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!!

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.)

Joe Jr. & Sr. – FOOTBALL CHAMPS!

by Al Myers

Joe Ciavattone Jr. (left) and Joe Ciavattone Sr. (right) proudly hold the conference championship trophy following the game!

A couple of weeks ago I had a very nice “sit down” visit with Joe Ciavattone Jr. and Joe Ciavattone Sr. following the Heavy Lift Championships in Walpole, Massachusetts.  That’s one thing I really like about the USAWA, most all of us know each other and the after-meet conversations are very enjoyable where we can just relax following a day of competition and enjoy each other’s company.  It’s often in these talks that I learn new information about the lives of  other all-rounders. This is exactly what happened during my visit with Joe Jr. and Sr.

Joe Jr. and Sr. were the first Father-Son duo to play on the Cobras at the same time. Here they show their conference Championship rings as a result of their football success.

This past year this father-son All Round Weightlifting  duo has been involved in another sport – FOOTBALL!  They both have been part of the Middleboro Cobras, a semi-pro team in the Eastern Football League.   Both were rookies on the team, with Joe Sr. being the oldest rookie on the team.  However, the years of lifting and training has kept him  much younger in “athletic years”.  Most guys in their 40’s would NEVER consider  making an upstart in a hard physical game like football at that age.  But most guys are not Joe Ciavattone Sr.!  They were the first Father-Son combo that ever played on this team at the same time.  There were other son’s that followed in Dad’s footsteps and played on the team – but in later years. Not at the same time!!!  The history of the Cobras goes back over 70 years to give a perspective on that accomplishment.

A "close up" picture of the Championship rings!

Their team had outstanding success.  They played an eleven game season, and with the playoffs and Championship game, finished with a record of 12 and 1.  This included winning the conference championship!  Both Joe Jr. and Joe Sr. had their championship rings on hand to prove this to me.  By the size of their rings, I would have said they won the Superbowl!  The Cobras are an excellent team, winning the conference championship in “back to back” seasons, and winning 8 of the last 10 titles!

Joe Jr was the starting fullback at a strapping 220 pounds, and was the youngest player on the team.  Joe Jr. had a stellar High School athletic career, earning All League honors in High School football and varsity All Star recognition in Lacrosse.  His strong contributions to the team during the season resulted in him being named Offensive Rookie of the Year. Before this, it had been 27 years since Joe Sr. played his last football game (which was in High School!).   However, he has always been involved in coaching and has a keen understanding of the game before he began playing on the Cobras.  Joe Sr. played offensive guard and special teams. 

The season begins next month for them and runs through October.  So if you are wondering why you are not seeing Joe Jr & Sr in USAWA meet results, you know why.  They are busy playing football!!!

Heavy Lift Championships

by Al Myers

2013 USAWA HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS

The group picture from the 2013 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in Walpole, Massachusetts.

What an exciting Heavy Lift Championships last weekend!  I knew I could expect a great meet atmosphere with the meet being held at Franks Barbell Club, hosted by meet promoter extraordinaire Frank Ciavattone, but this time Frank even exceeded my expectations!   Frank is a very seasoned USAWA meet promoter, having promoted numerous past National Championships and World Championships. Frank is a meet promoter who knows how to put the “lifter’s first”.  He always has the basics well-covered, then he throws in unexpected special things which makes his promotions “one of a kind”.  I regard Frank as one of the BEST meet promoters within the USAWA EVER, and I am VERY GLAD to see him “back in action” putting on meets.  Frank will be the host of the 2014 IAWA World Championships, which will be a special affair.  Everyone BETTER get that meet “penciled in” on your future meet itinerary.  It will be one you WILL NOT want to miss.

Dennis Mitchell performing a 630 pound Hip Lift.

Since the weather was very nice (low 60’s), Frank had set up a platform outside for the meet to be conducted on.  It provided the perfect atmosphere for a Heavy Lift Championships.  Most everyone was in shorts and t-shirts (with the exception of Flossy!) as the day progressed.  Ten lifters competed in this Championships.  I view the Heavy Lift Championships as the SECOND most important Championship event within the USAWA (the National Championships being the NUMBER ONE).  I say this because the Heavy Lift Championships has a longer history than all the others, and because the Heavy Lifts are very uniquely all-round lifts.  No other lifting organization features these lifts. 

