Mike Murdock joins the CENTURY CLUB

by Al Myers

Mike Murdock joins the USAWA Century Club, a club which recognizes lifters who currently hold over 100 USAWA records.

I predicted it in my last blog covering the CENTURY CLUB.  Mike Murdock has become the 23rd member to join this exclusive group of USAWA record setters.  Mike is very deserving of this, and all I have to say, is that it is ABOUT TIME!  I have often criticized Mike for only breaking his own records at record days and not growing his absolute count.  If he hadn’t been doing that he would have been over the “100 count” needed to be in the Century Club a long time ago.  It is also very appropriate that he did it at the Ledaig Record Breaker, the club that he lifts with.  I should have announced this before now, but since I did the last count right before Dave’s record day I sorta forgot how close Mike was to being a full-fledged CENTURY CLUB MEMBER!  

Our prez Denny Habecker still holds the lead.  Denny has now turned 70, and it has opened up a new age group for him to attack.  That’s exactly what he has been doing.  He is FIRMLY in first place now with 447 USAWA records.  His lead over Art has widened since last count.  Denny has been on the war path of competing in USAWA events.  There’s not very many he has missed since Nationals.

Since I’ve become the EXPERT PREDICTER, let me announce my prediction of who will be the next USAWA member to join the Century Club. It goes to the recent Hall of Famer Bob Geib.  Bob now has 95 USAWA records, and his presence has been plentiful at recent USAWA competitions.  In visiting with Bob at Worlds, he seems to me to have the enthusiasm of a teenager when it comes to lifting in competitions.  My money is on him (so don’t let me down Bob!!!)

CENTURY CLUB (as of October 23rd, 2012)

RANK LIFTER RECORD COUNT
1  Denny Habecker  447
2  Art Montini  413
3  Al Myers  396
4  John McKean  292
5  Noi Phumchona  265
6  Frank Ciavattone  262
7  Dennis Mitchell  260
8  Joe Garcia  243
9  Bob Hirsh  229
10  Bill Clark  200
11  Chad Ullom  195
12  Howard Prechtel  175
13  Dale Friesz  162
14  Jim Malloy  153
15  Scott Schmidt  148
16  John Monk  148
17  Ed Schock  142
18  Chris Waterman  137
19  Dean Ross  132
20  Rudy Bletscher  131
21  Mary McConnaughey  117
22  John Vernacchio  105
23  Mike Murdock  104

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

The first Team (2-Man) Neck Lift ever performed, by Al Myers and Chad Ullom, at the Dino Days Record Day. We lifted 1205 pounds.

Seven lifters performed record attempts at the Dino Days Record Day on August 12th.  Of these 7, three made it that didn’t compete the previous day in the Dino Gym – Tim Songster, Mike Murdock, and Molly Myers.

I’ll start the report with the youngest lifter of the day.  My daughter Molly continues to amaze me with her lifting ability. She has spent some time in her young life training, but never anything consistent.  I keep telling her that she has great ability lifting weights, but I haven’t over-pressured her to be a weight lifter.  Usually in record days, I have picked lifts for her that she could set records in easily, as I didn’t want her to feel disappointed if she couldn’t exceed a previous record.  But this time, I picked a few records that I knew she would have to get a great performance to exceed the current record on the books.  The first choice was the Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift.  The previous record was 148# (which I consider a very good mark) and Molly exceeded it with her last attempt at 151#.  This got her very excited and after that the records fell at a rapid pace, ending with a very fine 130# 12 inch base squat.

Mike Murdock performing one of the "first ever" Jackson Presses at the Dino Days Record Day.

Since I’m reporting in the order of age, that makes Chad at 40 the next in line!  Chad started the day off with a 135# Jackson Press.  When he finished he made the comment that he picked that lift to recognize the JWC, since none of the JWC members were in attendance.  He then started focusing on regaining his Neck Lift record, which he lost to Eric Todd at the Heavy Lift Championships.  I decided I would join him in the Neck Lift, but I knew I would only be his “pace car” as he proceeded to heavier and heavier poundages!  I dropped out at 700 but to Chad it seemed as he was still just warming up.  He finished with 915# for the new ALL TIME record in the Neck Lift. After that we decided to do some 2-Man Neck Lifts.  This was our first time trying out this new bar apparatus I had made to do this lift, and we finished with 1205#.  We could have done alot more, but we need some more training time to synchronize our efforts.  Unlike other 2-Man lifts, this one is performed “totally blind” as you are looking up and have no visual cues.  Add in the element of danger, and this lift becomes much more difficult than other 2-Man lifts.

I was glad to meet another lifter from Jobe’s Steel Jungle.  Tim Songster made his first appearance in the Dino Gym. Tim set 8 new records in various different lifts.  I could tell Tim is a true all-rounder, as he seems to really enjoy the variety of the different lifts.  If someone else was trying a different lift, he wanted to “give it a try” as well, and in the process learn how to do this new lift. Welcome to the USAWA Tim!

LaVerne made an appearance on both days at this year’s Dino Days.  The day before he teamed with Dean Ross in the Team Championships. It appeared to me that he must have still been on this “team approach” as it seemed they did all the same lifts!  LaVerne, Dean and Mike started the day off doing the Bear Hug. The Bear Hug is a lift very rarely contested in the USAWA, and it seemed like they were doing it for over an hour.  They must have tripled the weight they started with.  LaVerne ended up on tops with a lift of 206#, followed by Dean at 181#, and then Mike at 156#.  However, in the new USAWA lift, the Fulton Bar Bench Press, Dean and Mike had the best lifts (178#), followed by LaVerne at 123#. Another lift that “stuck out in my mind” was the 1250# Back Lift by Dean.  That is a huge lift!

