Century Club Gets a New Member

by Al Myers

This may have been the record-setting lift that put Dean Ross into the Century Club at the 2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas.

The BIG NEWS with the recent record-setting activity has been that the CENTURY CLUB now has a new member.  Just like I predicted in a blog a couple of months ago, Dean Ross has  joined this group of elite record breakers in the USAWA.  This is a big deal, and Dean has worked hard to accomplish this.  His lifting efforts at the 2012 USAWA National Championships “put him over the hill” in going over 100 USAWA records.  There is not a better place to accomplish something like this to make it a memorable event.  Congrats Dean – the next time I see ya in the gym I’m going to give you a big pat on the back!  Dean becomes the FOURTH Dino Gym member to make the Century Club.  

The Records List has received a “shake up” with the addition of National Records.  I thought about this for a while, should I include these new records in a lifters record count?  But it didn’t take me long to decide.   OF COURSE!  Setting a National Record is probably MORE IMPORTANT than others, and SHOULD be included.  If someone complains about this, I’ll tell them to show up at Nationals and set a few National Records for themselves, and then they’ll see that is no easy feat.   The addition of National Records got John Vernacchio back “in the club”.  John had recently “fell out” of the Century Club, but now he’s back.  With the addition of Dean and John, the Century Club now stands at 22 members. 

There weren’t  any change in the top rankers.  Denny still holds a comfortably lead over Art, 428 to 403.   I’m narrowing the gap on them very slowly, and now my count stands at 399.  Maybe I’ll make these two wily veterans of odd-lifting a little nervous so they’ll “kick up the pace”????  The addition of adding in National Records really helped Frank Ciavattone, Noi Phumchona, Bob Hirsh, myself, and Chad Ullom.  Chad “jumped past” Dale and Scott.  Now don’t you feel bad Chad for not letting Dale do another finger lift record at Nationals??? You must have known the record count and realized you were one ahead of him at the time!  Frank owns the most National Records, and it really upped his overall count, as it moved him from 8th to 6th, passing Dennis and Joe.  John McKean was holding around a 30 count lead last time sitting in fourth, but now there are several lifters “on his heels”.   John – it’s time for you to lay the fishing pole to the side and spend a little more time in the weight room getting ready for your next USAWA competition.

Who’s going to be the NEXT lifter to make the Century Club???  My guess is still on Mike Murdock.  If he gets a few this weekend at the Ledaig Record Breakers,  then he will be “set up” to make history at my record day in August.  I’m also “keeping my eye” on Dave Glasgow.  After his recent outstanding showing at the Nationals in which he broke several records, I’m putting him as an “outside  chance” of being the next to make the club. 

I also want to make a few comments about my opinion on breaking records.  If you are going to SET RECORDS – go all out doing it.  I don’t think it is very sporting just to take token efforts to set a large quantity of records at a USAWA record day. After all, anyone can find “blank spots” in the record list to fill with a record, just to add to their “record count”.   That’s chickenshit. If you do that you deserve a boot in the ***!   Be a real lifter and show the record list the respect it deserves!  Anytime I see a lifter set/break more than 10 records at a record day, I question their efforts in the records they set.  Any lifter who gives max effort on 10 lifts in a day should be spent.  Anymore than that and I start to wonder if  they are “sandbaggin” their efforts on their record attempts.  It’s not against the rules or anything, but I will tell you that I will be “talking behind your back” if I see this going on.  And words like sissy lifter, girly boy, etc will be in the conversation!!!!!

CENTURY CLUB (as of 7/14/2012)

RANK LIFTER RECORD COUNT
1 Denny Habecker 428
2 Art Montini 403
3 Al Myers 399
4 John McKean 279
5 Noi Phumchona 268
6 Frank Ciavattone 256
7 Dennis Mitchell 254
8 Joe Garcia 248
9 Bob Hirsh 229
10 Bill Clark 203
11 Howard Prechtel 175
12 Chad Ullom 160
13 Dale Friesz 159
14 Jim Malloy 149
15 John Monk 148
16 Scott Schmidt 146
17 Ed Schock 142
18 Chris Waterman 137
19 Rudy Bletscher 128
20 Mary McConnaughey 117
21 John Vernacchio 106
22 Dean Ross 105

National Records for Lifts at Vegas

by Al Myers

I know everyone has to be wondering what the National Records are for the lifts being contested at this years Nationals.  I sorted them off and included them in this blog (at the bottom).  Four of the five lifts have been contested at several past Nationals, but the Curl – Reverse Grip will be contested for the first time.  This means that the top lift in each weight class will be a NEW National Record in that lift! 

