Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2014 Dino Gym Challenge.

I was quite surprised by the turnout at this year’s Dino Gym Challenge.  On Saturday 8 brave lifters showed up to take on some of the favorite lifts of the famous old time strongman Warren Lincoln Travis.  I decided to have this meet in tribute to WLT – as he has always been one of my favorite old time strongmen.

The teeth lift was the first lift up – and as to the best of my knowledge has never been contested before in a USAWA competition (all USAWA records have been set at record days).  All of us had really no idea of what our capabilities were in this – but ET and myself ended up with the best lifts at 175 pounds.  I felt “maxed out” but ET has much more in him.  Doug Kressly took his third attempt at 95 pounds, and then a fourth record attempt at 155 pounds which he got! Dean Ross about lost a tooth. Larry Traub had the mouthpiece in backwards and cut up his chin with the connecting bolts.  Lance Foster was the smartest by saying “no can do”.

We then moved onto the finger lift with the middle finger using a ring.  It wasn’t really anyone’s favorite – but the lifting surprised me. Eric Todd had the best lift at 200 pounds, and Doug Kressly had a solid 180.   Several pulled skin off the favorite finger – with Dave Glasgow shedding the most blood. I thought I was going to have to get my hot iron to cauterize his wound for a while.

The Kennedy Lift was next on the agenda.  This is an exhibition lift (not an official USAWA lift) which follows the rules of the Peoples Deadlift except includes a straddle stance on the bar.  It was very well received.  I had the top lift at 750 pounds, followed by Larry’s 675. Young Logan Kressly was extremely impressive with his record attempt at 500 pounds. Everyone seemed to enjoy this lift, and by the positive response I got I’m going to propose it as a new OTSM lift.

Doug Kressly Harness lifting as Lance Foster waits his turn.

Now time for the BIG STUFF.  The Harness Lift and Back Lift were a couple of Travis’s favorites.  We started with the Harness.  It took a while to get everyone to figure out how to get the harness’s on, but once they did the lifting was outstanding!  I had the top harness at 2400.  Other impressive harness lifts were Doug’s at 1800, Larry at 1750, and Dave at 1200.  Lance gave an exceptional effort at 1605 to break a 20 year plus record held the one and only Tom Ryan who had held the record at 1600 from the 91 Zercher.  I told Lance I would make sure to tell Mr. Ryan that his harness lift record was no more.

The back lift very rarely gets the chance to be in meets (mainly because it requires a specialized machine!).  I had the top at 2200, followed by Doug at 2000.  However, the youngster Logan really impressed us the most with his 1600.  I told him he may be the best junior in the USAWA right now – and I expect him to be at Nationals to prove it! Dean Ross came into the day sporting a new pair of fire resistant lifting shoes  - and used them to good use to go over 1000 pounds in both the Harness and Back.  I don’t know of anyone else who has fire resistant lifting shoes, but then again, Ross the Boss tends to burn up the platform when he lifts!

I got to thank my dad LaVerne for “sitting in the chair” as head official all day.  He did a marvelous job and no one really gave him any crap.  He judged everyone very fairly, and didn’t give me any breaks either because I’m his sonny boy.  I was very impressed by the help the lifters provided in loading and putting stuff away afterwards.  We had a nice awards ceremony with each lifter getting a Dino Gym Tshirt and a hand made award by me featuring a metal cut-out of Warren Lincoln Travis.  It will be an award that will stand out in everyone’s trophy case (or should I say stand up?).  I know I had lots of fun at this meet – and like I commented on Facebook – “Days like today make me realize how much I like my USAWA family!”

