Monthly Archives: June 2010

Minutes of the 2010 Annual National Meeting

by Al Myers, USAWA Secretary

The 2010 Annual National Meeting of the USAWA was called to order by President Denny Habecker following the first day of competition on Saturday afternoon. Roll call was done by Secretary Al Myers with these members in attendance: Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Judy Habecker, Randy Smith, Kohl Hess, Art Montini, Chad Ullom, Scott Schmidt, Dale Friesz, Barry Bryan, Frank Ciavattone Jr., Frank Ciavattone III, and Dennis Mitchell.  The reading of the previous meetings minutes was done by Secretary Al Myers.  The financial report was next given by Treasurer Al Myers. The report from the Official’s Chairman Joe Garcia and Records Chairman Joe Garcia was not available to be provided to the membership, so no report was given. The Website Director Al Myers gave a report on the development of the new website and how it will be beneficial to the USAWA in the future.  Next agenda item was the discussion and vote on the new proposed bylaws developed  by the ad hoc committee of Al Myers, Joe Garcia, and Tim Piper. The committee had previously provided these bylaws to the membership for review, so the membership was aware of the contents before the meeting.  After a brief discussion, Chad Ullom moved to accept them, Dale Friesz provide the second, and the acceptance of the new bylaws  passed by an unanimous vote. Next item brought to the meeting floor was a discussion of the minimum age of officials.  No minimum age is specified in the USAWA Rule Book.  After much discussion, the membership agreed that the age of 16 should be this minimum age.  Denny Habecker moved, Dale provided a second, and the motion passed unanimously.  Dale Friesz brought up the discussion of the USAWA providing a Handicap Division, to provide a division for those to compete in that have a disability.  Most everyone in attendance agreed this was a good idea, but disagreements arose in how we as an organization would assess disabilities.  Denny moved that this be looked into by the Executive Board, and a Handicap Division be implemented by the Executive Board when the board is in unanimous agreement on the specifics. Frank Ciavattone III gave a second, and the motion passed by unanimous vote. The Hall of Fame committee that was formed at last year’s meeting  of Denny Habecker, Dale Friesz, and Dennis Mitchell gave their report next.  The committee proposed that induction occur when an athlete achieves 10 National Championships.  Also, in this was the development of a “contributor” Hall of Fame.  Discussion against this proposal included the argument that it doesn’t reward individuals that contribute to the USAWA in other ways besides just competing.  Those in favor stressed that this proposal would be very simple to keep track of lifter’s progress toward the Hall of Fame, without having to keep track of points. Al Myers moved that the Executive re-evaluate the point system, make some modifications with it, and when every member of the Executive Board is in agreement, it be implemented immediately. Chad Ullom put forth the second, and the motion passed unanimously.  At this point, Dale Friesz nominated Scott Schmidt for the Hall of Fame as he had already met the previous criteria to be in the Hall of Fame. Chad Ullom seconded the motion, and it passed by unanimous decision.  It was agreed that the ceremonial  induction of Scott Schmidt into the USAWA Hall of Fame will occur in November at the Gold Cup.  The next agenda item was the approval of 5 new lifts that have been proposed which were: the chin up, the pull up, the foot press, the turkish get-up, and the bent-over row.  After a short discussion, a vote was taken and these lifts were passed by unanimous vote. Next up was the approval of the Rulebook changes. Al Myers presented a list of proposed changes, most of which were small technical issues involving rules of the lifts that were omitted in the current Rulebook.  Everyone was in agreement on these.  The only significant issue included in this was placing an expiration on Level 1 test approved officials in which a 3 year limit will be placed on officials before being required to pass the Rules Test again. Level 2 officials and Level 1 experience approved officials are exempt from this.  Chad Ullom moved to accept these Rulebook changes, Randy Smith seconded the motion, and it passed unanimously. At this point, discussion arose about allowing knee wraps for the front squat and the 12″ base squat.  The argument for this was that knee wraps have already been approved by the membership for these two lifts at the 1997 meeting, but never implemented in the Rulebook.  Scott Schmidt moved that we allow knee wraps for these two lifts and this be put in the Rulebook.  Randy Smith seconded it, and the motion failed by a vote of 7 to 4.  Discussion resumed and it was brought to the membership’s attention that several records in the Record List for these two lifts were done with knee wraps since it was previously approved and it would be impossible now to determine which ones were set with them.  Scott Schmidt again moved that knee wraps be allowed in these two lifts, Chad Ullom provided a second, and the motion passed by a vote of 10 to 2.  The next agenda item was presenting the Special Awards.  Al Myers and Denny Habecker presented the awards. The Award recipients are as follows:  Athlete of the Year – Al Myers, Athlete of the Year Runner Up – Chad Ullom, Leadership Award – Bill Clark, Leadership Award Runner Up – Al Myers, Sportsmanship Award – Denny Habecker, Sportsmanship Award Runner Up – Art Montini, Courage Award – Dale Friesz, Courage Award Runner Up – Frank Ciavattone, Newcomer Award – David Glasgow, Newcomer Award Runner Up – Kohl Hess, Club of the Year – Dino Gym, Club of the Year Runner Up – Ambridge VFW BBC. The next agenda item was the election of two Executive Board members to a one year position.  Al Myers nominated Dennis Mitchell and Chad Ullom nominated Scott Schmidt.  Randy Smith moved that nominations be ceased and the nominees accepted by unanimous ballot.  Randy’s motion created confusion amongst the membership in his use of proper parliamentary procedure and after an uncomfortable period of silence, a second was made by Al Myers.   A vote was then taken and it passed unanimously.  Next up was the appointment of a Drug Enforcement Director for the USAWA.  Al Myers nominated Chad Ullom.  There were no other nominations, and it passed unanimously.  The appointment of an Awards Director for the USAWA was the next agenda item. Chad Ullom nominated Al Myers, and again there were no other nominations. A vote was taken and it passed unanimously.  The last agenda item was accepting bids for next year’s National Championships.  Only one bid was presented, and that bid was from Thom Van Vleck of the JWC.  Al Myers presented the bid on Thom’s behalf  and gave a persuasive speech to the membership on how “great a guy Thom is”.  A vote was taken and the bid was accepted by majority vote, with only one vote against. At this point and 2 1/2 hours later, the membership was beginning to become restless and  more interested in the huge sandwiches that Judy had prepared for us.  Scott Schmidt moved to adjourn the meeting, with Chad Ullom providing a second, and the vote passed unanimously.

