by Thom Van Vleck AND Al Myers
USAWA Nationals: 2011 Official Meet Report
Group picture from the 2011 USAWA National Championships.
The 2011 USAWA Nationals held in Kirksville, Missouri and hosted by the Jackson Weightlifting Club on June 25th is now in the record books. The event was held in the old Willard School Gym. This building is around 75 years old and for many of the older lifters, it was the type of gym they grew up in! It had old, hardwood floors and a stage on one side with baskets at each end. There was a partitioned warm up area at one end with the main platform at center court. The platforms were well constructed with the main one being 12′x12′. We had a nice light system for the judges and a top notch PA system for the announcer (Al Myers). Wayne Smith, honored guest and original JWC member, made the comment that Al was the best announcer he had ever heard and since Wayne has attended many Olympic lifting Nationals, a World Championships (in Columbus, Ohio when Alexeev broke the 500lb C&J barrier) and even a Pan Am Games I thought that said a lot!!!!
The morning session included the Women and the older master lifters. Amber Glasgow won the women’s overall with Susan Sees getting second in her first ever trip to the USAWA Nationals! Helen Kahn was a close second to Susan.
Three guys that must be mentioned in this early morning group includes Mike Murdock, Dean Ross, and Rudy Bletscher. These guys have had some epic battles going head to head in the past but what sets them apart is the great respect they have for one another and the wonderful encouragement they give each other. Denny Habecker and Dennis Mitchell both traveled a long way to compete and did some fantastic lifting. I know my mother guessed Denny was 20 years younger than his actual age (see….weight training keeps you young!) and Wayne Smith was so inspired by Dennis Mitchell (they are the same age) that he told me he felt like training and competing again.
Now, let’s take a look a the overall top ten men’s lifters as adjusted by age and weight coefficients.
10. Joe Garcia. Joe was handicapped in this meet by the fact that we did not have a “heavy lift”. Joe is one of the greatest “heavy” lifters of all time but that did not stop him from cracking the top ten.
9. Denny Habecker. Denny came a long way to compete and did not disappoint. He also pulled double duty judging and his wife Judy was the scorekeeper all day long.
8. Dave Glasgow. Dave is looking at elbow surgery soon but that did not stop him from having a great day. All while coaching Team Ledaig to the team championships.
7. John O’Brien. John came in at a heavy 290lbs and he had power to spare. He seemed to be strongest on his third attempts. John was the JWC’s top finisher. John made an easy 240lb Cheat Curl that showed his explosiveness.
6. Randy Smith. Randy has been a top finisher for years in the USAWA and did not disappoint. His Continental of 225lbs on the thick bar really impressed several of us.
5. Sammy Ibrahim was the top junior lifter and showed his potential with this top 5 finish in the men’s overall. Sammy broke several records in the process and his explosiveness in the Dumbbell Snatch was a sight to see.
4. Sam Cox, the winner of the first ever USAWA Old time Strongman contest was barely edged out by Chad Ullom who was 3rd. Sam is only 22 years old and will undoubtedly improve and be a force in the future.
3. Chad Ullom. To give you an idea of the caliber of the lifting in this contest, Chad is the CURRENT IAWA World Champion. No, he did not have an off day, it was just that great of a contest. Chad really impressed me with his Zercher lift of 445 pounds.
2. Eric Todd. Eric usually competes in strongman competitions as a professional. He has been an All American Wrestler in College and is one of the toughest guys I’ve ever met. He dumped a Continental to the Chest attempt right across his leg and simply shrugged it off and on the the next lift.
Larry Traub of the Ledaig Heavy Athletics Club won the Overall Best Mens Lifter in his very first USAWA Nationals appearance.
1. Larry Traub. Larry is a 9 time Master’s National Champ in powerlifting as well has numerous other titles. He lived up to his pedigree by edging out the slimmest victory we’ve seen in some time. Eric missed his last Zercher attempt and had he made it he would have beaten Larry for the overall. Just 5lbs either way! Larry pulled a nice 560lbs Deadlift that in the end won the contest for him.
No meet report would be complete without those who work behind the scenes. I would especially like to thank my wife, Kelly, who helped me with lots of details on this meet. She was solely responsible for the Friday night meal, the lunch on meet day, the beautiful cake at the awards banquet, and making sure the banquet ran smoothly until I got there.
The loaders were JWC members Mitch Ridout and Tedd Van Vleck. I know they really wanted to compete, but took the bullet for the team and helped all day. Scorekeeping was done by Judy Habecker and the announcer was Al Myers. JWC Member Brett Kerby set up or spectacular sound system and made sure we were able to open our ceremony with the National Anthem.
Be sure and check back in the following days. We will have special reports on the USAWA Awards that took place at the awards banquet, the special display honoring past champions at the meet, and some of the “stories within the story” that really made this event special.
2011 USAWA National Championships
June 25th, 2011
Meet Directer: Thom Van Vleck
Lifts: Snatch – Dumbbell, One Arm, Curl – Cheat, Pullover and Push, Continental to Chest – Fulton Bar, Deadlift – 12″ Base, Zercher Lift
Officials (3 -0fficial system used on all lifts): Session 1 – Steve Schmidt, Joe Garcia (head judge), Randy Smith; Session 2 – Steve Schmidt, Denny Habecker (head judge), Dennis Mitchell
Announcer: Al Myers
Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker
Loaders: Mitch Ridout, Tedd Van Vleck
Photographer: Flossy Mitchell
Sound System: Brett Kerby
Extra attempts for records:
Amber Glasgow: Deadlift 12″ Base – 255#
Helen Kahn: Continental to chest – 75#
Helen Kahn: Deadlift 12″ Base – 185#
Susan Sees: Continental to Chest – 90#
Extra attempts for record:
Dennis Mitchell: Dumbbell Snatch -27.5# Left
Dennis Mitchell: Cheat Curl – 85#
Denny Habecker: Dumbbell Snatch – 75# Right
Denny Habecker: Pullover & Push – 245#
Bob Geib: Dumbbell Snatch – 60# Left
Bob Geib: Deadlift 12″ Base – 320#
Dean Ross: Zercher – 240#
Sammy Ibrahim: Dumbbell Snatch – 110# Left
Sammy Ibrahim: Deadlift 12″ Base – 440#
Chad Ullom: Dumbbell Snatch – 110# Left
John O’Brien: Dumbbell Snatch – 110# Left
NOTES: BWT is bodyweight recorded in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Points are adjusted points amended for age and bodyweight.
BEST LIFTER AWARDS
BEST OVERALL WOMENS LIFTER – Amber Glasgow
BEST OVERALL MENS LIFTER – Larry Traub
BEST MEN JUNIOR LIFTER – Sammy Ibrahim
BEST MEN SENIOR LIFTER – Eric Todd
BEST WOMEN SENIOR LIFTER – Amber Glasgow
BEST WOMEN MASTERS LIFTER – Susan Sees
BEST MEN MASTERS LIFTER – Larry Traub
BEST MEN 40-44 MASTERS LIFTER – John O’Brien
BEST MEN 55-59 MASTERS LIFTER – Larry Traub
BEST MEN 65-69 MASTERS LIFTER – Denny Habecker
BEST MEN 70-74 MASTERS LIFTER – Mike Murdock
BEST MEN 75-79 MASTERS LIFTER – Rudy Bletscher
TEAM AWARD – Ledaig Heavy Athletics Club