realize and recognize the historical significance of these stones. The latest issue of MILO (September, 2012 Volume 20, Issue 2) included an excellent Dinnie Stone article written by the legendary Scottish Highland Game athlete Francis Brebner. I have read several articles concerning the Dinnie Stones, and this article by Francis is the best one I have ever read. I have had the opportunity to “share the throwing field” with Francis in several past professional Highland Games, and I can attest firsthand what an upstanding individual Francis is in the strength community.   Another important reference should be the Dinnie Stone website http://gordondinnie.com/Stones.html , which includes many of the successful lifts by strong men in past history.  The top of the website lays out the challenges made by Donald Dinnie and his stones in his own words, which I would like to repeat here:

The stones weighing a total of 785lbs. were carried by Donald Dinnie in 1860.

Here is Donald’s own account of the event written by him in 1912.

“On the granite stone bridge that crosses the River Dee at Potarch there  were, and still are, two large stones weighing about 8cwt the pair, placed in a recess. In the early 1830’s massive iron rings were placed in them, to which ropes were fixed so that scaffolds could be attached for pointing the bridge. Now, one of these stones was somewhat heavier than the other. Very few strong men of that day could lift the heavy one withbothhands, but my father could raise one in each hand with apparent ease, and could throw the heavier stone of the two on to the top of a parapet wall of the bridge. Those stones are still on the bridge and I myself lifted one in each hand on many occasions and one market day, I carried them across the bridge and back, some four to five yards.”

It is easy to see from those words that three challenges were issued by Donald Dinnie regarding the Dinnie Stones, 1. Lift the stones for height (to the top of a parapet wall) 2. Lift the stones for repetitions (lifted one in each hand on many occasions) and 3. Carry them for distance (carried them across the bridge and back, some four or five yards).

The Dinnie Stones represent a different individual challenge for every person.  Lifting stones is NOT a weightlifting meet - there is no trophy for winning or being the best.  I feel anyone who meets the challenge that they set out for themselves with the Dinnie Stones is worthy of praise, as this is what stone lifting should be all about.  It’s a inner battle against the stone that lays before you which drives you to ”rise to the occasion” and give everything that you have, both mentally and physically, to accomplish the goal set forth.  If you do that, you have been successful in your quest and should  know in your heart that by doing so you have met the challenge of the Dinnie Stones.  The degree of this challenge is different for every man.

Now let me get to the details of this glorious day of those that had taken part!!  I kept very accurate records of the accounts of the day as I want this to be reported with accuracy.  Ten men took part in this memorable event. Below is a summary chart of what transpired:

Participant Age BWT Dinnie Stone Accomplishment
Alex Rigbye, ENGLAND  27 89kg 7 Repetitions with both stones assisted (WITH STRAPS)
Josh Haydock, ENGLAND 22 80kg 1 Repetition with both stones assisted (WITH STRAPS), and 3 Repetitions with small stone unassisted 
Barry Gordge, ENGLAND 51 104kg 1 Repetition with small stone unassisted
George Dick, SCOTLAND 64 123kg 1 Repetition with small stone using both hands unassisted
Mark Haydock, ENGLAND 37 115kg 25 Repetitions with both stones unassisted, walk with both stones unassisted a total of 3 feet
Chad Ullom, UNITED STATES 40 112kg 25 Repetitions with both stones unassisted
Andy Tomlin, SCOTLAND 45 92kg Lifted both small and large stone one handed unassisted
Timo Lauttemaus, FINLAND 33 98kg Lifted large stone unassisted with left hand and held for a time of 14.3 seconds
Matt Finkle, SCOTLAND 46 65kg Lifted both small and large stone with two hands unassisted
Al Myers, UNITED STATES 46 111kg 1 Repetition with both stones unassisted

(NOTES: I want to mention that these ages and bodyweights are official, as they were used in entry in the previous days’ IAWA Gold Cup Championships.  Also, I want to thank James McKenna for attending this activity, as he was the one responsible for several of the pictures that were taken.  The Dinnie Stone lifting took place over an hour and a half, from 10:30 AM to noon on November 4th., 2012)

I was so impressed with Alex Rigbye and Josh Haydock.  These two young men brimmed with enthusiasm, and gained much respect from myself and others by their tenacity.  Josh was set on trying to lift both stones unassisted, and tried numerous times to no avail.  He easily lifted the small stone unassisted, but the large stone was just slightly out of his capabilities.  It surely wasn’t because of lack of effort!  He tried and tried, and then totally exhausted resorted to using lifting straps to complete one good repetition of both stones.  It was a gallant lift, considering that he had previously “given it all”.  Alex was intent on getting as many reps as he could using straps, and “gutted out” 7 repetitions.  I told both of these young men what an outstanding effort they had given, and that they should use this day to give them the motivation to come back in future years and succeed lifting the stones unassisted.  I KNOW that they will do that  - as the challenge of the Dinnie Stones is now embedded in their soul.  

I had just met Barry Gordge for the first time this weekend.  Barry, at age 51, is one strong man.  The day before I watched Barry do a one arm Zercher of 142.5 kgs.  Barry lifted the small stone quite easily one handed unassisted.  This was his first experience taking on the Dinnies.  He did not try to use straps to lift both of  them together  - but if he would have I know that he would have had no problem lifting both of them at the same time.

George Dick and Matt Finkle came focused on lifting both stones two handed.  George handled the small Dinnie Stone several times as well as Matt.  After a few failed attempts at the big stone two handed, Matt finally succeeded!  It was one of the most impressive lifts of the day.  Matt only weighs 65 kilograms and I am sure the large stone is exceeding his max deadlift.  Holding onto the Dinnie Stone ring is WAY HARDER than gripping a bar, but due to his persistence he was successful!

