by Al Myers
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.
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
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
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#