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym
Holland, Kansas
January 18th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifts: Teeth Lift, Finger Lift – Middle, Kennedy Lift, Harness Lift, Back Lift

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Teeth Fing Kenn Harn Back TOT PTS
Al Myers 47 234 175 155 750 2400 2200 5680 5034.5
Larry Traub 60 206 95 170 675 1750 1300 3990 4242.3
Logan Kressly 15 166 95 95 450 1200 1500 3340 3831.4
Doug Kressly 34 286 95 180 550 1800 2000 4625 3433.6
Dave Glasgow 60 260 105 160 525 1200 950 2940 2763.7
Dean Ross 71 267 75 125 400 1010 1050 2660 2695.2
Lance Foster 48 330 0 155 500 1605 850 3110 2353.9
Eric Todd 39 260 175 200 500 1010 1050 2935 2282.8

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD:

Logan Kressly: Teeth Lift 115#
Logan Kressly: Middle Finger Lift 105#
Logan Kressly: Kennedy Lift 500#
Logan Kressly: Harness Lift 1300#
Logan Kressly: Back Lift 1600#
Doug Kressly: Teeth Lift 155#
Lance Foster: Middle Finger Lift 170#

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All Middle Finger Lifts done with right hand. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.

Club of the Year: LEDAIG HA

by Al Myers

Ledaig HA won the team title for the Overall best team at the 2012 IAWA World Championships. Pictured (left to right): Jera Kressly, Dave Glasgow, Doug Kressly

Congratulations to LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS for being the named the USAWA Club of the Year for 2012!!!!

Ledaig has been very active in the USAWA these past few years.  Their “rise to prominence” in the USAWA started in 2010.  The club’s founder and leader, Dave Glasgow, has been a solid force in the organization. Ledaig HA is located in Rainbow Bend, Kansas – outside of Winfield, or if you are less knowledgeable about Kansas, south of Wichita a ways.  Dave refers to Rainbow Bend as “a community ” instead of a town.  I’ve been there and you better not blink when you drive thru it or you will miss it!  It’s even smaller than the town of Holland where the Dino Gym resides!

Unlike the other USAWA awards where the winners are selected by nomination and vote of the membership, the Club of the Year is earned.  It is based on a point system where each club earns points for various involvements in the USAWA throughout the year.  I think this system is very fair – and it makes it easy for me to calculate all clubs point totals. This is the guidelines for which a club earns points:

Club Awards are determined by adding up club points using this 4-Step System:

1. One point awarded to the club for EACH USAWA registered member that lists the club as their affiliated club on their membership application. This designation is also listed beside the members name on the membership roster.
2. Two points awarded to the club for EACH club member that participates in the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup. Points are awarded for each competition, so if one club athlete competes in all three of these big meets it would generate 6 points for the club.
3. Three points awarded to the club for EACH USAWA sanctioned event or competition the club promotes.
4. Four bonus points awarded to the club for promotion of the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup.

As you can see – having lots of club members who are heavily involved in our “big meets” really help with the yearly score.  Ledaig had 9 club members for the year 2012: Dave Glasgow, Kenny Glasgow, Amber Glasgow, Tim Harbison, Doug Kressly, Jera Kressly, Mike Murdock, Kristen Traub, and Larry Traub. The Ledaig HA won the team title at the 2012 IAWA World Championships, and was runner up at the 2012 USAWA National Championships. At both of these big meets, the Ledaig Club had members place very high overall in addition to winning Age/BWT championships.  At Nationals, Larry was 2nd overall and Dave 4th, and at Worlds Dave was 3rd overall, Doug 9th overall, and Jera was third overall in the women’s division.  That’s quite a list of accomplishments!!!

The year 2012 had a record number of 16 registered member clubs in the USAWA!  I’m only going to give the TOP FIVE placings, and just making this top 5  listing is a great accomplishment for any club!

