Records now online

by Al Myers

As some of you may have noticed, the USAWA Record List is now available on the USAWA website.   It is placed under the top heading section “record list”.  I will try to keep an  updated version of the record list uploaded.  The record list is very large PDF of the excel file.  It may take a while for some systems to download it.   There are now over 10,000 records in the USAWA Record List.

It has also been awhile since I have updated the Century Club, a listing that includes all lifters that have over 100 USAWA Records.  It’s been over a year since I have published this update – but since there has been no real changes in it, there has not been much reason to do so. The “top ten” is exactly the same order, and no one new has been added.  The BIG NEWS of the list is that Denny Habecker has become the FIRST USAWA lifter to top 500 records!  That’s a big number, and has given Denny a huge lead over Art Montini.  The biggest placing changer in the Mens Club has been Dean Ross, who has moved up two places to number 11.  Ruth Jackson is closing in on Noi – and I predict will pass her within the next couple of years.  The sad news is USAWA legend John Vernacchio has dropped out of the Century Club, leaving the total number at 24.

WOMEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of July 19th, 2014)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Noi Phumchona 261 263 +2
2 Ruth Jackson 213 180 +33
3 Mary McConnaughey 117 117 0

MEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of July 19th, 2014th)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Denny Habecker 501 480 +21
2 Art Montini 445 425 +20
3 Al Myers 421 411 +10
4 John McKean 290 291 -1
5 Dennis Mitchell 278 266 +12
6 Frank Ciavattone 268 265 +3
7 Joe Garcia 247 238 +9
8 Bob Hirsh 229 229 0
9 Chad Ullom 210 200 +10
10 Bill Clark 207 198 +9
11 Dean Ross 188 155 +33
12 Howard Prechtel 174 174 0
13 Dale Friesz 159 160 -1
14 Jim Malloy 156 153 +3
15 Scott Schmidt 150 151 -1
16 John Monk 148 148 0
17 Ed Schock 138 138 0
18 Chris Waterman 137 137 0
19 Rudy Bletscher 126 131 -5
20 Mike Murdock 113 107 +6
21 Bob Geib 101 102 -1

Presidential Cup & Century Club

by Al Myers

Susan Sees (left) and Bob Geib (right) at the 2013 USAWA National Championships. At this meet Bob eclipsed 100 USAWA records and joined the Century Club.

The Presidential Cup is coming up fast (THIS WEEKEND)!  It is hosted by our USAWA President Denny Habecker at his gym, Habeckers Gym, in Lebanon, PA.

I have my plane ticket bought and ready to “join in”  this premier Record Day event in the USAWA.  The Presidential Cup is modeled after the IAWA Gold Cup, to allow each lifter to showcase their favorite and best lifts.  There will be a champion crowned.  As per rules of this event, the President is the one to make the decision on which Record Lift performed impresses him the most and that person will be awarded the Champion of the Presidential Cup.  Last year at the inaugural USAWA Presidential Cup the late Dale Friesz was awarded the Championship trophy.  Everyone was in agreement that Dale rightfully deserved this honor.  Dale will forever be known as the FIRST PERSON to be crowned the champion of the Presidential Cup.

It has been awhile since I have given an update on the Records Race and the members of the Century Club.  After doing a little figuring, I was surprised to see the number of record increases and the new members of the Century Club.  I should have recognized a few lifters before now!  The Century Club has now grown to 25 members (from 23 on last count).  I accurately predicted recent Hall of Famer Bob Geib would be joining the list after his latest resurgence in the USAWA, and  Ruth Jackson has came out of nowhere to join the Century Club!!  Ruth has had a stellar year in the USAWA – capped by winning Overall Best Female Lifter at the IAWA World Championships last October.  Congratulations to both of these two for this accomplishment. Since the list has now grown, I am going to break it down into two listings – one for women and one for the men.

WOMEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of August 7th, 2013)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Noi Phumchona  263  265  - 2
2 Ruth Jackson  180  new  ——
3 Mary McConnaughey  117  117  0

MEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of August 7th, 2013)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Denny Habecker 480 447 + 33
2 Art Montini 425 413 + 12
3 Al Myers 411 396 + 15
4 John McKean 291 292 - 1
5 Dennis Mitchell 266 260 + 6
6 Frank Ciavattone 265 262 + 3
7 Joe Garcia 238 243 - 5
8 Bob Hirsh 229 229 0
9 Chad Ullom 200 195 + 5
10 Bill Clark 198 200 - 2
11 Howard Prechtel 174 175 - 1
12 Dale Friesz 160 162 - 2
13 Dean Ross 155 132 + 23
14 Jim Malloy 153 153 0
15 Scott Schmidt 151 148 + 3
16 John Monk 148 148 0
 17 Ed Schock 138 142  - 4
18 Chris Waterman 137 137  0
19 Rudy Bletscher 131 126  - 5
20 Mike Murdock 107 104  + 3
21 John Vernacchio 102 105  - 3
22 Bob Geib 102 new  ———