Colleen Lane competed in her first Heavy Lift Championships and came away with an overall women’s title. I was most impressed with her 450# Hand and Thigh lift. Denny Habecker was as “solid as ever” with his lifting.  Denny finished off the day with a record 1000# Hip Lift.  Dennis Mitchell had many records, with his 455# Hand & Thigh impressing me the most.  This day marked a BIG DAY for Dennis as it marked his 70th year of active competition in lifting.  That’s right – 70 years!!!!  And in that run Dennis has never missed a year without hitting the platform at least once.  Truly an amazing record that very, very few will ever achieve.  Art Montini again showed that he is not ready to slow down yet.  Art had a great day and finished with a 700# Hip Lift.  I would like to see another 85 year old man do that! NOT LIKELY!  Joe Ciavattone Sr. had a day to be proud of.  He finished third overall in a field of wily veterans in the Heavy Lifts, and in the process he set a PERSONAL RECORD in the Neck Lift with an outstanding lift of 805 pounds!  Joe was the first USAWA lifter to break 800 pounds in the Neck Lift years ago with his historic 804.5#, and I know he had to question since if he was every going to do more.  Well, after what I saw of him last weekend, I would say he has lots more in him!  It was a very solid lift with plenty of clearance.  I could tell that this lift  alone made him tremendously satisfied with his day’s lifting.  Congrats  Joe – you earned it! 

Joe Ciavattone Sr. performing a big Neck Lift enroute to his new personal record of 805 pounds!

However, the real “story of the day” should go to Joe Ciavattone Jr.  It’s been a couple of years since I have seen Joe Jr, and since that time Junior has grown into a MAN!  His neck is now thicker than ole dad’s, and his strength is just starting to mature.   His future is very promising as a future USAWA superstar.  I also want to mention that Joe Jr. is very coachable, and wants to learn how to be a better lifter.  I tried to give him as much advice as I could, and he then would take it IMMEDIATELY to the platform for a bigger lift!   That trait will take him to the next level.  He took an extra attempt in the Neck Lift and he easily got 700 lbs, with much more in the tank.  He also took a fourth on the Hand and Thigh and destroyed 1400 pounds.  Those are the best lifts of ALL TIME in the USAWA for a teenager.   I really liked watching Joe Jr. compete in this meet.  He has a fierce competitive mindset.  Mark my words on this – Joe Ciavattone Jr. will be a future Overall National Champ! 

Joe Ciavattone Jr. performing a new ALL TIME teenage USAWA record in the Hand and Thigh with this 1400 pound lift!

Jim Fuller made his trip from Maine for his second appearance in the Heavy Lift Championships.  I first met James at York a few years ago at the Heavy Lift Championships. He has made great progress with his heavy lifting since then.  He put up a 1100# hand and thigh and a 1400# Hip Lift in this meet.  He has his own harness equipment, and it’s obvious that he has been training these very difficult lifts.  I was most impressed with him missing 1350# on his second attempt hip, only to come back at 1400# and NAIL IT!  That’s gutsy!  Afterwards at Franks backyard picnic, James cleaned and pressed Franks Old 45 Deep Dish York by hub pinching it with one hand for me.  I was even more impressed seeing it first hand than from the pictures he had sent me from Franks last record day.  I have a Deep Dish York 45, and I could tell immediately that Franks was different.  The hub on Franks 45 was very wide (we measured it at 4-3/4″).  My York 45 is much less in diameter.  Frank said his York 45 was made in the 1930’s (while mine was made in the 50’s).  Apparently very few are still around as the design of the thick hub caused the plate to be thinner and most have broken apart at the junction of the base of the hub and the plate.  Bottom line – this Deep Dish York 45 is MUCH harder to hub lift than the newer ones!!!   James hub lifted it several times with ease. 

James Fuller "playing around" hub pinching Franks very difficult old York Deep Dish 45.

Franks son Jeff lifted and did very well, placing fourth overall.   Jeff did well in every lift – 650# Neck, 1200# Hand and Thigh, and a 1400# Hip.  Jeff has loads of natural lifting ability (a Ciavattone trait!!!).  He looked to be good for more in each event to me.  It was a great pleasure to have Frank  join us on the lifting platform.  I know Frank had lots on his mind hosting the meet at his place, serving as head official most of the day, and organizing the awards banquet and meal afterwards.  Frank has great heavy lifting technique, and it’s obvious he has spent a lot of time “polishing his trade” with the heavy lifts.  

The great display of after-meet food prepared by Frank and his family!

