Top Lifts of 2013

by Al Myers

Art proudly displaying his homemade Teeth Bit!

Today welcomes in a New Year, and  with it comes the excitement of another very promising year in the USAWA.   2013 had to be one of the best EVER in the history of the USAWA.  There were many great competitions and great individual performances.  Of the 22 official competitions that occurred in 2013 in the USAWA, I was a participant or attended 18 of them!

As I’m sitting here sipping a cup of coffee in the early morning hours of 2014 (my internal clock would not allow me to sleep in!), I’m reflecting on some of the fantastic lifts I was able to witness “first hand” in the USAWA in 2013.  It didn’t take me long to come up with a list of over 20, but I’m gonna narrow the list today to the TOP TEN lifts that impressed me the most. I want to reiterate  that this is MY LIST of the lifts that I was able to watch, and only reflects my viewpoints.  Many, many others were extremely impressive that did not make the list. A few individual lifters had multiple lifts that impressed me, but I’m only including THE ONE that impressed me the most by an individual lifter.  It took me three times as long to come up with my list as it did to write this blog!  Here it goes – counting down from number ten:

10. Lance Foster and his 575# Dinnie Lift at the OTSM Championships

This had to be one of the most tenacious lifts of the year.  Lance struggled at the Battle of the Barn with the Dinnie Lift, but came back a month or so later to up his performance by 75 pounds! If the USAWA offered a TRUE GRIT AWARD Lance would win it.

9.  Jera Kressly and Logan Kressly 600# heels together deadlift at the Team Championships.

Jera and Logan did this mixed pair (man/woman) lift quite easily at the Team Champs.  I should mention that Logan was only 15 at the time!  That’s a big deadlift for any mixed pair with a normal stance – let alone having the heels together!

8.  James Fuller and his 60 KG Bent Press at the Gold Cup.

James has been on a mission to mastering the Bent Press this year.  The Bent Press is one of the MOST old and obscure lifts of all round lifting.  Very few even know how to go about doing one.  I first saw James bent pressing Frank’s axle at the Heavies, with was extremely cumbersome to handle.  I was going to include that effort instead of this one for James, but his Gold Cup lift really deserves it more as it was done in a big competition.  It won’t be long before James puts up the highest Bent Press record of All Time in the USAWA.

7.  Joe Ciavattone Sr. and his 805# Neck Lift at the Heavy Lift Championships.

This HAD to make my list.  Joe is one of the best neck lifters in USAWA history, and held the overall record for many years.  To come back and hit a personal record now several years later shows true ability.  I was glad to be able to witness his lift (as I had not seen his previous record lift).

6.  Troy Goetsch and his 260# one handed Vertical Bar Lift at the Grip Championships.

I’ve seen many great VB lifts in the past, but Troy’s is one of the best.  Troy won the overall lifter at the Grip Champs, and his VB was the lift that I will remember from him on that day.

5.  Frank Ciavattone and his 202.5 KG Ciavattone Grip Deadlift at Nationals.

Frank still has some great lifting in him, as shown with this big lift at our National Championships which is named after him.  I never get tired of watching Frank do Ciavattone Grip Deadlifts – and this is one I’ll never forget.

4.  Dan Wagman and his 120# Pullup at the Dino Gym Record Day.

YES – that’s 120 pounds strapped to the waist and then performing a pullup with the chin OVER the bar with no kipping!!! And hold for a down command!  Not too many around could even come close to this performance of Dan’s.  I’ve seen a lot of great lifting out of Dan and often what he does does not surprise me – but this pullup did!

3.  Joe Ciavattone Jr. and the 1400# Hand and Thigh Lift at the Heavy Lift Championships.

Junior doesn’t realize yet that he will be a future superstar of the USAWA, but I see it.  His untapped strength is unreal, and this big H&T proves it.  He just finished with a 1200 at the meet,  I gave him a couple of tips between lifts, and then he adds 200 pounds and gets it easily!  Impressive to say the least…

2.  Eric Todd and this 1000# Neck Lift at the Battle of the Barn II.

ET has put up 1000 pound Neck Lifts before several times – but this one was done with rules beyond those of the USAWA.   He cleared the floor substantially, and then HELD the lift for over 2 full seconds recorded on a stop watch.  I’m still shaking my head after seeing that effort!

1.  Art Montini and his 107# Teeth Lift at the Presidential Cup.

All I can say is that I still don’t know how he did this!  Art is 85 years old and has FALSE TEETH.  This lift won him the Presidential Cup of the USAWA for the year, and I would say deserving of the lift that impressed me the most!  Art has been one of the most active lifters in the USAWA this year – attending most of the championship events, attending the “Big Three” (Nationals, Worlds, and the Gold Cup), and still involved with promoting his annual Birthday Bash.  He has a deeper resume than anyone in the history of the USAWA, and I’m glad to name Art’s lift as the most impressive lift of 2013.  Congrats Art!!

Team Championships

by Al Myers

2013 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2013 USAWA Team Championships.