As you can see there are no “major changes” at the top of the Century Club.  Denny has stretched his lead over Art to such a degree that I won’t even call it a records race anymore between them (I’m calling you out Art to kick it in gear a bit!!! haha).  Denny has added the more records to his count since the previous count (33 records) than anyone else.  He is on pace to break the 500 barrier by the end of this year! I also added a “change” number to this list.  That is how much the lifter’s record count has changed since the last count. You have to remember these are absolute counts, so you may think you have set more records than listed (which is probably true), but some of the records you previously owned might be getting broken in the process.  The only way to keep going forward is to add more records than you are losing – and that is only accomplished by meet participation!  I’ll again mention Art here – as I know Denny is getting great satisfaction out of breaking Art’s records in the 70/85 KG class, thus adding one for himself and taking one away from Art at the same time!!!

I’m getting to pride myself of making predictions on who the next Century Club members will be.  I have been pretty much “right one” with every one.  Now let me make my next predictions.  Pretty easy if you ask me – it will go to a Ciavattone, either Joe Sr., Joe Jr., or Jeff.  They are all “knocking on the door” of getting 100 USAWA records on the books.  Now don’t let me down guys on this!!!

I’m looking forward to celebrating the USAWA this weekend at the Presidential Cup.  See everyone there!

Mike Murdock joins the CENTURY CLUB

by Al Myers

Mike Murdock joins the USAWA Century Club, a club which recognizes lifters who currently hold over 100 USAWA records.

I predicted it in my last blog covering the CENTURY CLUB.  Mike Murdock has become the 23rd member to join this exclusive group of USAWA record setters.  Mike is very deserving of this, and all I have to say, is that it is ABOUT TIME!  I have often criticized Mike for only breaking his own records at record days and not growing his absolute count.  If he hadn’t been doing that he would have been over the “100 count” needed to be in the Century Club a long time ago.  It is also very appropriate that he did it at the Ledaig Record Breaker, the club that he lifts with.  I should have announced this before now, but since I did the last count right before Dave’s record day I sorta forgot how close Mike was to being a full-fledged CENTURY CLUB MEMBER!  

Our prez Denny Habecker still holds the lead.  Denny has now turned 70, and it has opened up a new age group for him to attack.  That’s exactly what he has been doing.  He is FIRMLY in first place now with 447 USAWA records.  His lead over Art has widened since last count.  Denny has been on the war path of competing in USAWA events.  There’s not very many he has missed since Nationals.

Since I’ve become the EXPERT PREDICTER, let me announce my prediction of who will be the next USAWA member to join the Century Club. It goes to the recent Hall of Famer Bob Geib.  Bob now has 95 USAWA records, and his presence has been plentiful at recent USAWA competitions.  In visiting with Bob at Worlds, he seems to me to have the enthusiasm of a teenager when it comes to lifting in competitions.  My money is on him (so don’t let me down Bob!!!)

CENTURY CLUB (as of October 23rd, 2012)

RANK LIFTER RECORD COUNT
1  Denny Habecker  447
2  Art Montini  413
3  Al Myers  396
4  John McKean  292
5  Noi Phumchona  265
6  Frank Ciavattone  262
7  Dennis Mitchell  260
8  Joe Garcia  243
9  Bob Hirsh  229
10  Bill Clark  200
11  Chad Ullom  195
12  Howard Prechtel  175
13  Dale Friesz  162
14  Jim Malloy  153
15  Scott Schmidt  148
16  John Monk  148
17  Ed Schock  142
18  Chris Waterman  137
19  Dean Ross  132
20  Rudy Bletscher  131
21  Mary McConnaughey  117
22  John Vernacchio  105
23  Mike Murdock  104

Century Club Gets a New Member

by Al Myers

This may have been the record-setting lift that put Dean Ross into the Century Club at the 2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas.

The BIG NEWS with the recent record-setting activity has been that the CENTURY CLUB now has a new member.  Just like I predicted in a blog a couple of months ago, Dean Ross has  joined this group of elite record breakers in the USAWA.  This is a big deal, and Dean has worked hard to accomplish this.  His lifting efforts at the 2012 USAWA National Championships “put him over the hill” in going over 100 USAWA records.  There is not a better place to accomplish something like this to make it a memorable event.  Congrats Dean – the next time I see ya in the gym I’m going to give you a big pat on the back!  Dean becomes the FOURTH Dino Gym member to make the Century Club.  