The One Arm Clean & Jerk has been contested at 6 past Championships (2010, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2002, 1994).  The best women’s National Record belongs to Carolyn Goolsby, who at the 2002 Nationals, performed a 1-arm C&J of 66 pounds.  The top men’s lift is held by Matthew Doster, who lifted 166 pounds at the same 2002 Nationals in Ambridge. Close behind is Barry Bryan, who lifted 160 pounds at the 1991 Nationals.

The One Arm Hack has been contested 5 times (2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 1994), and is the 13th most represented lift at the National Championships. The best women’s mark belongs to Amorkor Ollennuking, who at the 2001 Nationals lifted 220 pounds!  That is an unbelievable lift!  The best men’s record belongs to Frank Ciavattone – who at the 2002 Nationals in Ambridge lifted 402 pounds with his right arm. That great lift is also the best one arm Hack of ALL TIME in the USAWA.  That’s one reason why Frank is the GRAND BEST LIFTER in the history of the USAWA – he has put up BIG LIFTS in BIG NATIONAL MEETS!

The Pullover and Press has been contested in three past Nationals (2009, 1998, 1996).  The top womens record belongs to Cara Collins, who lifted 77 pounds at the 1998 Championships.  The top men’s mark also is held by Frank Ciavattone, who lifted 336 pounds at the 1996 Nationals in Mansfield.  I’m close behind with 320 pounds at the 2009 Champs, followed by Chad Ullom at 311 pounds.

The Jefferson Lift has been contested 3 times as well (1994, 1993, 1992). As you can see, it has been several years since this lift has been in a Nationals, so it is nice to see the Jefferson Lift (or Straddle as some call it) has made it’s way back to the big stage. The top womens mark belongs to Jacqueline Caron/Simonsen who lifted 342 pounds in the 1993 Nationals, while the top mens record is held by Bob Hirsh, who lifted 634 pounds at the 1994 Nationals in East Lake.  Bob did this huge lifted while lifting in the 75 kilogram class!!! Other top lifts were by Bob Moore (1992) and Frank Ciavattone (1993).

I fully expect to see several National Records to be broken this year.  After all now we have an incentive to do so since these National Records will be available to give everyone something “to shoot for”!

NATIONAL RECORDS FOR THE 2012 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 

RECORD LIST – 2012 NAT

National Records

by Al Myers

The other day I was thinking about all of the records that have been recently set and established in the USAWA, and it got me a thinking, “what about National Records?”.  There has never been any list of records from our National Championships, and I think there should be.  So I took a little time and put together this list of records.  This list ONLY includes the best lifts in each bodyweight class in lifts that have been in our National Championships.  I didn’t break it down into age groups, because I feel the National Championships Records should be for the BEST RECORD regardless of age in each bodyweight class.  I designated these records as NATIONAL RECORDS.  To break one of these records requires you to lift in a Nationals – and then set the highest mark ever in your weight class in a lift that is part of the championships.  Now – that’s a record worth having!

It is easy to set a record at a record day versus setting a USAWA record at a major competition like the National Championships.  I consider it a “unlevel” playing field when a lifter breaks a record at a record day in their own gym that was previously set a big meet in a high pressure situation.  In a record day you can come in focused on any record in question – and not have to worry about things that create obstacles in competitions.  Add in the added stress of competing in a big meet where there is added pressure to perform well throughout the day, as your goal is getting the best total for the day, not a best lift in any particular lift.  In a record day, you can warm up perfectly for your max attempt whereas in a meet you are under the timeline of the meet schedule.  Plus in a record day, you are usually more familiar with the bar and weights you are using, as record days are typically held in one’s gym where the equipment the record is set on is the same as what the lifter has been training on.  Also, there is LOTS less pressure on you as a lifter versus competing in the National Championships!  I typically don’t take extra attempts at Nationals for records because record attempts don’t count in your day’s total – so what’s the point of it if your goal is performing the best you can for the day.  I consider it wasted energy in which you should be saving for your next meet lift.  Add in the drain it takes on you in traveling to the Championships, because rarely is the Nationals a close trip.

The point I’m trying to make is that setting records at Nationals is COMPLETELY a different standard, and the great lifts set by these lifters at this meet should be recognized separately from the other USAWA records.  However, I was surprised by several of the National Records being the same as the Overall Records.  This goes to show the exceptional lifting that takes place at our biggest meet of the year. 