Again, I want to thank everyone who attended this record day.  I really enjoy watching others have fun lifting weights, and afterall, that is what it should be all about.

MEET RESULTS

Dino Days Record Day
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
August 12th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials: Al Myers, Mike Murdock, Chad Ullom, Jesse Jobe, LaVerne Myers

Lifters:

Molly Myers – Female, Age 13, 164# BWT
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 151#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 201#
Deadlift – Heels Together: 182#
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 100#
Curl – Cheat: 75#
Jackson Press: 45#
Press – From Rack: 45#
Squat – 12″ Base: 130#

Chad Ullom – Age 40, 253# BWT
Jackson Press; 135#
Clean and Press – On Knees: 211#
Neck Lift: 915#
Turkish Get Up: 71#

Tim Songster Sr. – Age 45, 208# BWT
Bear Hug: 181#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 130#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 85#
Turkish Get Up: 53#
Extension – Back: 110#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 85#
Bench Press – Roman Chair: 65#
Jackson Press: 160#

Al Myers – Age 45, 248# BWT
Neck Lift: 690#
Extension – Back: 140#

LaVerne Myers – Age 68, 249# BWT
Jackson Press: 75#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 123#
Bear Hug: 206#

Dean Ross – Age 69, 275# BWT
Jackson Press: 95#
Arthur Lift: 75#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 178#
Bear Hug: 181#
Turkish Get Up: 35#
Back Lift: 1250#

Mike Murdock – Age 72, 225# BWT
Jackson Press – 115#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 178#
Bear Hug: 156#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 201#

Al Myers and Chad Ullom
Team Neck Lift: 1205#

NOTES:  All lifts are recorded in pounds.

Sportsmanship Award

by Al Myers

Art Montini receiving the Runner Up Sportsmanship Award (center). The award was presented by Al Myers (left) and Denny Habecker (right). The Sportsmanship Award Winner Mike Murdock was not in attendance.

The Sportsmanship Award goes to individuals who have showed exceptional sportsmanship throughout the year.  It may be for overall conduct at all events, or by a specific example of exceptional sportsmanship.  This years winners are definitely worthy of this title!  Both of these lifters exhibit great sportsmanship at every competition, and are fine examples of the way lifters should conduct themselves at competitions. The winners are:

WINNER – MIKE MURDOCK

RUNNER UP – ART MONTINI

Mike was unable to make it to Nationals this year to accept his award, but Art was present to accept his.  I want to say a few words about both of these guys because these two lifters I have the greatest respect for.  I can’t count the number of meets that Mike has sacrificed his own days lifting to “help out” to insure the meet is ran well.  At my Dino Record Days this past spring Mike spent the day officiating the new lifters instead of doing the record lifts that he wanted to do.  I couldn’t have done it without him there!  Mike is one of those lifters that gives to the organization more than he takes.  That’s true sportsmanship.  Art, at age 84, has given as much to the USAWA as anyone.  How many lifters his age would have made the trip to the IAWA World Championships in Australia by themselves??  I’ll answer it – NONE besides him.  Art is always part of any “big event” in the USAWA or the IAWA, and this has been going on for many, many years now.  Both of these guys are very worthy winners of this award.  CONGRATS!!!

Team Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT – THE 2012 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Rudy Bletscher (left) and Mike Murdock (right) perform a very difficult team lift in last years Team Championship, the Team One Arm Dumbbell Press.

Due to some other local strength event conflicts, the date for the 2012 USAWA Team Championships has been moved up a couple of weekends this year.  As usual, this meet will be part of the Dino Days Weekend held at the Dino Gym.  For several years now the Dino Gym has had one weekend a year where we celebrate our Dino Days.  It is a full weekend of fun, both lifting and socializing.  Saturday night is an open invite to anyone who wants to come share in our evening BBQ, sponsored by the Dino Gym. You do not need to be a “gym member” to take part in this fun.   I’m planning on making this years Saturday evening party a “trial run”  for the big party I’m planning after the World Championships in October at my place.  So plan on staying after the meet for this!!!  One thing those of us in central Kansas are known for – it is our BBQ.  I’m thinking of a menu now of burgers, brats, grilled chicken, brisket, and possibly even ribs.  Add in some hot baked beans and potato salad for sides, and brownies and homemade ice cream for dessert and we got a meal that ought to fill everyone up.  All washed down with beer of course!  (I shouldn’t be writing this story right before lunch!!!)

But onto the meet details (the real reason we are getting together haha).   This year I picked 4 lifts that I think anyone could team up to do.  The lifts will be: Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip, Bent Over Row, and the 12″ base Deadlift.   I am sure that the Dino Gym will field at least 3 teams for this meet.  I have been somewhat disappointed in the attendance in the past Team Championships.  So this year I’m going to be CALLING OUT some other clubs to REPRESENT.  To start with there is NO REASON clubs like the JWC, Jobes Steel Jungle, Clarks Gym, the Ledaig AC, and KCStrongman are not in attendance.  These clubs are all within easy driving distances of this major USAWA competition.  It has been my dream since I started hosting  the Team Championships several years ago that the this meet would be one of those fun meets that lifters would not want to miss.  This meet doesn’t really put any pressure on you as a lifter.  After all if you don’t do well you can always blame it on your partner!!!!