This is one of the 25 reps done by Mark Haydock during the course of the day.

Mark Haydock and Chad Ullom came into the day only hoping to be successful lifting both stones unassisted (without straps).  Both had never attempted the Dinnie Stones before, and even though they knew their capabilities lifting on ring handled pin loaders, these stones offer different challenges with unknown uncertainties.  Mark has just recently (5 months ago) had bicep reattachment on his right bicep. Anyone would have to question his sanity in attempting such a thing.  Both of these guys were very “fired up” on their first attempt, and proceeded to lift the Dinnie Stones unassisted for one repetition with ease!  After doing this, they decided to go after more repetitions to fully test their capabilities.  I sat back and watched in amazement!  Once they got close to 20 repetitions, I suggested that they go for 25 total reps as that would mark the 25 year celebration of the International All Round Weightlifting Association. This challenge I issued pushed them a few reps further.  I want to emphasize that all these reps were done WITHOUT STRAPS.  I will never take away from anyone lifting the Dinnie Stones with straps, as if that was the challenge they were presented with and succeeded then success was obtained.  But lifting the Dinnie Stones  unassisted (without straps) is a challenge of a much higher level, and no one should be fooled in thinking lifting with straps is the same as lifting without.  The limit is the ability to hold the grip, and both Mark and Chad have WORLD CLASS hook grips to go along with their strong backs.  I believe that this is the most repetitions anyone has ever lifted the Dinnie Stones in one day, which is a great accomplishment.  As I’ve said earlier in this story, total repetitions have always been a part of Dinnie Stone lifting history, as recorded on the Dinnie Stone website.   Well over 50% of all  Dinnie Stone lifters on that website have pushed their body limits with repetitions. 

Chad Ullom with a successful unassisted lift with the Dinnie Stones.

Mark also took “a shot” at walking with both Dinnie Stones without straps. In Francis’s article, he talked about two other athletes walking with the stones in the past.  Calum  Morrison was one of the first to do so, walking 2 feet in 1997.  Glenn Ross was another who attempted to match Donald Dinnie’s feat of crossing the bridge carrying both stones (a distance slightly over 5 yards).  Ross gave a ferocious attempt, making it 5 feet 5 inches.  I was slightly surprised Mark was even going to give this a try, after already lifting the stones for many repetitions.  I thought his grip obviously had to be impaired from this previous lifting.  But not only did he walk a total of 3 feet - he didn’t use straps!!!  He lifted the stones “side by side” and with the stones beating on his legs with every small step, he moved slowly over the distance.  I should mention that Mark did this in the soft gravel out in front of the hotel, and chose his course slightly uphill toward the street.  This HAS to be one of the most impressive feats ever done with the Dinnie Stones.  If there is a man to match Donald Dinnies feat of carrying the stones across the bridge without sitting either one down – my money is on Mark.  I want to make another comment about Mark and Chad’s Dinnie Stone lifting efforts.  All of the lifts were done on the soft gravel out of respect of not damaging the stones.  Several times I saw Chad’s feet slip on the loose gravel as he started his pull, which caused him to abandon the attempt and reset.  This added much more challenge to their efforts.  I have watched lifters on YouTube lift the Dinnie Stones on the concrete, and you can hear the “thub” every time when the stones are set down after their attempts.  This makes me shudder and cringe.  We, as stone lifters, need to take care of these stones for future generations.  Mark and Chad are very humble guys as well, you will never hear of them “bragging” about their successes with the Dinnie Stones in the future. 

Timo Lauttemaus has to be one of the first lifters from Finland to lay hands on the Dinnie Stones.  Timo has huge hands, and the day before did a 127.5 kg Index Finger Deadlift. However, the technique of hook gripping is new to him.  Chad and I explained the process of  hook gripping in the car on the way to the Potarch Hotel.  So what does he do?  He hooks grip for the FIRST TIME ever and lifts the big Dinnie Stone with his left hand and holds it for 14.3 seconds!!  Unbelievable if you ask me. 

Andy Tomlin successful with the large stone one handed unassisted. Andy and Matt Finkle were responsible for organizing this trip to the Dinnie Stones.

This was the third trip to the Dinnies for Andy Tomlin.  He had previously lifted the small stone with one hand, but never the big one.  He had the goal to lift the big one unassisted, and that is JUST WHAT HE DID.  It took a few attempts, but Andy “reached down deep” and gave one of the greatest efforts of the day.  After overcoming the many years disappointment with this big Dinnie Stone – he was finally successful! 

I can’t end this story without giving my account with my Dinnie Stone battle.  The first time I gave a shot at lifting the Dinnie Stones was in 2005.  At that time I was much stronger having around a 750 pound deadlift, but lacked the hook grip strength to lift the big stone.  I tried and tried on that occasion.  I told myself that I would come back at a latter date and succeed with this quest.  At that time I elected not to use straps as I knew I could lift them easily that way and I felt that that wasn’t my Dinnie Stone Challenge.  I wanted my first time to lift them to be unassisted.   However, I didn’t think that this trip would be that time yet.  I just recently had shoulder surgery (2 months ago), and haven’t been able to train with my left arm at all, and was concerned that attempting them may injure myself as I’m still recovering.  I didn’t even take my lifting belt with me on the trip to the Dinnies.  However, once there and watching everyone else push themselves with their challenges, I had a change of mind as I felt the draw of the Dinnie Stone mystic overtake me. I borrowed Chad’s belt for my attempt.  My first try I set my hook too deep and tore a huge chunk of flesh from my palm.  As I looked down I could see the blood trickling from my hand onto the large stone.  It took 10 minutes to get the bleeding to stop.  For a split second I thought “its got to be another day for me now”, but then I lost all rational thought and gave them another shot.  With no negative thoughts in my head, I gave it all I had and they came up!!  A goal I set for myself 7 years prior was now realized.  I told Mark and Chad afterwards that my one rep meant just as much to me as their 25 reps did to them!  That’s what the Dinnie Stones should be all about – taking on a challenge and being successful with great effort and determination.