After the meet, we were treated to a HUGE ITALIAN feast at Franks place.  You name it he had it – pasta, salad, meatballs, chicken, sausage, etc.  A totally top notch affair.  Many thanks are in order for Franks family in preparing this feast.  I also want to thank the outstanding loaders who worked hard all day – Dave, Peter, and Charlie.  You guys made this event move along with your outstanding loading all day. 

Meet Results:

2013 Heavy Lift Championships
Franks Barbell Club
Walpole, Massachusetts
May 4th, 2013

Meet Director:  Frank Ciavattone

Announcer and Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Officials (3 official system used):  Frank Ciavattone (head official), Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell, Joe Ciavattone Sr., Art Montini, Al Myers

Loaders: Dave Hartnett, Peter Vouno, Charlie Payne

Lifts:  Neck Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Hip Lift

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Neck H&T Hip TOT PTS
Colleen Lane 57 206 175 450 500 1125 1166.5

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Neck H&T Hip TOT PTS
Al Myers 46 235 780 1300 1800 3880 3400.6
Joe Ciavattone Jr. 19 224 600 1200 1750 3550 3040.2
Joe Ciavattone Sr. 44 217 725 1100 1500 3325 2981.5
Jeff Ciavattone 33 235 650 1200 1400 3250 2662.1
Jim Fuller 41 226 400 1100 1400 2900 2472.0
Denny Habecker 70 191 270 775 950 1995 2396.3
Dennis Mitchell 81 152 245 425 630 1300 1949.4
Art Montini 85 177 200 450 700 1350 1890.4
Frank Ciavattone 58 285 300 800 1000 2100 1858.8

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

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD

Denny Habecker:  Hip Lift 1000#
Dennis Mitchell: Hand and Thigh Lift 455#
Joe Ciavattone Sr.: Neck Lift 805#
Joe Ciavattone Jr.: Neck Lift 700#
Joe Ciavattone Jr.: Hand and Thigh Lift  1400#

BEST LIFTER AWARDS

Women Master 55-59 100KG Class – Colleen Lane
Mens Teenage 18-19 105 KG Class – Joe Ciavattone Jr.
Mens Senior 110 KG Class – Jeff Ciavattone
Mens Master 40-44 100 KG Class – Joe Ciavattone Sr.
Mens Master 40-44 105 KG Class – Jim Fuller
Mens Master 45-49 110 KG Class – Al Myers
Mens Master 55-59 125+ KG Class – Frank Ciavattone
Mens Master 70-74 90 KG Class – Denny Habecker
Mens Master 80-84 70 KG Class – Dennis Mitchell
Mens Master 85-89 85 KG Class – Art Montini
Overall Mens Best Lifter – Al Myers

Joe Ciavattone – Level 2 Official

by Al Myers

Joe Ciavattone is now a Level 2 USAWA Official.

Joe Ciavattone Sr., the owner of Joe’s Gym,  has just passed the USAWA Official’s Exam which upgrades him from a Level 1 USAWA Official to a Level 2 USAWA Official.  Level 2 is the highest level of official certification attainable in the USAWA .  This gives Joe LIFETIME CERTIFICATION as an official.  To be eligible as a Level 2 official, an official must have knowledge of the rules (by passing the Rules Exam) and experience officiating (by serving as an official in over 25 USAWA competitions).  There are currently only 11 Level 2 Officials in the USAWA, which makes Joe part of an elite group!

Congratulations Joe!!!

My Thoughts on the Gold Cup

by Al Myers

Gold Cup Meet Director Frank Ciavattone (left) and IAWA President Steve Gardner (right) directed the Awards Banquet after the meet.

I am a little embarrassed to admit this – but the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup in Walpole, Massachusetts was the FIRST Gold Cup that I have attended.  Truthfully, in the past I just couldn’t understand why someone would go to a meet where ONLY one (or two if time permitted) lifts for records were allowed.  It just didn’t seem to make sense to me – especially since I could go to a local record day or a meet and set SEVERAL RECORDS.  So I always passed on attending “the cup”.  But now since I have been to one, I now understand the significance of this meet and have a completely different feeling about it.  The Gold Cup is one of only two IAWA Events (the World Championships being the other) that is contested each year.  It signifies the excellence of our lifts and recognizes those that are representative of our organization on an International level.  By attending, it shows that you are one of the elite lifters of the organization.  The Gold Cup was initially organized by Howard Prechtel several years ago with the concept that this meet would allow lifters who were World Champions to come to perform their BEST lifts for records, and in the process have a RECORD DAY that was the BEST of the BEST, and thus give our organization more exposure by demonstrating the tremendous abilities of the lifters within our organization.