ENTRY FORM FOR THE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS (PDF) - TeamChampionships2012

Dino Challenge Award Winners

by Al Myers

In the picture on the left, Al Myers (right) is presenting Chad Ullom (left) the Ambidextrous Award. In the picture on the right, Mike Murdock (left) is presenting Al Myers (right) the KLUTZ AWARD.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s meet report on the Dino Gym Challenge, a couple of BEST LIFTER AWARDS were presented.  The unusual thing about these two awards were that they had no bearing on overall performance as most best lifters awards do, but rather to honor (or make fun of!) the two lifters that were the most balanced, and most unbalanced,  between both arms in their lifts.  As I said, I was very intrigued just to see how the lifters would do in pounds lifted between each arm in the same lift.  Most of the time in All-Round meets when an one arm lift is contested, the lifter gets to chose which arm to use in competition, and often the other arm never gets any “meet action”. 

The Best Lifter Award for the most balanced lifter was titled the Ambidextrous Award.  It was based on a percentage of the weaker arm to the stronger arm in pounds lifted with both.  Surprisingly, four of the five lifters in this meet went over 90%.  The WINNER was also the winner of the Dino Gym Challenge, Chad Ullom. Chad had a rating of 96.2%.  Only competition lifts were used in this calculation (not extra attempts for record).  Even with this high percentage, Chad still had better lifts with his right arm in all five lifts, but his left was very close behind in each one.

Lifter  Left Arm Right Arm Percent
Chad Ullom 880 914 96.2%
Dave Glasgow 650 615 94.6%
Rudy Bletscher 315 335 94.0%
Dean Ross 345 380 90.8%
Al Myers 740 920 80.4%

Now for the WINNER of the most unbalanced lifter, the Ambisinistrous Award……. it went to ME!  And from the table above, no one else was even close to challenging me for this degrading award.  I have to say I was slightly embarrassed when Mike finished his calculations and I seen that it was me who had won it!  Before the meet I made this award up with someone else in mind - NOT ME!  Most don’t know that recently ”Super Dave” Glasgow has had surgery on his right elbow to repair a nerve issue.  Dave’s not one to complain about ANYTHING, and most of the time doesn’t even mention to his family and  friends when he is having major surgery.  I was  a little surprised he even entered this meet because his surgery hasn’t been that long ago and his right arm is far from recovered.  So to say I thought he had the Ambisinistrous Award locked up beforehand was an “understatement”!  Well, that like joke sure backfired on me!  I even nicknamed the award beforehand “THE KLUTZ AWARD”, and had that stated on the certificate as well.  I’m sure to never live this one down!

Welcome Mat Meet

by Jarrod Fobes

MEET REPORT: 1st Annual Welcome Mat Meet Report

Mike Murdock and Grace Jividen at the 1st Annual Welcome Mat Meet in Colorado.

The first of what I hope to be many meets at Colorado Welcome Mat is in the books.  The meet was an overall success, thanks in no small part to Mike Murdock whose experience as an official and a competitor was an enormous help.  Besides Mike, every competitor was completely new not only to all-around weightlifting, but to weightlifting competitions in general.  But don’t think there weren’t some talented athletes competing: Olympian and world SAMBO champion Grace Jividen made a last minute entry despite a persistent elbow injury.  Grace set at least two records, and I think it’s safe to say that we will see a lot more of her in the USAWA.  In her own words, “I’m hooked!”   

The lifts contested were the Turkish Get-up, the Crucifix, and the Dumbbell walk.  The TGU and Dumbbell Walk were especially popular with competitors and spectators alike.  My friend and training partner Brandon Gurr even hopped in for some unofficial attempts at the Dumbbell Walk, ultimately beating my PR!  The real star of the day for this lift though was Mike Cadwallader, who ran 100lbs at a bodyweight of 74kg, which put him in first place at the last minute by a two point spread.  As disappointed as I was to see the best lifter award slip away from me, I have to say I was highly impressed.  Incidentally, “Dr. Mike” is my chiropractor, and is the main reason that I’m able to even consider competitive weightlifting. 

Every lifter who participated in the TGU did well and showed promise to do even better.  Dr. Mike put up an impressive TGU at 80lbs, beating the previous best in the USAWA by 10lbs.  I was able to set a new PR for myself and for the USAWA at 115lbs.  (Don’t tell James Gardner, but I’ve got my eye on his record!)  Grace pushed 55lbs, and this was only the second time she had done this lift!  Young Frank Policky matched his PR at 45lbs and will only get stronger.  Karena fell short of her PR by 5lbs, putting up 45lbs.  But I happen to know she is addicted to this lift and I think we can expect more from her in days to come. 

The Crucifix was all Mike Murdock, who set a new record at 76lbs.  This was the noisiest lift of the day, with pops coming from the elbows, shoulders, and sternums of almost every competitor.  This is tough lift that uses a lot of muscles that aren’t used to working together, and I think all of us novice lifters enjoyed trying to figure this one out.

This being a smaller meet, all the lifters helped each other with loading and spotting when necessary.  So far as I know this is the first all-around meet held in Colorado, and I was very happy to have six lifters.  Several spectators and friends have promised to enter future meets now that the ground as been broken and they have an idea of what USAWA is all about.  I really hope we can see this sport grow in Colorado.   