Al Myers making a successful unassisted lift with the Dinnie Stones in front of a crowd on spectators.

This was a day that those of us involved will never forget in our lives.  I am proud of the fact that all of us are DRUG FREE, and have the negative tests to back up that statement.  Lots of blood and sweat were left on the Dinnie Stones (luckily no tears), but we left them in the same state as when we arrived for the next stone lifter to test his fortitude against the mighty challenge of the Dinnie Stones.  I am glad that I was able to be part of this day as it will forever tie all of us to the legacy of the Stones. Talks are already underway for our next organized trip to the Dinnie Stones – where new challenges will be set and higher achievements will be made.

World Postal Champions

by Steve Gardner

Steve and Karen Gardner present Al Myers and Chad Ullom with their awards for winning the Andy Goddard Postal World Strongest Two Man Team Competition.

Frank Ciavattone GRAND BEST LIFTER

by Al Myers

Frank Ciavattone (middle) being awarded the GRAND BEST LIFTER of the USAWA. Presenters included USAWA Vice President Chad Ullom (left) and USAWA Secretary Al Myers (right).

One of the really important awards presented at the 2012 IAWA World Championships went to Frank Ciavattone. Frank was awarded the GRAND BEST LIFTER of the 25 year history of the USAWA.  This awarded was intended to be presented to Frank at the USAWA Nationals, but since he was unable to attend that meet I waited till Worlds to bestow him the recognition that he has rightly earned.  This award was based on Franks competition history at past USAWA National Championships. Frank has competed at the USAWA Nationals since the practical beginning, and in that time has acquired more National Records than anyone else!  To date he has 45 National Records!!!  That’s alot!!!  It will take someone of longterm persistence and great ability to overtake this record count of Franks. 

Congratulations Frank!  It was my honor to be part of this presentation.

Steve Gardner – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

IAWA President Al Myers (left) presenting IAWA Past President Steve Gardner (right) the IAWA Award of Merit.

One of the BIG AWARDS given over the course of the 2012 IAWA World Championships was the IAWA Award of Merit, awarded to Steve Gardner.  This is the second time this award has been given to someone in the IAWA.  The first Award of Merit went to Art Montini at the 2010 World Champs.  The Award of Merit is a Presidential Award, meaning that it is selected and presented on behalf of the IAWA President.  I made presenting this prestigious IAWA award to Steve my first “order of business” since assuming the IAWA Presidency, after Steve “stepped down” as the IAWA President after 12 years of service (3 terms) 2 days prior at the Annual World Council Meeting.

There is NO ONE more deserving of this award than Steve.  Steve has given SO MUCH of his time and energy to IAWA over the years.  It is also fitting that he be awarded this special award on the 25th World Meet anniversary.  I was honored to give his award speech.  For those interested in hearing it, and missed it the first time around, here it is:   http://www.usawa.com/the-iawa-president-steve-gardner/   .  Steve is the ONLY IAWA member who has attended every IAWA Championship over the 25 year history of the IAWA.  He has always been a participant in some manner – lifter, official, announcer, or scorekeeper!!  I have a story I would like to share about Steve and his attendance at the IAWA World Championships (this one I left out of my presentation speech).  In 1990 when the championships were held in Scotland, the World Championships conflicted on the same weekend with Steve’s Tug of War team who were defending their first National Title.  Steve drove through the night to be at (and help) with the meet on the second day.  He then attended the banquet after the meet with NO SLEEP the night before!! That’s commitment to IAWA and the membership!!

In closing, I would like to share a few words Steve had to say after receiving the IAWA Award of Merit:  ”Al Myers took me by surprise when he presented me with the IAWA Award of Merit recognising my work with IAWA over the past 25 years. I thank Al and all of those involved very much. I have now ‘handed over the baton’ as IAWA International President to Al, after having first taken over from Howard Prechtel 12 years ago. I wish Al all the best and I am sure he will do a wonderful job for IAWA!”

IAWA has a rich history of leadership with past Presidents Howard Prechtel and Steve Gardner.  I promise that I will “do my best” to continue what these two great leaders have accomplished.

OHHH! My Toe!

by Roger LaPointe

Al Myers doing a Steinborn Lift at the 2010 IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. The Steinborn Lift is a lift that requires very tight quality collars that won't slip off!

Clang! Ding! Bang! Ohhh! My TOE!

Imagine the sound of plate after plate hitting the floor and then the other plates bouncing off those plates and rolling on the floor, with the ringing sound of milled cast iron followed by intense cursing and swearing…

Yes, the catastrophic failure of a crappy spring collar is what I have just described. Of course, it is followed by intense pain, maybe a little blood and a quick trip to the emergency room. None of this is anything I want to be a part of. I really don’t want to be the guy being taken to the emergency room.