The Records List has received a “shake up” with the addition of National Records.  I thought about this for a while, should I include these new records in a lifters record count?  But it didn’t take me long to decide.   OF COURSE!  Setting a National Record is probably MORE IMPORTANT than others, and SHOULD be included.  If someone complains about this, I’ll tell them to show up at Nationals and set a few National Records for themselves, and then they’ll see that is no easy feat.   The addition of National Records got John Vernacchio back “in the club”.  John had recently “fell out” of the Century Club, but now he’s back.  With the addition of Dean and John, the Century Club now stands at 22 members. 

There weren’t  any change in the top rankers.  Denny still holds a comfortably lead over Art, 428 to 403.   I’m narrowing the gap on them very slowly, and now my count stands at 399.  Maybe I’ll make these two wily veterans of odd-lifting a little nervous so they’ll “kick up the pace”????  The addition of adding in National Records really helped Frank Ciavattone, Noi Phumchona, Bob Hirsh, myself, and Chad Ullom.  Chad “jumped past” Dale and Scott.  Now don’t you feel bad Chad for not letting Dale do another finger lift record at Nationals??? You must have known the record count and realized you were one ahead of him at the time!  Frank owns the most National Records, and it really upped his overall count, as it moved him from 8th to 6th, passing Dennis and Joe.  John McKean was holding around a 30 count lead last time sitting in fourth, but now there are several lifters “on his heels”.   John – it’s time for you to lay the fishing pole to the side and spend a little more time in the weight room getting ready for your next USAWA competition.

Who’s going to be the NEXT lifter to make the Century Club???  My guess is still on Mike Murdock.  If he gets a few this weekend at the Ledaig Record Breakers,  then he will be “set up” to make history at my record day in August.  I’m also “keeping my eye” on Dave Glasgow.  After his recent outstanding showing at the Nationals in which he broke several records, I’m putting him as an “outside  chance” of being the next to make the club. 

I also want to make a few comments about my opinion on breaking records.  If you are going to SET RECORDS – go all out doing it.  I don’t think it is very sporting just to take token efforts to set a large quantity of records at a USAWA record day. After all, anyone can find “blank spots” in the record list to fill with a record, just to add to their “record count”.   That’s chickenshit. If you do that you deserve a boot in the ***!   Be a real lifter and show the record list the respect it deserves!  Anytime I see a lifter set/break more than 10 records at a record day, I question their efforts in the records they set.  Any lifter who gives max effort on 10 lifts in a day should be spent.  Anymore than that and I start to wonder if  they are “sandbaggin” their efforts on their record attempts.  It’s not against the rules or anything, but I will tell you that I will be “talking behind your back” if I see this going on.  And words like sissy lifter, girly boy, etc will be in the conversation!!!!!

CENTURY CLUB (as of 7/14/2012)

RANK LIFTER RECORD COUNT
1 Denny Habecker 428
2 Art Montini 403
3 Al Myers 399
4 John McKean 279
5 Noi Phumchona 268
6 Frank Ciavattone 256
7 Dennis Mitchell 254
8 Joe Garcia 248
9 Bob Hirsh 229
10 Bill Clark 203
11 Howard Prechtel 175
12 Chad Ullom 160
13 Dale Friesz 159
14 Jim Malloy 149
15 John Monk 148
16 Scott Schmidt 146
17 Ed Schock 142
18 Chris Waterman 137
19 Rudy Bletscher 128
20 Mary McConnaughey 117
21 John Vernacchio 106
22 Dean Ross 105

Records, Records, Records

by Al Myers

The year is coming to an end and the opportunities to set any more USAWA records for the year is over.  Sure there is still the National Postal Meet, but the results won’t be reported for it until after the first of the year.  In my heart I knew this had to be a good year for the USAWA when it came to “broken records”.  We have had more events than normal and membership has swelled to a level that has not been seen in a long, long time.  So I did a little “counting” in the USAWA Record List and what I found was, VERY INTERESTING!