LIST OF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS WITH THE MOST NATIONAL RECORDS

MEET LOCATION NATIONAL RECORDS
2004 Nationals  Lansdale, PA 70
2005 Nationals  Youngstown, OH 58
1990 Nationals  Akron, OH 57
2000 Nationals  Lebanon, PA 56
1994 Nationals  East Lake, OH 54
1991 Nationals  Ambridge, PA 46
1998 Nationals  Mansfield, MA 45
1999 Nationals  Ambridge, PA 45
2003 Nationals  Youngstown, OH 45
1995 Nationals  Columbia, MO 43

COMING NEXT – The list of USAWA lifters who have the MOST National records.  The is the ultimate in determining who really is the best lifter in the past 25 year history of the USAWA.  I going to call this lifter the GRAND BEST LIFTER of the USAWA.  Every year a OVERALL BEST LIFTER is crowned at the National Championships – but this lifter is the BEST of the BEST – thus the GRAND BEST LIFTER of All-Time in the USAWA for his/her record setting performances at past National Championships.  I’m going to leave everyone in suspense here and wait to name this person in a latter Daily News Story.  So in the meantime I welcome “guesses” and comments in the USAWA Discussion Forum who this award goes to.

Ken McClain – An All-Round Pioneer

by Al Myers

Ken McClain performing a Clean and Jerk with 162.5 Kilograms in 1989.

As I was checking over the USAWA Record List to see what records were broken in the JWC Straight Weight Postal Challenge, I noticed that John O’Brien, of the JWC, broke a record that was held by Ken McClain.  John did a 335 pound Continental to Chest in the 40 age group, unlimited weight class breaking the record of 320 pounds held by Ken McClain, which he established  in the FIRST YEAR of the USAWA, in 1987.  Everyone that has been around for several years in the lifting game in the midwest has heard of Ken McClain.  He is a legendary Olympic Lifter (multiple World Championships and several times Mo Valley lifter of the year) , and he competed in the very beginning of the USAWA  preceded by a lengthy All-Round Weightlifting career in the Mo Valley.  He is  indeed an All-Round Weightlifting Pioneer!

It is quite a honor for John to break a record held by Ken McClain that has been around this long in the USAWA Record List.   John deserves a “pat on the back” for this accomplishment, but at the same time it is pretty obvious this lift was MUCH under Kenny’s abilities.  After all,  at the time this record was set  he was STILL performing Clean and Jerks in Olympic Meets close to 400 pounds.  This lift was listed in the record list as being performed in Wichita, Kansas. I know the meets in Wichita at that time were performed in Sailor’s Gym, which had the reputation of being the most hardcore gym in the city.  Also,  many of the meets contested there  were 25 lift marathon meets, under the direction of Bill Clark.  Bob Burtzloff competed in several of these meets, and when telling me about them, explained that you had to “pace yourself” to have enough energy and strength left to finish the meet.  Most of the time the lifters didn’t really even warm up for the next lift, and only took  a couple of attempts with the last one being 90-95% of your max so you could conserve your energy in order to get a lift in all the events.  Bob said it wasn’t uncommon for half the entrants to have dropped out by the end of the day!!

Just out of curiosity, I checked the USAWA Record List to see how many records are still “on the books” from the first year of USAWA record keeping in 1987.  I counted 37 records.  That isn’t much considered the record list is over 9000 records long now!  The good news is that Ken McClain still has some records from 1987.  These records are a 240# Clean and Press with Dumbbells – Heels Together, a 353# Jerk from the Racks, and a 165# One Arm Snatch (Right).  These were done in this same meet in Wichita on the same date, and in the Masters 40 age group, unlimited weight class.  Truly very impressive lifts!!!  These are the only USAWA Records that Ken McClain has, as he retired from All-Round Weightlifting after that. But when you look back in the old Region IV  All-Round Record List (which I consider the fore-runner of the USAWA), you will see the name Ken McClain splattered all throughout it!  He “had” the Military Press record at 300# which he set  in 1968!  This was done in the 242# class. Only the SHW record was higher. (By the JWC lifting legend, Wayne Jackson at 330#).  How ’bout a 350# middle fingers deadlift?? A lift like that would turn heads today.  Kenny did that for record in 1984.  In 1981, he did a Pinch Grip with 185 pounds.  In 1984, he did a one handed Dumbbell Clean and Jerk with 150 pounds. Plus many more from a period of close to 20 years.

Guys like Ken McClain need to be remembered by the USAWA.  Just due to timing, their participation may have been limited in our organization (or for others not at all)  but their  contributions they made to the sport of All-Round Weightlifting  in the United States is great.  As I’ve said many times before, these PIONEERS  “paved the way” for the formation of the USAWA, which gives us an organized place to compete  in All-Round Weightlifting Meets today.