Before you do a lift, make sure someone reliable has checked your collars, particularly if you are doing a dumbbell lift. Equipment failures happen. If there is a bolt, it can come loose. If there is a collar, someone can forget to tighten it down. If there is a weld, it can break. As unbelievable as it sounds, I have even seen dumbbell heads that have sheared off the steal handles. The long and short of it is that people abuse gym equipment and there is NO way a manufacturer or gym owner can anticipate every stupid thing that can happen in a gym… Believe me, I can tell you stories.

Quality Spin-Lock Collars are available from Atomic Athletic.

You have to be responsible for your own actions. Check your equipment.

RULE #1
I never use crappy collars for dumbbell lifts and ALL Spring Collars are crappy.

RULE #2
If I am the one who might be injured, I check the equipment before lifting with it.

RULE #3
See Rule #1 and Rule #2. If I violate them, then I only have myself to blame.

I can get a little OCD and excessive about certain things and will simply go overboard sometimes. For example, I have a collection of collars, both standard size and Olympic sized. I use different ones for their ideal applications. If you are just realizing that your collars are an important part of your equipment arsenal, then here is a good place to start looking. I love spin-lock collars. I highly recommend that everyone own at least one pair.

Happy lifting. Make sure to tighten down your collars.

Live strong, Roger
“Today is a good day to lift.”

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

The first Team (2-Man) Neck Lift ever performed, by Al Myers and Chad Ullom, at the Dino Days Record Day. We lifted 1205 pounds.

Seven lifters performed record attempts at the Dino Days Record Day on August 12th.  Of these 7, three made it that didn’t compete the previous day in the Dino Gym – Tim Songster, Mike Murdock, and Molly Myers.

I’ll start the report with the youngest lifter of the day.  My daughter Molly continues to amaze me with her lifting ability. She has spent some time in her young life training, but never anything consistent.  I keep telling her that she has great ability lifting weights, but I haven’t over-pressured her to be a weight lifter.  Usually in record days, I have picked lifts for her that she could set records in easily, as I didn’t want her to feel disappointed if she couldn’t exceed a previous record.  But this time, I picked a few records that I knew she would have to get a great performance to exceed the current record on the books.  The first choice was the Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift.  The previous record was 148# (which I consider a very good mark) and Molly exceeded it with her last attempt at 151#.  This got her very excited and after that the records fell at a rapid pace, ending with a very fine 130# 12 inch base squat.

Mike Murdock performing one of the "first ever" Jackson Presses at the Dino Days Record Day.

Since I’m reporting in the order of age, that makes Chad at 40 the next in line!  Chad started the day off with a 135# Jackson Press.  When he finished he made the comment that he picked that lift to recognize the JWC, since none of the JWC members were in attendance.  He then started focusing on regaining his Neck Lift record, which he lost to Eric Todd at the Heavy Lift Championships.  I decided I would join him in the Neck Lift, but I knew I would only be his “pace car” as he proceeded to heavier and heavier poundages!  I dropped out at 700 but to Chad it seemed as he was still just warming up.  He finished with 915# for the new ALL TIME record in the Neck Lift. After that we decided to do some 2-Man Neck Lifts.  This was our first time trying out this new bar apparatus I had made to do this lift, and we finished with 1205#.  We could have done alot more, but we need some more training time to synchronize our efforts.  Unlike other 2-Man lifts, this one is performed “totally blind” as you are looking up and have no visual cues.  Add in the element of danger, and this lift becomes much more difficult than other 2-Man lifts.

I was glad to meet another lifter from Jobe’s Steel Jungle.  Tim Songster made his first appearance in the Dino Gym. Tim set 8 new records in various different lifts.  I could tell Tim is a true all-rounder, as he seems to really enjoy the variety of the different lifts.  If someone else was trying a different lift, he wanted to “give it a try” as well, and in the process learn how to do this new lift. Welcome to the USAWA Tim!

LaVerne made an appearance on both days at this year’s Dino Days.  The day before he teamed with Dean Ross in the Team Championships. It appeared to me that he must have still been on this “team approach” as it seemed they did all the same lifts!  LaVerne, Dean and Mike started the day off doing the Bear Hug. The Bear Hug is a lift very rarely contested in the USAWA, and it seemed like they were doing it for over an hour.  They must have tripled the weight they started with.  LaVerne ended up on tops with a lift of 206#, followed by Dean at 181#, and then Mike at 156#.  However, in the new USAWA lift, the Fulton Bar Bench Press, Dean and Mike had the best lifts (178#), followed by LaVerne at 123#. Another lift that “stuck out in my mind” was the 1250# Back Lift by Dean.  That is a huge lift!

Again, I want to thank everyone who attended this record day.  I really enjoy watching others have fun lifting weights, and afterall, that is what it should be all about.

MEET RESULTS

Dino Days Record Day
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
August 12th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials: Al Myers, Mike Murdock, Chad Ullom, Jesse Jobe, LaVerne Myers

Lifters:

Molly Myers – Female, Age 13, 164# BWT
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 151#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 201#
Deadlift – Heels Together: 182#
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 100#
Curl – Cheat: 75#
Jackson Press: 45#
Press – From Rack: 45#
Squat – 12″ Base: 130#

Chad Ullom – Age 40, 253# BWT
Jackson Press; 135#
Clean and Press – On Knees: 211#
Neck Lift: 915#
Turkish Get Up: 71#

Tim Songster Sr. – Age 45, 208# BWT
Bear Hug: 181#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 130#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 85#
Turkish Get Up: 53#
Extension – Back: 110#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 85#
Bench Press – Roman Chair: 65#
Jackson Press: 160#

Al Myers – Age 45, 248# BWT
Neck Lift: 690#
Extension – Back: 140#

LaVerne Myers – Age 68, 249# BWT
Jackson Press: 75#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 123#
Bear Hug: 206#

Dean Ross – Age 69, 275# BWT
Jackson Press: 95#
Arthur Lift: 75#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 178#
Bear Hug: 181#
Turkish Get Up: 35#
Back Lift: 1250#

Mike Murdock – Age 72, 225# BWT
Jackson Press – 115#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 178#
Bear Hug: 156#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 201#

Al Myers and Chad Ullom
Team Neck Lift: 1205#

NOTES:  All lifts are recorded in pounds.