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS to all members in the USAWA who have set new records within the past year.  You are now part of a RECORD BREAKING YEAR.  758 new USAWA records were established in the USAWA Record List.  This now stands in the NUMBER ONE spot of ALL-TIME!  Now this is a count of only the “records on the books” at this time – not the ones established per year as when old records are broken they disappear from the current list.  I also want to mention that in order to set a USAWA Record now you must do it in front of a certified official.  There were several “other marks” done this year at record days and postal meets which could have been records, but weren’t because they weren’t officially judged.  This pulled down the record count for the year, which in the past would have been higher when there were no guidelines on this and “ANY OLE RECORD” was put into the record list.   I’m proud that we have made this year the BEST EVER and have done it with TOUGHER RULES!!

TOP 10 TOTAL RECORD YEARS

RANK YEAR RECORDS
1 2011 758
2 2005 675
3 2002 654
4 2000 563
5 2010 553
6 2006 540
7 2003 518
8 1995 458
9 2004 448
10 1999 434

This brings us to the INDIVIDUAL record counts next.  With a year like this, you would think that the individual record counts would have been increased as well.  I have not reported on individual counts since last July, when I announced the two latest members of the CENTURY CLUB (lifters who hold over 100 USAWA Records) – Rudy Bletscher and Chad Ullom.  Well, the list is still the same lifters, just different count numbers.  There is STILL the 21 members in this exclusive CENTURY CLUB.  Our Prez Denny Habecker still leads the list and the RECORDS RACE with his 410 records, which gives him a pretty comfortable lead over Art Montini at 392 in second place.  The “top ten” is still the same lifters as it was the last time I did the count.

CENTURY CLUB

RANK LIFTER RECORDS
1 Denny Habecker 410
2 Art Montini 392
3 Al Myers 320
4 John McKean 258
5 Joe Garcia 239
6 Dennis Mitchell 229
7 Noi Phumchaona 214
8 Frank Ciavattone 212
9 Bill Clark 206
10 Bob Hirsh 201
11 Howard Prechtel 171
12 Dale Friesz 143
13 Jim Malloy 135
tie Scott Schmidt 135
15 Ed Schock 134
16 John Monk 123
17 Mary McConnaughey 117
18 Chris Waterman 114
19 Rudy Bletscher 108
20 Chad Ullom 104
21 Joshua Monk 101

This lead me to thinking just who set the most records in 2011?  So I did that count as well and below is the TOP TEN record setters of 2011.  I was quite surprised to see Mike Murdock listed with 60 records!  That made me question his total count so I recounted it and he is still short of the CENTURY CLUB.  Mike has been competing in the USAWA for over 3 years now – so how can that be??  Well let me tell you why.  I have lifted in LOTS of meets/record days with Mike and he is constantly breaking his OWN RECORDS.  Mike – that doesn’t help you one bit in your overall count. You need to “go after” records you don’t already own buddy!!!

TOP 10 RECORD COUNT FOR 2011

RANK LIFTER RECORDS
1 Al Myers 83
2 Mike Murdock 60
3 Denny Habecker 40
4 Joe Garcia 31
5 Dean Ross 30
6 Rudy Bletscher 24
tie LaVerne Myers 24
8 Art Montini 22
9 John McKean 20
10 Dennis Mitchell 19

I also want to mention that the USAWA Record List is now over 10,000 line items long!  That is A LOT OF RECORDS! We owe a huge thanks to the USAWA Records Director Joe Garcia for keeping this list up to date for us. Joe has maintained this list for over 20 years!

Welcome to the Century Club Chad and Rudy!

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom "in action" at the Ledaig Record Breakers last weekend. Chad is the only lifter in the Century Club that has done ALL of his USAWA records in the Senior Division.

I predicted this would happen this summer as Chad Ullom and Rudy Bletscher have been “knocking on the door” of joining the Century Club.  The Century Club is a club that recognizes the elite group of USAWA  lifters that CURRENTLY hold over 100 USAWA Records.  However, it didn’t happen exactly as I thought it would.  I predicted it would take place last weekend at Dave’s Ledaig Record Breaker.  This was the case for Chad but not for Rudy.  Rudy was not able to attend.   At the time, I thought it would take another day for him to make this milestone accomplishment (and a little more effort after watching Rudy’s nemesis Mike Murdock take down a couple of Rudy’s records at the Ledaig Record Breaker), but I forgot at the time that at the 2011 Annual General Meeting of the USAWA in June it was voted and passed by the membership to retroactively implement the records set at the 2011 Dino Gym Old-Time Strongman Challenge since the lifts in that competition were approved as new USAWA lifts at the meeting.  So Rudy is IN on his prior performances!  Chad knocked down several new records at the Ledaig Record Breakers putting him in as well.  We celebrated this accomplishment after he broke the USAWA Record in the Snatch on the Knees with a lift of 135 pounds. Coincidentally, both these lifters now stand at 107  USAWA records, which put them at a tie at the number 19 spot out of 21 lifters in the club.  Chad is the only lifter on the list that has done ALL of his records competing in the Senior Division (which makes him only eligible for OVERALL RECORDS).  This makes his accomplishment all that more impressive.  If you are in the Junior Division or Masters Division you have the opportunity to “double dip” on records, which means you may set or break an age group record and an overall record with the same lift.  This helps tremendously with “padding” your record count number.  I counted back through the USAWA Record list and Chad’s sits NUMBER TWO in OVERALL RECORDS (not age group records)  with his 107 (and all I will say about the guy at number 1 is that he has 141 overall records, and Chad knows him quite well as he is his training partner! ). 

