New Official – Judy Habecker

by Al Myers

Judy Habecker performing a Ciavattone Grip Deadlift at the 2010 Gold Cup in Walpole, MA.

I just received word from the USAWA Official’s Director Joe Garcia that Judy Habecker has passed the USAWA Rules Exam and is now a Level 1 Test Qualified USAWA Official.   I just placed Judy’s name on our ever growing list of officials.   I now feel sorry for the lifters in Habeckers Gym, because with Judy in the chair there won’t be any “shoddy” lifts passed. When I was sitting by Judy at our past USAWA Nationals (I was the announcer and she was the scorekeeper), it was obvious to me that Judy had a keen sense of the rules.  She ALWAYS KNEW what the infraction was when a lift wasn’t passed.  A few times she felt that certain shouldn’t have been passed!  (and a couple of times it was when her husband Denny was lifting! haha).  Like I said already, I now feel sorry for the lifters in Habeckers Gym!    I know Judy will make a great judge, and all I can say is IT IS ABOUT TIME she became an USAWA official!  There has been some confusion in the past with the thinking you must be a competitive lifter to be an official.  This is just not true.  There is NOTHING in our rules or bylaws saying this must be the case.  I’m not inferring that Judy is not a competitive lifter either – she often makes a least one appearance to the platform every year. She has USAWA records dating back to 2001, and is the holder of 30 USAWA Records.  She is most proud of her 304 pound 12″ base deadlift done at the 2005 Gold Cup in Hawaii. 

Congratulations Judy!

Judy Habecker: the USAWA Official Scorekeeper

by Al Myers

It was my privilege to work alongside Judy Habecker at the 2011 USAWA National Championships. (left to right): Al Myers, Judy Habecker

Today I want to mention Judy Habecker and how her input into the USAWA is so vital.  Usually the lifters get all the recognition and the people who provide all the support “behind the scenes” don’t receive the recognition they deserve.   For those of us that have been actively involved in USAWA competitions for 10 years or more, we know who these people are.  I know alot of “first timers” or new lifters might not be aware of this as much, but I know I REALLY APPRECIATE THEM.  Judy has been our main scorekeeper at our big competitions (Nationals, Worlds, and the Gold Cup) for many years and because of her efforts, meets “go off” without a hitch.  Most lifters just take this for granted and don’t realize all the work that is done by Judy. 

Judy takes her job as meet scorekeeper very serious.  I have to confess that I didn’t fully understand how serious she was with her scorekeeping until  this past National Championships where I was the announcer and had to work “side by side” with her all day.  I was a little nervous if I could “pull my weight” as announcer since I know Judy has kept score alongside such reputable and famous announcers as IAWA Prez Steve Gardner and “the Father of the USAWA”  Bill Clark.  I told Judy from the very start of the day that I was going to rely on her VERY MUCH – and she didn’t let me down!  Judy is a perfectionist when it comes to keeping the scores right and in keeping the proper information in front of me the entire day so I could do my job as the announcer.  And I’ll say it again -NEVER ONCE did she let me down!  To sum up this past National Meet, we had 18 lifters, 6 lifts apiece, a total of close to 400 total lifts with extra attempts, and all done in 7 hours on ONE PLATFORM.  Do the math – that is close to one attempt per minute!  There are not very many scorekeepers who could keep up this pace and not let down throughout the day, but for Judy it was nothing more than a “walk in the park”!  Another thing most lifters don’t realize is the amount of work that needs to be done AFTER the meet by Judy in tallying the scoresheets.  The formulas need applied, and calculations need made.  This has to be done correctly or the wrong lifters may get announced as the winners.  While the rest of us were enjoying our beverage of choice at the banquet, I noticed Judy was still “double checking” her calculations on the scoresheet to make sure “everything was right”.

We are very fortunate to have someone like Judy to “step up” and take on this very important job within our organization.  It is a position that has no glory, and if no mistakes are ever made, the scorekeeper does not get noticed.   I also consider Judy one of the KEY MEMBERS of our organization.  She always joins the USAWA every year whether she plans to compete or not, and takes active involvement in our meetings, always giving very valuable input.  I’m pretty sure if she ran for President of the USAWA she probably would get elected (haha Just kiddin ya Denny!). 

Please do me a favor and at the next meet thank Judy for all she does.  She DESERVES IT!

Habecker’s Gym – Club of the Year

by Al Myers

Habecker’s Gym is the 2010 Club of the Year

Denny and Judy Habecker have promoted several big meets in the USAWA. This picture of them was taken at the 2009 IAWA World Championships, which they promoted in Lebanon, PA.

It’s official!  The year 2010 is wrapped up, and after all points have been tallied, Habecker’s Gym wins the 2010 USAWA Club of the Year.  Ambridge VFW BBC was the runner-up, for the second year in a row.  Last year the Ambridge Club placed second in the Club Race behind the Dino Gym.  As per the Club of the Year rules, the defending Club Award winner is not eligible the following year and instead is responsible for presenting the award and passing the title to the next year’s winner.

Habecker’s Gym is a club gym operated and owned by our USAWA President Denny Habecker.  2010 was the first year Denny registered his club as a Member Club of the USAWA, and in return, immediately wins the USAWA Club of the Year by upsetting the perennial power Ambridge BBC.  Habecker’s Gym has 5 registered club members – Denny, Judy Habecker, Barry Bryan, Andrew Hess, and Kohl Hess.   Denny and Habecker’s Gym hosted the 2010 USAWA National Championships in Lebanon, PA.  The final standings were:

1.  Habecker’s Gym – 26 points

2.  Ambridge BBC – 19 points

3.  Frank’s Barbell Club – 17 points

4.  Clark’s Gym – 16 points

5.  JWC – 12 points

The 2010 USAWA Club of the Year Award will be awarded at this coming years National Championship, in Kirksville, Missouri.  Congratulations to Denny and Judy and all members of Habecker’s Gym!