Team Championships

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2012 USAWA Team Championships. (front left to right): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Mac Chapello, Jesse Jobe. (back row left to right): Jera Kressly, Doug Kressly, Darren Barnhart, LaVerne Myers, Dean Ross

What a GREAT WEEKEND!  The annual Dino Days Weekend started of with the USAWA Team Championships on Saturday and finished with the Dino Days Record Day on Sunday.   The Team Champs started out with a BANG, with 4 teams in attendance.  Chad and I lifted together again, Jobes Steel Jungle brought a team of Jesse Jobe and Mac Capello, two other Dino Gym members teamed up – Dean Ross and LaVerne Myers, and for the first time we had a Mixed Pair  (male & female) team compete.  Doug and Jera Kressly made their USAWA debut, and put up big lifts together. 

Jesse and Mac took "bragging rights" in the Team Bent Over Row, as they put up the top lift of the meet at 560 pounds.

Chad and I were able to defend our USAWA Team Title, but had some serious competition from the apes that represented Jobes Steel Jungle.  The KING APE Jesse brought a sibling primate along to team up with him, and Mac BABY CHIMP Chapello showed that he has what it takes to someday be the king of the jungle.  It was a close comp till the final event, the 12″ base deadlift, when Chad and I “pulled it out”.   We took what we needed for the win (1020#), and then took a fourth attempt which was successful with 1100#.   That now becomes the top 2-MAN deadlift of all-time in the USAWA, exceeding the effort of Bryan Benzel/Troy Goetsch (a couple other Jungle lifters) set earlier this year. 

Doug and Jera Kressly showed "perfect harmony" with each other all day long, as they won the first Mixed Pair Team Title in the history of the USAWA.

I can’t say enough how much I was impressed with Doug and Jera Kressly.  I have known both of them for many years (through the Highland Games), and I knew they would also be great All-Round lifters.  I sure hope they make it back to a USAWA competition soon.  Their Mixed Pair victory makes them the FIRST Mixed Pair team to win the USAWA Team Championships.  Hopefully next year, another Mixed Pair team will join in the fun of this competition so Doug and Jera can have some “two-on-two” competition.  I was especially impressed with their Team One Arm Clean and Jerk. 160 pounds is a HUGE lift for a 2-Man team, let alone a Mixed Pair team. 

LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross and their 380# Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift. These two teamed up quite nicely as they both are physically built very similar.

The Dino Gym’s OLD GEEZERS Dean Ross and LaVerne Myers showed up with one goal in mind, to beat the Mixed Pair team of Doug and Jera.  Doug and Jera was leading after the first two events, but then Dean and LaVerne used their strong callused hands  in the Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift to go past them.  It was a tense moment when Doug and Jera was deadlifing, after the OLD GEEZERS  had finished.  However, in the end the OLD GEEZERS edged them out (but ONLY because of the 29% age correction they received!).  So there are benefits to being a Senior Citizen Weightlifter!!

Al Myers and Chad Ullom and their record-setting team deadlift of 1100 pounds.

I want to thank everyone who attended this meet this year.  I especially want to thank Darren Barnhart for showing up just to officiate. Darren is “that guy” in the Dino Gym that I can always count on to show up to help out when he’s not competing, and I hate to think how much I owe him for the contributions he has made over the years.  

This is truly one of the “most fun” meets in the USAWA.  As I was explaining after the meet to Jesse, the reason I like this meet is because if you don’t do well in a lift – you can always blame it on your team mate.  That’s when I noticed the BABY CHIMP nodding his head in agreement…

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
August 11th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official: Darren Barnhart

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – 1 arm, Deadlift – Fulton bar, Ciavattone Grip, Bent Over Row, Deadlift – 12″ base

TEAMS:

Dino Gym – 115 KG Class, 40-44 Age Group, 2-Man
Al Myers – 45 years old, 247# BWT
Chad Ullom – 40 years old, 252# BWT

Jobes Steel Jungle – 110 KG Class, Senior Age Group, 2-Man
Jesse Jobe – 35 years old, 235# BWT
Mac Capello – 34 years old, 240# BWT

Team Kressly – 115 KG Class, Senior Age Group, Male/Female
Doug Kressly – 32 years old, 252# BWT
Jera Kressly – 27 years old, 209# BWT

The Old Geezers – 125 KG Class, 65-69 Age Group
Dean Ross – 69 years old, 274# BWT
LaVerne Myers – 68 years old, 250# BWT

Lifters C&J-1A DL-FB,CG Row DL-12″ Total Points
Myers & Ullom 260R 640 550 1020 2470 1970.8
Jobe & Capello 240R 600 560 950 2350 1903.7
Myers & Ross 85L 380 304 500 1269 1241.2
Team Kressly 160R 420 304 650 1534 1211.9

NOTES: All weights recorded in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Points are corrected points for age and bodyweight.