TOP SCORING USAWA CLUBS FOR 2012

1st.  Ledaig Heavy Athletics – 25 points
2nd.  Salvation Army Gym – 20 points
3rd.  Ambridge Barbell Club – 19 points
4th  (tie).   Clarks Gym – 13 points
4th  (tie).  Jobes Steel Jungle – 13 points
5th .  Habeckers Gym – 12 points

The Salvation Army Gym had an outstanding year in the USAWA. The clubs leader Tim Piper was very involved in the USAWA throughout the year. Tim competed in the Nationals in Vegas (6th Overall) and at the Worlds in Salina (7th Overall).  I was very impressed with them earning the RUNNER UP Club of the Year in the USAWA. These two club awards (to the Ledaig Heavy Athletics and the Salvation Army Gym) will be presented at the Awards Ceremony in conjunction with the National Championships next month. Last year’s winner of the Club of the Year, the Dino Gym, will have the HONOR of presenting these two clubs their Club Awards.

Top Performances of 2012

by Al Myers

Today I was thinking about all of the GREAT lifting performances done in the USAWA throughout this past year.  I have been fortunate to have witnessed many of these performances firsthand.  I’ve given it a little thought and I have came up with the LIST of PERFORMANCES that I have watched during this past year, and compiled my TOP TEN.  This list is completely of my opinion, and does not represent any official view of the USAWA.  It also only includes lifts that I have seen myself – as there are many other great lifts done in the USAWA that I did not have the privilege of viewing and thus are not on this list.  I have also  ranked them – but this was extremely difficult as they are all worthy of top recognition.  I might have well just “flipped a coin” to determine the order – but here it goes!!! I’ll even do the countdown from number 10.

10.  Doug and Jera Kressly’s Team Deadlift of 650 pounds.

Doug and Jera Kressly performing a Team Deadlift at the 2012 USAWA Team Championships.

At this year’s USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS, Doug and Jera entered the first Mixed Pair (male & female) team in the Championships history.  And to add to the drama of this – the two of them are married!  I was extremely impressed when we got to the last event, the deadlift, and they pulled 650 pounds. I was really worried Doug was going to let Jera down and not pull his weight on the lift!   

9.  Denny Habecker and his Clean and Jerk at the Gold Cup.

Denny Habecker at the 2012 IAWA Gold Cup in Glasgow, Scotland.

I’ve already told the story about Denny and his performance at the 2012 IAWA Gold Cup in Scotland, despite being sick with the intestinal flu.  I was impressed that he would even attempt to lift feeling like that.  However, I DID NOT sit in the front row when he was lifting as I didn’t want to be in the path of any possible eruption! 

8.  Joe Garcia’s 1400# Hand and Thigh Lift at the Deanna Meet.

Joe Garcia and his signature lift, the Hand and Thigh Lift, at the 2012 Deanna Springs Meet.

Garcia and the Hand and Thigh Lift are becoming synonymous.  You think of one and you have to think of the other.  I keep thinking one of these days Joe G will lose his touch with the H&T which will  give me the edge – but it doesn’t look like it will ever happen! I knew my chances of winning the Deanna  meet was over at this point.

7.  Dale Friesz and his 154# Ring Fingers Deadlift at the Presidential Cup.

Dale Friesz won the 2012 USAWA Presidential Cup with this lift.

Last year Dale “the Miracle Man” Friesz performed a 122# Ring Fingers Deadlift and I raved and raved about it.  Now he’s UPPED his record to 154 pounds – that’s over a 30 pound increase!  This was the lift that WON Dale the prestigious PRESIDENTIAL CUP this year.  I beginning to think there must be bionics in that prosthetic leg of his.

6.  Larry Traub’s 529# Jefferson Lift at the National Championships.

Larry Traub (left) receiving his award at the 2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas, NV.

Everyone knows Larry is an “out of this World” deadlifter, but at the 2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas he also showed he is quite good at the Jefferson Lift as well.  Larry is 58 and only weighs 200 pounds, which makes his lift all the more impressive.  It would take over a 630# Jefferson Lift for an Senior Age group lifter (at the same BWT) to beat Larry in this lift with the age correction.  We make lifters weigh to verify their bodyweights, but we don’t make lifters show their ID’s to verify their ages.  Larry looks like he’s only 30.  Maybe it’s time for him to be “carded” at the next meet?

COMING TOMORROW – THE REST OF THE TOP PERFORMANCE COUNTDOWN!

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