MEET RESULTS

Welcome Mat Meet
November 5th, 2011
The Welcome Mat/Gracie Judo Club
Littleton, Colorado

Meet Director: Jarrod Fobes

Certified USAWA Officials (1 official system used):  Mike Murdock, Jarrod Fobes

Lifts:  Turkish Get Up, Crucifix, Dumbbell Walk

WOMENS DIVISION

Lifter Age BWT TGU Cruc DBW Total Points
Grace Jividen 47 65.4 55 36 48 139 164.2
Karena Fobes 36 76.7 45 36 58 139 137.1

MENS DIVISION

Lifter Age BWT TGU Cruc DBW Total Points
Mike Cadwallader 34 74.3 80 66 100 246 247.2
Jarrod Fobes 34 84.7 115 70 78 263 244.4
Frank Policky 14 56.9 45 22 38 105 152.3
Mike Murdock 71 105.0 —— 76 63 139 151.5

NOTES:   BWT is bodyweight in kilograms.  All lifts reported in pounds.  Total is total pounds lifted.  Points are adjusted for bodyweight and age.

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORDS:

Mike Murdock: Rectangular Fix 80#

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

DINO DAYS RECORD DAY

Ben Edwards set the ALL TIME RECORD in the 2" One Arm Vertical Bar Deadlift with a lift of 251 pounds at the Dino Days Record Day.

MEET REPORT

There were not alot of records set today at the Dino Days Record Day, but the ones that were set were great!  Only five lifters showed up on this second day of the two USAWA competitions hosted by the Dino Gym this weekend; Mike Murdock, Scott Tully, Ben Edwards, LaVerne Myers and myself. Mike lead the way with setting records in 9 different lifts, followed by LaVerne with 8, and the rest of us tied at 7.  Every lifter had a record lift which I would call OUTSTANDING, and I had a hard time “choosing” just one feature picture, so I just decided I would show a picture of everyone who lifted, in which I would call their “BEST” record of the day. 

Ben Edwards showed up today to SMASH some USAWA grip records, and that he did.  Ben is the KING of the Vertical Bar, and that was the first lift he set his record breaking sights on.  I have watched Ben several times with the VB, but never have I seen him this strong with it.  He kept going up and up with the weight, finishing with an ALL TIME USAWA record of 251 pounds with his right hand.  This broke the USAWA All-Time mark held by Andrew Durniat of 250 pounds, set at the 2010 Dino Gym Grip Challenge.  I also got to see Andrew set his record, and at the time I wondered if it ever would be broken.  Well, Ben did it!  He also lifted 240 pounds in the 2″ VB with his left hand, setting the highest mark in USAWA history with the left as well.  The next “grip lift” Ben went after was the Fulton Dumbbell (of which handle is 2 inches in diameter).  He did 175 pounds with his left, and 185 pounds with his right. The “185″ is the BEST EVER that has been done in the USAWA with a one handed Fulton Dumbbell. As some of you know, the Fulton Bar lifts utilizing the 2″ handle was named after Kevin Fulton, who was one of the grip-strength pioneers in the USAWA.   It all started that day when Kevin “upset” Wilbur Miller in a competition where a 2″ handle dumbbell was deadlifted with one arm.  Bill Clark “tagged” the name of the Fulton Bar to the 2 inch handle following this incident.  Now Ben better set his goal on Kevin’s best mark from the Old Missouri Valley Record List.   Just to let you know – Kevin Fulton lifted 195 pounds in the One Arm Fulton Dumbbell in 1983.  So get to work Ben!!!

Scott Tully set the ALL TIME RECORD in the Stifflegged Deadlift with a lift of 512 pounds at the Dino Days Record Day.

Scott Tully really did some damage to the Record List today as well.  Scott doesn’t mess around with “sissy lifts” when it comes to breaking records.  He gets right to the hard stuff!  He started off with breaking the record in the Stiff Legged Deadlift with a great lift of 512 pounds.  This not only broke the 125+ KG weight class record that was previously held at 502 pounds by Matthew Doster, but the ALL -TIME USAWA record of 507 pounds held by Ed Schock and myself.  Since I knew Scott was “taking my record down” as well, and I was the head official on his lift, I made sure he kept his legs straight!  This caused Scott to attempt this lift at least 4 times until he finally got it!  And well deserving.   Next Scott went on to some other “hard” lifts like the Fulton Bar Deadlift and the Fulton Dumbbell Deadlifts, of which he got several more records.  Scott is a great grip guy, and should get more recognition for his grip strength.  His One Arm Fulton Dumbbell of 175 pounds was unbelievable, and if it wasn’t for Ben overshadowing him on this day, I would be bragging that record lift up as well.

Mike Murdock set a new age group record in the Trap Bar Deadlift with a lift of 305 pounds.

Mike “Murdo” Murdock set the most records in the most events with 9.  Mike lifted the day before in the Team Nationals and I was surprised that he was planning on doing this much today!  He did a wide range of lifts.   I felt his best record lift of the day was his 305 pound Trap Bar Deadlift.  To me a guy lifting over 300 pounds at the age of over 70 in the Trap Bar Deadlift  is like a young lifter lifting over 600 pounds.  Not too many can do it either!   Mike has had an outstanding year in the USAWA, and has lifted in as many meets as anyone.  I’m keeping an eye on Mike as it won’t be long and he will be in the CENTURY CLUB for holding over 100 USAWA records.  And when he does, I’ll pat him on the back because he will be the first to do it starting in the 70 plus age group!

LaVerne Myers "stole the show" with his 117 pound Dumbbell Walk. The reason this picture is blurry is because he was moving so fast!