EXTRA LIFT FOR RECORD:

Myers & Ullom: Deadlift – 12″ Base 1100#

BEST LIFTER AWARDS:

Mixed Pair – Doug and Jera Kressly
Senior Age Group – Jesse Jobe and Mac Capello
Master 40+ Age Group – Al Myers and Chad Ullom
Master 60+ Age Group – LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross

Update on the OTSM Championships for 2012

by Thom Van Vleck

2011 Group Photo....I hope to DOUBLE that number this year!

With the recent approval of new Old Time Strong Man events recently approved at the National meeting in Las Vegas I thought this would be as good a time as any to put in a plug for this year’s Championships.  Last year we had 10 lifters show for the contest.  This year I anticipate even more participants in this fun and exciting new area of lifting!  Regular readers of the website will know that I recently started a Weightlifting Club (see the article http://www.usawa.com/?s=osteoblasters&x=8&y=10) at the University I work at.  Many are interested in competing and helping out.  I have also been getting several inquiries from lifters who did not attend last year….so interest is looking good!

A great photo of Al doing the DB to the Shoulder, a newly recognized OTSM lift!

I recently ordered anvils for my awards.  These will be miniature anvils mounted on a base with the meet name and date.  The anvil has has become my “signature” award as it relates to the Jackson Weightlifting Club’s early beginnings and the lifting of Grandpa Jackson’s Anvil.  Which will be on hand if you want to lift a piece of family history!

So, click on the meet link on the homepage and download your meet entry today!   Make it a weekend and attend the Highland Games the day before the OTSM meet.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

25 Year Performance Award

by Al Myers

Award winners for the 25 Year Performance Award - Al Myers (left) & Art Montini (middle). Denny Habecker (right) presented this award during the USAWA Awards Ceremony.

It was a great honor to “share the stage” with Art Montini in receiving the 25 Year Performance Award.  This award went to the 2  lifters who have won the most Overall Best Lifter Awards at the National Championships over the 25 year history of the USAWA.  Art and I have 4 apiece.  My years – 2010, 2009, 2008, & 2006.  Art’s years were – 1995, 1993, 1992, & 1991.

I have a long ways to go to “fill Art’s shoes”.   Art’s last Overall Best Lifter Award in 1995 occurred when he was 67 years of age!  His first was when he was 63.  I have to do some checking to verify this fact, but I’m pretty sure that that he is the oldest lifter to ever win this prestigious title.  It is simply amazing everything Art has accomplished in the USAWA over the last 25 years, and when you realize that all of this lifting success happened after the age of 60 it even makes it more unbelievable!

Athlete of the Year

by Chad Ullom

Al Myers (left) and Larry Traub (middle) - Athletes of the Year.

The final yearly recognition award that was given this year was our Athlete of the Year. This is the “MVP” of the USAWA.  Ironically, the winner and runner-up for the Athlete of the Year were both present and finished in the same order the next day! I wonder if that’s ever happened?!

Athlete of Year-Al Myers
Runner up-Larry Traub

Larry, a relative newcomer to the USAWA, has shown he will be a force to be reckoned with! At this point, Larry is still learning most of the lifts. With just a couple of pointers this year, he added 20 lbs onto his 1 arm clean and jerk! He’s nearly impossible to beat now with his pulling, pressing and squatting power. Give him some time to get more comfortable with more lifts and look out! Larry is the defending national champion and placed 2nd this year. He repeated his victory at the Monster garage meet. Hopefully we’ll see Larry in October for his first world championships. I’m sure we will open some eyes!

The winner of the athlete of the year is Al Myers. I can’t imagine that we had a more active lifter than Al in 2011. He competed in 12 Usawa/Iawa meets, not including record days!  Not only that, there were several others that he sat out to help, or that number would have been much higher. Here’s a quick rundown of 2011 of Al’s overall placings:

Dino Strength challenge-1st place
Grip Championship-1st
Club Challenge-1st place team Dino
Deanna-2nd
Goddard postal (iawa)-1st place team, best overall lifter
Eastern Postal-1st
Heavy lift nationals-2nd
Team Nationals-1st place team Dino
Gold cup(iawa)-world record DL with daughter Emily
Strongman championships-1st
Delaware open-1st
Iawa World Championships, Australia -2nd overall.

That is quite a list! Most of us could go a few years and not be able to put that type of resume together! Al is a humble guy, you won’t see him point out his accomplishments. If I’m not mistaken, he currently sits 3rd all time on the USAWA record list and with that type of activity, it won’t be long before he’s on top. He is an increbible lifter and has been a great teammate, mentor, coach, travel buddy and hetero life partner to me:). Congratulations Al!

Bob Geib – New Inductee into the USAWA Hall of Fame

by Al Myers

Bob Geib (center) receiving his USAWA Hall of Fame Plaque. Presenters include Al Myers (left) and Dennis Mitchell (right).

The big HIGHLIGHT of the USAWA Annual Awards Presentation was the induction of Bob Geib into the USAWA Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame is the highest honor one can receive in the USAWA, and there is not a person more deserving than Bob Geib.  Bob has been involved with the USAWA since almost the very beginning.  Bob got started in the USAWA under the guidance of USAWA legend Howard Prechtel. I’m sure Bob spent many hours training with Howard in the Prechtel Athletic Club in Cleveland developing his skills with the all-round lifts. I know this because Bob has frequently mentioned Howard to me, and gives Howard credit for getting him involved in the USAWA.  Bob also often traveled with Howard to big National and World meets.  At this years Nationals, Bob even brought a plaque honoring Howard to the meet venue, so in a small way Howard Prechtel was a part of this years big 25 year celebration.