The Dino Gym hosted the USAWA Team Championships last weekend.  This is a championship event that contests “team lifting”.  Team lifting consists of lifting on the bar with a partner – and consists of three divisions:  2-MAN, 2-WOMAN, and MIXED PAIR.  Mixed pair is a team that consists of a male & female.  Four lifts were contested:  Bench Press – Hands Together, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm, Deadlift – Heels Together, and the Hip Lift.  The first three lifts went fairly quickly, but we ran into some difficulties with the Team Hip Lift.  To my best knowledge, the Hip Lift being performed as a Team Lift has never been contested before in history.  I had made a extra long Heavy Bar, but it required some slight modifications to it as the event was in progress.   All of the teams could have done MUCH MORE in this lift if given some more time training it and getting used to the timing of performing a Hip Lift with a partner. 

Logan Kressly and Jera Kressly performing a Mixed Pairs Heels Together Deadlift of 600 pounds.

I was very excited to have ALL THREE DIVISIONS represented in this championships.  That has never happened before.  The Ledaig HA was well represented with Jera and Logan Kressly lifting in the Mixed Pairs, and winning the Overall Mixed Pair Championships.  The 2-Woman Division saw a combination of Overall World Champ Ruth Jackson, and Overall Nationals Champ Molly Myers.  They formed a formidable duo.  The 2-Man Division was won by myself and Chad Ullom.   Denny Habecker and Art Montini competed in their first USAWA Team Championships.  Their lifting was superb, and each lift they did appeared to be done very easily.

MEET RESULTS:

2013 USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
August 17th, 2013

Meet Director: Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Loaders: Dean Ross, Dave Glasgow

Photographer: Doug Kressly

Officials (1-official system used):  Al Myers & Denny Habecker

Lifts: Bench Press – Hands Together, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm, Deadlift – Heels Together, Hip Lift

WOMENS DIVISION

1. Ruth Jackson (51 years old, & 107 lbs) and Molly Myers (15 years old, & 171 lbs)

Open age class and 80 KG weight class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
160 198-R 375 550 1283 1444.6

EXTRA

Bench Press – Hands Together: 180 lbs.

MIXED PAIR DIVISION

1.  Jera Kressly ( 28 years old, & 231 lbs) and Logan Kressly (15 years old, & 169 lbs)
Open age Class and 105 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
225 352-R 551 1423 2551 2108.2

EXTRA

Deadlift – Heels Together: 600 lbs.

MENS DIVISION

1.  Al Myers 46 years old, & 235 lbs) and Chad Ullom (41 years old, 252 lbs)
40-44 Age Class and 115 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
450 452-R 904 2503 4309 3472.2

2.  Denny Habecker (70 years old, & 189 lbs) and Art Montini (85 years old, & 174 lbs)
70-74 Age Class and 90 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
200 275-R 452 1150 2077 2509.7

EXTRA:

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right: 308 lbs.

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds. R designates right arm used.  TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

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!

Women vs. Men

by Al Myers

Jera Kressly performed a 90 KG Steinborn Lift at Worlds. Her lift exceeded that of several of the men - WITHOUT being percentage amended!

IAWA is the World organization that combines the organizations of the USAWA (United States All Round Weightlifting Association), IAWA-UK (International All Round Weightlifting Association of the United Kingdom), and the ARWLWA (All Round Weightlifting Western Australia).  IAWA is the “umbrella organization” that allows these organizations to “come together” for international competitions, ie the World Championships, the Gold Cup, and the World Postal Meet.  It is a great concept that has allowed for many great competitions and lots of fun times.  However, there are differences in how each country interprets the rules.  This is on top of there being rules differences between each organization .  At each World Meet that I have been at I have found several of these differences.

One of the interesting things that came to my notice at this past World Championships is the combination of men and women, through adjusted points, which allowed men and women to be competing with each other for the “overall title”.  I knew beforehand that IAWA scoring allowed for an additional 33% to be added to women’s scores. But I didn’t think this was to allow men and women to be directly competing against each other!!  In recent years this has not been an issue, but this year with the outstanding efforts of Ruth Jackson it became noticeable.  Ruth (when all adjustments were figured) placed THIRD OVERALL (with 736.0 points), behind Dan Wagman (845.7 points), and Chad Ullom (768.4 points).  

The USAWA does this quite differently.  Men and women are in different divisions and do not compete directly against each other for titles.  At least that is the way it has been done over the past 10 years.  I can not attest if that is how it was in the very beginning of the USAWA.  This puzzled me why there is this difference in the way this has been done.  I know the IAWA(UK) allows for this to happen, and men and women compete with each other for the “overall” in their competitions.

I feel the reason for this difference is the rule interpretation from the Rule Book.  Both the USAWA and the IAWA(UK) rulebooks has only this line, which is the same, in them:

1.  Competitions are to be organized for both men and women.

There is no other rule stipulation in either rulebook pertaining to this issue. So it obviously becomes a matter of interpretation??  When it says “for both” – I take that as implying a separation of men and women into two different divisions.  Otherwise it should say, “which includes”, or something like “together as one group”.  Am I wrong in thinking this way?   By the way, this is an original rule in both rulebooks that has not been changed or amended through the years.  Apparently the USAWA “took it one way”, while the IAWA(UK) “took it the other way”. 

Please express your viewpoints on this issue on the USAWA Discussion Forum.  I think this is a topic worthy of discussion.  Also – you may have noticed that I was careful not to give my opinion on whether I think it is right or wrong  for men to be competing against women through a formula. That’s another issue altogether!!  I’ll save that for the discussion forum!!!

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