National Championships

The Habecker’s host a fantastic

National Championships

by Al Myers

Group picture of lifters in the 2010 USAWA National Championships.

Denny and Judy Habecker were the hosts for this year’s USAWA National Championships, and they went way beyond what is expected from meet directors.  Due to the small turnout of lifters entered for this year’s Nationals, they decided to have the meet in their backyard instead of renting a venue site.  Denny had a large tent set up in his yard and built a  platform on the grass.  This provided shade for both the competitors and the spectators. While Denny was attending to the lifting needs of the lifters, Judy made sure that no one was going hungry!  The night before the meet Judy provided the lifters with an unbelievable Italian meal of lasagna and pasta, followed with several desserts.  She made breakfast for all of us both days, along with having plenty of food after the meet on both days.  I just barely made my weight class on Saturday due to all the great food she made!  Denny and Judy’s hospitality at this meet went far beyond anything I have ever seen at a competition.  I felt like I was at a family reunion. Denny and Judy are without a doubt the “parents” of the USAWA, and this meet is one I will never forget.  Everyone had a great time and despite the low turnout of participants, this meet was an invigorating experience and proved that the USAWA is very much alive and flourishing!  Someday when our membership is much larger, those of us present this past weekend will look back upon this as the “good ole days” when the USAWA was a family. The meet atmosphere was filled with camaraderie with everyone cheering each other on and helping each other make “a big lift”.

USAWA Awards Director Al Myers presenting the 2009 Courage Award to Dale Friesz.