My father LaVerne made his faithful appearance today at the record day.  These past couple of years he hasn’t missed an opportunity to lift in the Dino Gym Record Days.  One of his highlights was setting a personal record in the One Handed 2″ Vertical Bar Deadlift with a fine lift of 182 pounds.  I was considering doing the Vertical Bar Deadlift myself but after watching his record setting effort I decided I better not!  I was worried that I might not be able to “measure up” to the standard set by ole Dad!  haha  However, Dad “stole the show” on the last lift contested at this record day – the Dumbbell Walk.   Of course when I got out the Dumbbell Walk handle, I “threw down the challenge” to Ben and Dad so they HAD to participate.  I hadn’t done any grip stuff all day so I was hoping to use this to my advantage  (I’m a crafty one!).   I was mainly concerned about Ben being my primary challenge, and I knew Ben had totally exhausted his grip by this point when he only managed 102 pounds on the Walk. If he would have done this first thing it would have been WAY MORE!  I then played a little “psych out” game with him  and made a big jump to 132 pounds which was outside of both of our limits, but I thought it would “finish of” his grip and then I would drop back and break his 102 mark, which I did with a Dumbbell Walk of 117 pounds.  At that point I thought I had it won, and was shaking Ben’s hand when my Dad, to our surprise, picked up the 117 and made the walk!!!  What can I say???  What a great way to end a record day at the Dino Gym. 

My "highlight lift" was this 772 pound Neck Lift, which is a personal record and USAWA record in the 120 KG weight class.

MEET RESULTS

Dino Days Record Day
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
August 28th, 2011

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Officials (3-official System used):  Al Myers, Mike Murdock, Scott Tully, LaVerne Myers

Lifts:  Record Day

Scott Tully – 35 years, 346 pounds BWT
Mens Open Age Division & 125+ KG Weight Class

Deadlift – Stiff Legged: 512#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 503#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 150#
Clean and Push Press – 2 Dumbbells: 210#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Right Arm: 175#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Left Arm: 165#
Deadlift – 2 Fulton Dumbbells: 290#

Ben Edwards – 36 years, 217 pound BWT
Mens Open Division & 100 KG Weight Class

Snatch – Kelly: 57#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand: 240#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand: 251#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Left Arm: 175#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Right Arm: 185#
Deadlift – 2 Fulton Dumbbells: 320#
Dumbbell Walk: 102#

Al Myers – 45 years, 256 pounds BWT
Mens 45-49 Age Division & 120 KG Weight Class

Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 330#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 330#
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 330#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 120#
Lateral Raise – Lying: 90#
Neck Lift: 772#
Dumbbell Walk: 117#

LaVerne Myers – 67 years, 246 pounds BWT
Mens Master 65-69 Age Group & 115 KG Weight Class

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 125#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 125#
Two Hands Anyhow: 70#
Snatch – Kelly: 35#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand: 182#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbell, Right Arm: 135#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Left Arm: 135#
Dumbbell Walk: 117#

Mike Murdock – 71 years, 235 pounds BWT
Mens Master 70-74 Age Group & 110 KG Weight Class

Weaver Stick – Left Hand: 2.5#
Two Hands Anyhow: 100#
Deadlift – Trap Bar: 305#
Lateral Raise – Lying: 70#
Clean and Push Press – 2 Dumbbells: 100#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 90#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Left Arm: 115#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Right Arm: 115#
Dumbbell Walk: 62#

Team Nationals

by Al Myers

MEET REPORT

Group picture from the 2011 USAWA Team Nationals. (front row left to right): Al Myers, Chad Ullom (back row left to right): Russ Morton, Rudy Bletscher, Mike Murdock, Dean Ross

The 2011 USAWA Team Nationals was again an outstanding success this year.  It contained a couple of  regular teams (Myers/Ullom & Murdock/Bletscher) and one new team that made their debut (Morton/Ross) in team lifting.  Team lifting is MUCH different than just individual lifting. Teamwork is essential in being successful – things like timing and coordination between partners can either help you or hurt you in a big way.  The teams this year seemed very balanced in regards to the lifters size and height.  

Dean and Russ put up the top Team One Arm Dumbbell Press with a lift of 180 pounds.

The Dino Gym brought another new lifter to the USAWA arena in this meet and he did a phenomenal job considering this was his first exposure to the crazy things we do in the USAWA, and I consider this meet an extreme meet in our yearly meet lineup. This man is Russ Morton. He is a VERY seasoned powerlifter who has MANY powerlifting meets under his belt, and it was obvious he was not intimidated in the least by the lifts that faced him.  He teamed with Dean “the Boss” Ross who in my opinion, has made his presence known in the USAWA this year.  Dean is one of the STRONGEST GUYS his age I have ever met.  He powers through any lift whether it requires technique or not, and through brute determination makes big lifts.  These two guys put up the TOP Team One Arm Dumbbell Press of the meet with a fine lift of 180 pounds. I’m sure you are wondering – how do you do a Team one arm dumbbell press??  At first it sounds next to impossible, but after “scratching our heads” awhile we came up with a way.  First of all, there is barely enough room to get two hands on a 6 inch dumbbell handle so the grip on the dumbbell is not the best.  All of us pressed the dumbbell standing to the side of each other facing opposite directions.  So it can be done.

We were entertained during a break in the lifting action when Rudy and Dave sang a harmonized duet.