This brings the USAWA Hall of Fame membership to 23 members over our 25 year history.  So you can see it is hard to reach Hall of Fame status – that’s less than 1 new member every year.  This award is not just HANDED OVER – you have to earn it!   Bob has quite the resume of USAWA involvement.  Dennis Mitchell (a fellow Cleveland native who has known Bob for a long time) gave Bob’s  induction speech.  In his speech, Dennis summarized Bob’s involvement which I would like to share with you.

  • Competed in the USAWA Nationals 14 times -  2012, 2011, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991
  • Competed in the IAWA Worlds 9 times – 2005, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991
  • Competed in the Gold Cup 8 times – 2005, 2004, 2003, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1992, 1991
  • Bob promoted the IAWA Gold Cup in 2005 in Hawaii.  He also competed in the very first Gold Cup which was promoted by Howard Prechtel in 1991.  He has competed oversees 5 times – England three times, Australia once, and Scotland once.
  • Currently holds 77 USAWA records.

Soon I will write a complete biography on Bob for the USAWA Hall of Fame archives.  But in the meantime – CONGRATULATIONS Bob on this big honor.  You are now part of the elite USAWA crowd. You deserve it!!

Notes to my younger self

by Al Myers

This is a photo of myself in a powerlifting meet when I first started competing, when I was 20 years old. If only I knew the things then that I know now!

A while back  I was discussing with Dave Glasgow  everything we have learned “the hard way” during our long lifting careers, and how we both wish we knew THEN what we know NOW.  The lifters nowadays have much more training information “at their fingertips” by the volumes upon volumes of training wisdom found on the internet (not saying it is all good info, but there is alot of good information).  Back in my early training days the only source of training information was from other lifters and the most recent edition of Muscle and Fitness that I read in the store off the rack.  Eventually I was able to  afford a subscription to Powerlifting USA so my learning curve expanded.  I want to make these “notes to myself” just in case somehow, by a modern day miracle, I am transformed back into the mind and body of my early 20’s.  

1.  STICK TO THE BASIC MUSCLE BUILDING EXERCISES

I remember when I was a young lifter I often got “sidetracked” with unproductive training programs (usually out of the latest issue of M&F!).  I kept looking for the ultimate program and truly believed there was one. I would ”jump around” from training program to training program.   Now I know there’s not a “secret training program”   – many programs can be very successful and there is not a single program  that is always better than the rest.  Looking back, I realize now that most of my strength gains came from the most basic of exercises – squats, presses, and deadlifts. 

2.  STAY CONSISTENT IN YOUR TRAINING

The most important thing a young lifter can do is to stay consistent in their training.  This means lifting year round, and not taking extended breaks.  I know when I was young I would often lose focus on my training, and participate in other non strength activities for long periods of time.   I also took alot of things for granted – and just assumed that I wouldn’t lose the strength I built up while taking time off for a couple of months to play slow pitch softball during the summer. 

3.  MAINTAIN ATHLETICISM AND FLEXIBILITY

When you are young you are at the peak of your athleticism.  Try to maintain it for as long as  you can because it will leave you eventually!   One thing I’m very glad of was that I was introduced to the Highland Games right at the same time I started lifting weights.  The Highland Games require a great deal of athleticism as several of the events require you be quick on your feet, and be able to move with weights in your hands.  The combined training of weights and the games allowed me to keep my athleticism as I got stronger in the gym.   I have seen several lifters spend so much time with their feet set solid in the squat rack under a set of squats that the ability to move the feet quick is lost.  Also don’t take your flexibility for granted, because as you age this will soon disappear as well.  Take the time to do your stretches.

4.  EAT A HEALTHY DIET

Young lifters often eat the very worse of diets during the course of a weight  training program.  Fast food seems to be the norm when you are in college.  I know now that  my progress would have been better if only I would have spent a fraction of the time paying attention to my diet as I did to my training.  Also, there are no secret supplements that will quarantee success in the gym.  I have spent money I didn’t have on supplements that I was convinced would help me (remember the liver tablets???), when I should have been buying extra meat and milk instead.  

5.  LISTEN TO COACHES

Young lifters are the worse when it comes to listening to advice.   Find a good mentor and listen to the coaching advice as it will pay off. 

6.  AVOID HIGH RISK ACTIVITIES

I just think of things I did when I was younger and I am just thankful none of them resulted in a major injury that would have sidelined my lifting career.  I remember feeling when I was young that I was invincible and there was no way I could get hurt doing anything!  Well, all it takes is a couple of serious injuries and you soon realize that the body is NOT invincible and any injury will set back your training!!!  But I did enjoy that fast motorcycle in college.

7.  COMPETE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE

This is an understatement.  I have met several lifters through the years  that didn’t compete, and when asked about it, would reply that they were waiting to get stronger before hitting a competition.  I know now that more competitions makes you a better lifter as you learn from the competitions and it gives you a gauge of your progress. It also serves as a source of motivation. Plus if you are waiting to get stronger to compete – you will NEVER compete because you will never feel you are strong enough to do it. 

(FINAL NOTE:  I’m not delusional or senile yet so I know my chances of being transformed into a “younger self” will not happen, so I just hope these bits of wisdom somehow helps a new young lifter.   )

Nationals Update

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom (left) has agreed to be the "PARTY PLANNER" for our National Championships in Las Vegas. I have traveled with Chad several times, and know from experience, that he knows how to have a fun time!