Joe Ciavattone Jr., at 17 years of age, deadlifting 227.5 kilograms for a World IAWA Record.

What all can I say about the efforts of Frank Ciavattone for organizing this great event???  Frank has been a National and World Meet promoter for many years, and his experience of putting on a TOP QUALITY EVENT was evident.  Frank had an excellent venue for us to compete in.  It was held at the Italian American Club in Walpole (which is just outside of Boston).   Lots of room for lifting and viewing, a great platform to lift on, and plenty of weights.  Our IAWA President Steve Gardner handled the scoretable and announcing and kept things flowing very well. Judy Habecker assisted with the scoring and does more “behind the scenes” than anyone else in the USAWA.  Thank you Judy from all of us!!!  Eighteen lifters competed and set many new IAWA World Records.  I really enjoyed seeing the variety in lifts performed – from deadlifts to presses, to unique lifts like the Clean and Press on Knees.  Some of the lifters were “seasoned” competitors like Art Montini and Denny Habecker, while others were still teenagers, like Joe Ciavattone Jr, Jonathon Ciavattone,  Frankie Ciavattone, and Kohl Hess.  The age of the lifters varied between 16 and 83 years of age.

Dennis Mitchell, at age 78, performed 600 repetitions on the Roman Chair Situp!!

What were the highlights of the meet?  That is a hard question to answer because it seemed every Gold Cup Record was a highlight.   Things that really impressed me where:  seeing Frank do 160 kg in his signature lift – the one armed deadlift, watching the wily Dennis Mitchell performing 600 reps in the Roman Chair Situp at the age of 78, and seeing Art perform a stiff-legged deadlift of 100 kg with ease. Most guys his age couldn’t bend over to pick up 50 pounds and he does over 200 pounds with straight legs!!  Of course, I really enjoyed watching Joe Ciavattone Jr. deadlifting over 500 pounds for the first time!  I very clearly remember when I did that for the first time as a teenager.  That had to be one of the best lifts of the day.  My father LaVerne attended the meet with me and I talked him into lifting.  He did a 187# one handed Ciavattone Deadlift.  At the awards banquet when he was presented his trophy he remarked to the group that it was the first trophy he had won in a weightlifting meet!  And speaking of trophies, Frank went way beyond expectations with the trophies he gave out.   He awarded EVERYONE a large Gold Cup in appreciation of their performances.  Just another little thing that SHOWS why the Gold Cup means just a little bit more than another ordinary record day!  Chad and I were the only ones to do a two man lift for IAWA record.  We decided to do a 2-man deadlift, after first wanting to do a 2-man one arm deadlift (but it is not an IAWA lift).  After doing 1000# in the 2-man deadlift, we were allowed to do our 2-man one arm deadlift for exhibition and USAWA Record.  I wanted to do this lift for Frank – and thankfully (because I didn’t want to let Frank down) – we got our 800 pounds.  Another great performance of the day was John McKean’s one arm dumbbell deadlift of 266# (I know his inspiration was that DINO GYM SWEATSHIRT he was wearing!).  This broke a record he set over 10 ago – which shows he is getting better with age.  I really enjoyed getting to FINALLY meet Joe Ciavattone.   We always seem to “just miss” each other by attending different meets, and he is the great lifter and person I expected him to be.  His passion for lifting shows when he is busy coaching his boys.

Al Myers and Chad Ullom performed a 2-Man Deadlift of 1000 pounds, and a 2-Man One-Armed Deadlift of 800 pounds.

Afterwards, Frank hosted the banquet at his house.  That is the type of generous person Frank is – opening up his house to his lifting friends.  The food was fabulous!!  Frank’s Mom and his sister Cara prepared an Italian Feast that had everyone “licking their chops”!  I know I ate my share.  After the awards were given out, I conducted the ceremony in which Scott Schmidt was officially inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame.  Scott gave a very thankful response in appreciation.  I will have more on that in a future USAWA Daily News story. Another special moment for me was when Frank presented me with a special award thanking me for my work and efforts in the USAWA.  It meant more to me than the big Gold Cup I received for lifting.

NOW I know what the IAWA Gold Cup is all about, and it is more than just going to a meet to set a record.  It is about being part of an elite competition promoted by the  International All-Round Weightlifting Association.

COMING SOON – VIDEOS FROM THE GOLD CUP