The second lift was the Team Continental Snatch using the 2″ Fulton Bar.  I was concerned grip might be an issue for the lifters but it wasn’t for anyone.  The difficulty with the lift was the minimal hand spacing on the bar.  You had to use a snatch grip much narrower than the normal snatch width, which made the lift slightly more difficult.  Chad and I had the top lift here with a lift of 320 pounds.  Mike and Rudy made a solid lift of 117 pounds, and Dean and Russ finished with 177 pounds.   Chad and I used a power snatch technique while the other two teams used the hang snatch technique.

Mike and Rudy teamed up for a 175 pound Team Continental to Chest and Jerk. Not too bad for a couple of lifters over 70 years of age!

The third lift was the Team Continental to Chest and Jerk.  Chad and I had the top lift of 452 pounds, which is now the top lift done in this lift in both the USAWA and IAWA record books.  I was hoping that we could also break the mark from the old Missouri Valley Record List which record is an outstanding lift of 463 pounds set in 1983 by two legendary mid-west lifters, Bob Burtzloff and Kevin Fulton.   We simply ran out of attempts and didn’t start high enough.  Maybe next time!!! 

Chad and I had to use some tight teamwork to lift 1000 pounds in the Team 2-bar deadlift.

The last lift done was the Team 2-bar deadlift.  Each lifter gripped each bar just like in the individual 2-bar deadlift.  I actually thought this would be an easy lift for a team to do since the balance issue would be removed that presents when doing this by yourself.  I thought for sure that the lifters could lift more as a team than the sum of their individual lifts.  I was wrong!  This lift turned out to give the lifters the most failed attempts of all the lifts, because if both bars didn’t rise in unison, the weight would “shift” to the lifter on the lower end and force the lifters feet to move.   We tried it all ways – facing away from each other, facing each other, and even standing facing the same direction. I don’t think we ever decided which “lineup” was most favorable.  Mike Murdock took a nasty fall on one attempt after the weight “shifted”.  Luckily, Mike was not hurt (at least he was not bleeding!).   Chad and I had the top lift on this one with a lift of 1000 pounds.  I think we could have done a little more, but at this time we were ready to call it a day and head to town for supper!  Thanks to everyone who showed up to lift, and special thanks goes to Dave Glasgow for serving as the official the entire day.

MEET RESULTS

USAWA Team Nationals
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
August 27th, 2011

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): Dave Glasgow

Lifts:   Team Press – Dumbbell, One Arm, Team Continental Snatch – Fulton Bar, Team Continental to Chest and Jerk, Team Deadlift – 2 bars

Lifters:

OPEN AGE GROUP & 115 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Al Myers – 45 years, 253# BWT
Chad Ullom – 39 years,  244# BWT

MASTERS 50-54 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Dean Ross – 68 years, 281# BWT
Russ Morton – 50 years, 275# BWT

MASTERS 70-74 AGE GROUP & 105 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Mike Murdock – 71 years, 231# BWT
Rudy Bletscher – 75 years, 217# BWT

RESULTS

Lifters DB Press Snatch C&J DL Total Points
Myers/Ullom 175-R 320 452 1000 1947 1535.4
Ross/Morton 180-R 177 253 617 1227 1019.9
Murdock/Bletscher 90-R 117 175 440 822 896.7

Notes:  All lifts recorded in pounds.  Total is total pounds lifted.  Points are adjusted points for bodyweight correction and age correction.

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORDS:

Murdock/Bletscher: MASTERS 70-74 AGE GROUP & 105 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Team Curl – Reverse Grip: 205#

Ross/Murdock: MASTERS 65-69 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Team Curl – Reverse Grip: 205#

Dean Ross:  MASTERS 65-69 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 70#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 70#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 100#

Rudy Bletscher & Mike Murdock: Sportsmanship Award

by Al Myers

Rudy Bletscher receiving the Co-Award for sportsmanship. (left to right): Rudy Bletscher, Al Myers, and Thom Van Vleck. Missing from this picture is the other Sportsmanship Award Winner Mike Murdock.

For this first time ever we had a tie in a vote for an USAWA Special Award, so this year a Co-Award was given on behalf of the USAWA in regards to the Sportsmanship Award.  The two award winners were a great selection, because both of these guys have “gone at it”  in competition with each other this past  year and have done so in a most fitting style, showing utmost sportsmanship towards each other.  The Sportsmanship Award goes to Rudy Bletscher and Mike Murdock.  Mike had to leave early following the banquet before the Awards Ceremony, so I wasn’t able to get his picture taken receiving his Award as I had hoped, but I did get one of Rudy and the surprise look on his face when he received it.  

I have enjoyed watching Mike and Rudy compete against each other throughout this past year.  They are both pretty close in age, bodyweight, and strength so it always makes an interesting competition.  They seem to go “back and forth” in beating each other from one competition to the next, but the both of them always enjoy each others “competitive company” as they do so and don’t seem to mind when they come out on “the short end of the stick”.  These guys understand what its all about, and always seem to really enjoy themselves at meets.  Both of them are tremendously supportive of the other lifters, and it is a pleasure being around them at meets.  One of the things I remember about them from this past year was when they teamed up together to form a duo for Team Nationals.   They were a formidable team!  As they did the team lifts neither one of them wanted to let the other one down so they pushed themselves as hard as I have seen!  I’m hoping they will form a team again this year at Team Nationals.  In fact, I’m going to hold onto Mike’s award till then so maybe I can finally get my picture of them together as Co-Sportsmanship Award Winners of the year!