Plans for the 2012 USAWA National Championships in beautiful Las Vegas are underway. The date has been set (June 30th), the venue secured (Average Broz Gym), and entry forms have been available (on this website) for a couple of months now. Everything is going according to the plan I’ve laid out.  Now it’s time for YOU to send in your entry to me!! So far I have only two entries in hand – myself and Thom Van Vleck.  All details of entering are explained clearly on the entry form.  Just one thing I want to remind you of – make your checks or money orders out to the USAWA and not me.  This is a USAWA sponsored event and all income/expense is going through the USAWA bank account.

I have picked a place for our “host hotel”. It is the Silverton Hotel and Casino.  It is best just to go to their website to get the information for making a reservation.  Here is the link: http://www.silvertoncasino.com/

The Silverton is not part of “the strip”. It is located close to John’s Gym, which is the site of the meet.   I would guess it is only half a mile or so away.  So if you want to “loosen up” before the meet with a little light walking, the Silverton is close enough to the meet site that you can make the hike.  Chad and I are going to be renting a car while we are there, so if anyone needs a ride we can run a shuttle service back and forth.  Also, taxis are plentiful in Vegas which is another option to get to the meet and back.  We do not have a “package deal” with the Silverton so don’t ask for it. This is a large place and I didn’t even bother to check into any special arrangement for our small group.  I didn’t want them to laugh at me. Their rates are very reasonable (sixty nine during the week, and eight nine on the weekends).  This fee is for double occupancy and even includes breakfast!  (look on their website under “resort specials”).  They provide free shuttle transportation from McCarran International Airport as well.  The Silverton adjoins a huge Bass Pro Shop and has many restaurants within it.  I will pick a restaurant for our Friday evening meal and meeting, which I will announce at a later date.  I would recommend that you make your reservation as soon as possible to ensure this rate.  Of course if you want to stay somewhere else, that is your choice but if we all stay at the same place it will make it easier for us to “get together” throughout our stay.

Our USAWA Vice President Chad Ullom has “stepped up” to be our activity coordinator and PARTY PLANNER.  That’s what Vice Presidents are for – planning the fun!  Chad is working on several  ”entertainment activities” that we can do as a group.  I know he is looking into a bus tour of Hoover Dam the day following the meet for anyone interested, and a special evening out Saturday night following the meet. This will be in place of the banquet.  He promised me that he will let me know when he gets these activities finalized and that he will write an announcement for the website with all the details.

I am working on the T-Shirt design at this time.  This is causing me lots of indecision. Since this is such a BIG EVENT for the USAWA, it being our 25th Anniversary and all,  I want it to be the PERFECT meet shirt and can’t make up my mind on the design. I have a few good ideas and think I will “lock on” to a design soon.  I have three criteria for the shirt – recognize 25 years of the USAWA, highlight Las Vegas, and make it a “lifter’s shirt” with a lifting logo.  I want this to be a favorite T-shirt of the lifters – the one you grab out of the drawer full of other T-shirts to wear.  The problem is that I’m not artistic in anyway, and have problems making things aesthetic in appearance. I’m not a “fluff guy”, so I may need to ask Thom his opinion on this.

I am getting excited about this year’s Nationals. It will be one that you DON’T WANT TO MISS!  I will give out more details as the plans come along.   But NOW’S the time to send me your entry form and book your Hotel reservations.

2011 Postal Series Final Ranking

by Al Myers

Al Myers was the overall best lifter in the 2011 USAWA Postal Series.

Last year the USAWA started a quarterly Postal Series that would “add up points”  for the 4 postal meets for a FINAL STANDING.   There were postal meets before these, but this was when the postal series started.  This series is a way to acknowledge the lifters who participated the most and best in the postal meets the USAWA offers throughout the year.

The Postal Series Ranking is done using this simple scoring system. Each lifter accumulates points based on their overall placing in each postal meet. For example, if there are 10 lifters entered, first place receives 10 points and the last place finisher receives 1 point. This way EVERY lifter at least receives some points toward their yearly ranking total. If more lifters are entered – more points goes to the winner. The National Postal Meet is worth DOUBLE POINTS since it is the most important competition in our Postal Meet Series.  Now for the final 2012 POSTAL SERIES RANKING:

WOMEN’S DIVISION

1. Karena Fobes – 2 pts
2.  Helen Kahn – 1 pt

MEN’S DIVISION

1.  Al Myers – 46 pts
2.  Orie Barnett – 39 pts
3. Joe Ciavattone Jr. – 31 pts
4. Joe Ciavattone Sr. – 24 pts
5. Denny Habecker – 21 pts
6.  Eric Todd – 18 pts
7. Chuck Cookson – 17 pts
8.  Chad Ullom – 16 pts
9.  Dave Beversdorf – 14 pts
10. John Wilmot & Randy Smith – 13 pts

Overall the participation was OUTSTANDING in the postal meets this year.  A record 26 lifters took part (24 men and 2 women).  Three lifters need special recognition for participating in ALL FOUR meets: Orie Barnett, Denny Habecker, and John Wilmot. The first quarterly postal meet (Eastern Open) drew the most participation of any postal meet to date – 19 competitors!

There are no awards for the final postal series standings.  Postal Meet Director John Wilmot sends certificates to the winners of the individual postal meets, but the series ranking is just an accumulation of the results from the individual meets and does not have awards.  This year at the National Meeting I am going to ask the membership to allocated some funds to the Awards Program to at least send out some small awards to the Postal Series Best Lifters.  I think having some awards for the “final standings” would provide a nice “closing touch” to a our great postal program within the USAWA.