There are several other lifters close to joining the Century Club that I’m keeping an eye on.  But just because you get in the club doesn’t mean that you can “sit back” and revel in your accomplishment, and spend too much time “patting yourself on the back”, because if others break enough of your records you can fall out of it.  This has happened (and it bothers me to see it) to a couple of legendary lifters in the USAWA recently, so you must keep up your involvement in the USAWA to “maintain your spot” in the Century Club.  Congratulations to Rudy and Chad – I’m very proud of both of you two, and you deserve this recognition.

Century Club

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia is moving up the Record List Count faster than anyone else! This past year he has went from 9th to 5th. This picture is from the 2011 Heavy Lift Nationals in York, PA where Joe added another USAWA record in the Hand and Thigh with this 1400 pound lift. Joe has more H & T records (17 total) than anyone else, everywhere from the 90 KG class to the 110 KG class.

A couple of years ago  I tagged the term “Century Club” as a way of identifying lifters who currently hold over 100 USAWA Records.  It has been a while since I have given an update on these record-setting lifters, so I think it is time I revisit this topic again.  I believe it has been a year (after last year’s National Championship) that I gave my last update on the current members in this Century Club.  I know I have highlighted the “records race” between Denny and Art a few times since, but now since Denny has stretched his lead over Art 401 USAWA records to  Art’s 378 USAWA Records, the drama with this has been  subdued and the  records race has taken a seat on the sidelines until Art starts to make ”a run” on Denny.  

The Century Club is an ever-changing list, and it changes constantly.  It is based on CURRENT records, so it is possible to be on the list and then if some of your records are broken, you may fall out of the club.  I sadly report this has been the case this past year.  John Vernacchio’s record count has fallen to 97 records,  and now he is out of the Century Club.  No one new has joined since Scott Schmidt in the fall of 2009!  Scott was sitting at the number 20 spot when he made the Century Club in December 2009, climbed to spot 17 after last year’s Nationals, and now resides at the 15 spot.  By John falling off the list, the Century Club now stands at 19 members.  Who will be the next to join??  Two Dino Gym members are “knocking at the door” of accomplishing this.  Rudy Bletscher just BARELY missed the list this time as he currently stands at 99 USAWA Records.  Chad Ullom made a big push on his USAWA records this past year and now has 97 records.  With Chad hitting the Masters Class next year that will open up the record book for him to set more records as he will then be eligible for age group records.  I got my money on both of these guys to make the Century Club this summer! 

There were some changes in the orders and number counts, but the same names hold the Century Club down.  The top four spots on the list remained the same.  The biggest dropper was Bill Clark, as he dropped from the number 5 spot to 10th with only a decrease of records from 214 to 199.  I know the reason for Bill’s decrease in records as I’ve been lifting with this guy in meets all winter and have watched him break several of Bill’s records.  I’m talking about Mike Murdock.  The biggest increaser on the list is our USAWA Records Chairman Joe Garcia.  Joe added several new records this past year and moved from the number 9 spot to 5th overall with 226 records.  Dennis Mitchell notched up one spot to number 6. Take notice of  all the USAWA Hall of Famers who are members of the CENTURY CLUB (marked with a *).

Century Club

1.  401 Denny Habecker *
2.  378 Art Montini *
3.  274 Al Myers
4.  247 John McKean *
5.  226 Joe Garcia *
6.  223 Dennis Mitchell *
7.  214 Noi Phumchaona *
8.  206  Frank Ciavattone *
9.  201 Bob Hirsh *
10. 199 Bill Clark *
11. 171 Howard Prechtel *
12. 138  Dale Friesz *
13. 134 Ed Schock
14. 132  Jim Malloy *
15. 131  Scott Schmidt *
16. 123  John Monk
17. 117  Mary McConnaughey
18. 114   Chris Waterman *
19. 106  Joshua Monk