MIKE MURDOCK – “HAM AND EGGER”

BY DAVE GLASGOW

MIKE MURDOCK, OF THE LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS, PUT UP SOME BIG LIFTS LAST WEEKEND AT THE DEANNA SPRINGS MEMORIAL.

CHANCES ARE, YOU HAVE SEEN HIM BUT NEVER, REALLY, NOTICED HIM.  HE’S NOT FLASHY, HE NEVER MAKES A SCENE.  HE CAN USUALLY BE FOUND SITTING QUIETLY IN A GROUP OF PEOPLE; OBSERVING.  EVEN IF YOU DON’T NOTICE HIM WHEN HE IS THERE, YOU WILL NOTICE IF HE’S NOT THERE.

MIKE MURDOCK WANDERED (WONDERED?) ONTO A HIGHLAND GAMES FIELD ONE DAY, NOT FULLY KNOWING WHERE IT WOULD LEAD.  WHERE IT LED WAS AN INTRODUCTION TO, NOT ONLY THE GAMES, BUT AN ORGANIZATION KNOWN AS THE USAWA.  THAT, ULTIMATELY LED TO WHAT HAS NOW BECOME A STAPLE AT THE GAMES AND THE USAWA EVENTS HELD AT AL’S DINO GYM IN HOLLAND, KS., NAMELY, MIKE!  HE IS, MOST GENERALLY, ONE OF THE FIRST TO SHOW UP AND ONE OF THE LAST TO EXIT.  HE IS NOT AFRAID TO PITCH IN TO HELP AND CAN BE COUNTED ON TO A HAVE FEW GOOD IDEAS ALONG THE WAY.

RUDY BLETSCHER (LEFT) AND MIKE MURDOCK (RIGHT) LIFTED 585 POUNDS IN THE 2-MAN TRAP BAR DEADLIFT AT THE 2010 USAWA TEAM NATIONALS. THIS IS AN AMAZING LIFT FOR TWO LIFTERS OVER THE AGE OF 70!

AS ONE OF THE ‘ELDER STATESMAN’ GRACING THE USAWA IN THIS AREA, MIKE HAS SEEN A LOT IN HIS TIME AND HIS STORY IS WORTHY OF SOME CONSIDERATION.  MIKE WAS BORN AND EDUCATED IN NEBRASKA.   MOVING TO KANSAS WAS, AS HAS BECOME HIS FASHION, NOT IN THE CONVENTIONAL MEANS.  HE TRAVERSED THE 330 MILES ON A ONE SPEED BIKE IN A JOURNEY THAT TOOK HIM 3 DAYS!!  A STINT IN THE AIR FORCE FOLLOWED BY A LONGER STRETCH IN THE NAVY GAVE WAY TO HIS USE OF THE GI BILL TO GET A COLLEGE DIPLOMA TO DECORATE HIS WALL.  “I TAUGHT FOR A YEAR, BUT, I KNEW I WASN’T ANY GOOD AND I DID’NT WANT TO MESS THE KIDS UP. SO, I GOT OUT”.  IN A LOT OF WAYS, THAT STATEMENT SHOWS US WHAT MAKES MIKE, MIKE.  HE IS UNSELFISH, THINKS OF OTHERS AND HAS THE WHEREWITHAL TO UNDERSTAND HIS OWN LIMITATIONS.  THAT GOES FOR HIS LIFTING, AS WELL.  A SELF TAUGHT LIFTER, HE WAS WISE ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND THAT SQUATS, PRESSES, AND PULLS WERE WHAT SHOULD MAKE UP THE MEAT OF HIS WORKOUTS.  INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, HE STARTED ON AN ‘OTASCO’(THIS WAS A REGIONAL HARDWARE CHAIN BACK IN THE DAY), BASIC 110# SET IN THE EARLY SIXTIES.  HIS LIFTING, BY HIS OWN ADMISSION IS ‘ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN’.  OVER THE YEARS, HIS TRAINING HAS CHANGED LITTLE AND, THOUGH HE IS SEVENTY ONE YEARS OLD, HE ENJOYS THE WORK INVOLVED AND THE RESULTS IT BRINGS.   BY HIS OWN ADMISSION, HE IS “NOT THAT STRONG” (THIS STATEMENT, I LEAVE OPEN FOR DEBATE).   HE IS WHAT I THINK WOULD BE KNOWN IN THE VERNACULAR AS A ‘HAM AND EGGER’.  THIS IS THAT CLASS OF GUY/GAL THAT LIFTS BECAUSE HE ENJOYS IT, KNOWS HE WILL NEVER WIN ANYTHING, WORKS HARD ANYWAY AND HAS A HELL OF A GOOD TIME WHENEVER HE IS IN THE COMPANY OF LIKE MINDED FOLKS.  THIS IS THE CLASS OF LIFTER THAT I, ALSO, PROUDLY, NUMBER MYSELF AMONG!  ASKED THE LIFTS HE WAS MOST PROUD OF (HE IS THE OWNER OF A NUMBER OF USAWA RECORDS), HE QUICKLY REPLIED THAT IT WOULD HAVE TO BE ALL THE TWO MAN RECORDS HE HAS MADE WITH HIS FRIEND AND FELLOW SEPTUAGENARIAN, RUDY BLETSCHER. THEN HE SAID, WITH AN IMPISH GRIN ON HIS FACE, “THE CRUCIFIX LIFT OF 80 LBS. THAT ONE MAY STAY AROUND FOR A WHILE!”

ONE FINAL THING.   THIS WAS NOT TO BE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE.   HOWEVER, I DON’T THINK I WILL GET IN TOO MUCH DUTCH IF I LET IT OUT.  AT AL’S GRIP NATIONALS THIS YEAR, THERE WAS A SILENT AUCTION, WITH PROCEEDS TO GO TO THE ANIMAL SHELTER IN SALINA.  MIKE GAVE A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF CASH TO THE ORGANIZATION, AFTER BIDDING ON, WELL, NOTHING!  HE JUST, SIMPLY, DID IT!!   THIS IS WHY I LIKE CALLING HIM FRIEND!  LOOK MIKE UP AT THE NEXT GET TOGETHER AND, IF YOU AREN’T ALREADY A FRIEND, MAKE HIS ACQUAINTANCE. YOU WILL BE BETTER OFF FOR IT.  HE’S NOT THAT HARD TO FIND.  HE’S THE GUY SITTING IN THE BACKGROUND. QUIETLY LISTENING, WATCHING, LEARNING……..

Records Go Down Last Weekend

by Al Myers

I’m finally able to relax and reflect upon the great weekend of lifting this past weekend at the Dino Gym.  It’s surprising how much needs to be done AFTER a competition – equipment needs fixed and put away, the gym cleaned and picked up, meet reports and results written for the website, and of course nursing all the aches and pains I self-inflicted upon  myself  once again.

Mike Murdock, of Ledaig Heavy Athletics, sets the most USAWA Records over this past weekend at the Dino Gym.

If anyone notices any mistakes in the meet results please let me know.   It is easy to fix – and I PREFER for everything to be correct.  It is very easy for a mistake to happen – poor handwriting that I can’t read, a lift written down wrong, etc.  I know of instances in the past (before this website) where mistakes got recorded and never changed, and thus these “errors” go down in history as “the fact”.   What are you saying Al??? Yes I said it  -  some RECORDS in the Record List are not legit!!!  With this website, and the ability to post results immediately and correct them immediately if needed,  those type of mistakes are not tolerable anymore.

Now on to more pleasant things.  I finally got the weekend record count done. WOW – as the Daily News Story says, “Records Go Down Last Weekend” – that is an understatement.  On Saturday at the USAWA National Grip Championships a total of 32 new USAWA records were set.  On Sunday at the Dino Gym Record Day, a total of 113 USAWA records were set by the 11 participants (105 individual records and 8 team records).   That’s a LOT!!!  Joe G (the USAWA Record Keeper) will have to burn the midnight oil getting all that in the list!!  The top record day in the  USAWA last year belonged to the JWC Record Breakers last October where 109 USAWA records were set. (I’m not saying we topped them, but I DID have to mention this fact because I’m a forthright news reporter).  This year’s Dino Gym Record Day now becomes the TOP record day in the history of the USAWA in regards to number of USAWA records broken in a record day.  The TOTAL USAWA records for the weekend was an amazing 145 records.  Mike Murdock lead the way for the weekend with a total of 27 records set.  Mike started the weekend off as 70 years old and ended the weekend at 71 years old.  What a great weekend of lifting he had to celebrate his birthday.

Denny Habecker, of the 2010 USAWA Club of the Year Habecker's Gym, deserves a rest after a busy weekend of setting records. Denny has the MOST records in the USAWA with 399.

Denny Habecker now has a commanding lead over Art Montini in the RECORDS RACE.  With the 18 records Denny set this past weekend, he now leads Art 399 to 370.  If only Denny knew he needed only 1 more record to hit the 400 barrier I’m sure he would have done it!!

USAWA Records from  the National Grip Championships -  2011GripChamps

Individual Records from the Dino Gym Record Day – 2011DinoGymRD

Team Records from the Dino Gym Record Day – 2011DinoRDTEAM

One Tough Character – Mike Murdock

by Al Myers

Mike Murdock, at 70 years of age, performing a record lift in the Bent Over Row with a lift of 205 pounds.

Last weekend at Dave’s Highland Games and Record Day, one person really stood out to me.  That person was Mike Murdock.  Mike is 70 years old and I know very few guys his age would have been able to withstand the rigors of last weekend.  Dave picked the HOTTEST DAY of the summer for his weekend affair, and for those not familiar with the Kansas heat, don’t know what heat really is.  It topped 100 degrees F (and with high humidity) on both days and EVERYTHING was done outside, including the lifting.  Mike was there for both.  He threw the entire day on Saturday and then returned to set a few USAWA records on Sunday.  It didn’t seem like it fazed him one bit!  Saturday night after the games, I asked Mike if he was coming back the next day, and he said, “Yep, and I’m going to be the first one to set a record in the Bent Over Row!”  (this was in response to my BOLD statement last week in a story where I said I was going to be the first).  Well, Amber Glasgow beat both of us to it the next day when she set the FIRST record in the Bent Over Row with a lift of 115 pounds.  Of course, I remarked to Mike how he  felt not being the first and he replied, “It’s ok, at least it wasn’t YOU!”  That’s the spirit I like in All-Round Weightlifting between competitors!  Everyone giving each other a hard time, but at the same time truly wishing your competitors the best of luck.  Mike has been a long-time supporter of the events I have held at the Dino Gym.  He is always there, and when he’ s not competing he’s helping out in some way.  Mike Murdock is indeed ONE TOUGH CHARACTER!

Also, congratulations to Mike Murdock for becoming an USAWA Official.