Now back to the meet itself.  The first person I want to talk about is Dale Friesz.  I have never met anyone like Dale and his commitment to weightlifting.  It would take a book to detail all the things Dale has had to overcome in his life in his quest to continue lifting weights.  Recently Dale has been battling infection and circulatory problems with one of his legs, but he STILL lifted in this meet.  He is scheduled to have surgery this week in which the leg will be amputated below the knee.  I know he had to be in excruciating pain during the meet, and even though he was giving himself IV”s during the day, the heat had to be hard on him (it was in the 90’s and fairly humid).   I was so glad to see Dale receive the COURAGE AWARD  for this past year, as it should be named after Dale “the Miracle Man” Friesz.  Before the meet Dale set a couple of records in the fingers deadlift (both Index and Little), which have always been a favorite of his. I know Dale will be back competing again soon after his surgery, as this is the type of person Dale is.  “Mr. Courage” Dale Friesz is an inspiration to everyone who has had to comeback from an injury by showing that NOTHING can stop you from enjoying the IRON.  We need to keep Dale in our prayers this week.

The next person I want to mention is Barry Bryan.   Barry made his return to the USAWA platform after many years of being away from it.  This was the first time I got to really visit with Barry.  For those of you who are “new” to the USAWA, Barry was the Overall Best Lifter of the 1990 National Championships.  He has records in the record list that are almost unbeatable and have stood for over 20 years.  He is an ICON in the USAWA and it was great to see him back in competitive action. Welcome back Barry!

It was great to see Frank Ciavattone again.  Frank brought along his son Frankie, who isn’t a newcomer to National Competition.  I first met Frankie at the 2005 National Championships, in which he was competing at the age of 11.  Now Frankie is 16, and it won’t be long before he starts putting up the big numbers.  He seemed to really enjoy himself as he had a smile on his face the entire weekend.  He was a big help to me, as he took  pictures for me during the second session in which I was competing in.  Frank is still coming back from his hip replacement, but still showed he can put up big weights. Frank pulled an easy 353 pounds in the One Arm Deadlift (and appeared he could have lifted much more – and it was obvious he still has the grip to hold onto over 500 pounds).   I talked Frank into lifting in the second session in the One Arm Deadlift (which made him wait a long time) so Chad and I could have the honor of lifting with him.  I know this wait probably didn’t help his lifting, but Frank’s presence sure helped Chad and me.  I ended up with a 375# One Arm Deadlift (my competition best) and Chad had the top One Arm Deadlift of the meet at 408#’s.  So even in this small meet, there were three lifters over 350 pounds in the One Arm Deadlift, which hasn’t happened in very many meets in the past.  Frank lifting with us shows you the type of person Frank is – always helping others even if it is at his own expense.  Despite this, Frank is the most accomplished heavyweight lifter of All-Time in the USAWA, and has won over 20 Championships to back it up.

2010 National Championship meet directors Denny and Judy Habecker.

Randy Smith made the trip from his home in Michigan to take fourth overall at this year’s Championships, which moved him up a spot from his overall placing of fifth at last year’s Championships.  Randy is a joy to be around, and when he is not entertaining us with a joke, he is inspiring us with an all-out effort on the platform.  He even entertained us by performing a “Zercher Walk”!  This happened when he missed a Zercher Lift at the top by moving his foot, and in response, locked out the lift and walked to the front of the platform holding the bar in the crooks of his arms!!  The Head Judge, Art Montini, had to wonder if Randy was going to deposit the bar in his lap!!  Speaking of Art, Art continued to amaze us with his unbelievable lifting at the age of 82.  Art did a 242 pound Trap Bar Deadlift – how many 80 plus year old men can do THAT???  I can tell you – NOT MANY!   Scott Schmidt came into the meet in great form – and put up the top Clean and Press of the meet at 100 kilograms.  Saturday night at the National Meeting, Scott was inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame. Scott is more than deserving of this prestigious award, and has been for several years.  Chad Ullom ended the meet with the TOP Zercher Lift of the meet at 200 kilograms.  With this effort, it gave him the BEST LIFTER in the OPEN DIVISION, which he very much deserved.  Most of you know that Chad is my training partner, and I can tell you that he has the most positive attitude towards lifting, more so than anyone else I know.  He has “pushed” me in training, and made me a better lifter. I also get to travel with him to meets which makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. We have accumulated 1000’s of stories together from our travels (some of which I’ll keep a secret!).   The “Young Samson” Kohl Hess continues to improve under the expert coaching of Denny Habecker and SURPRISED everyone with his 518 pound Trap Bar Deadlift and his 353 pound Zercher Lift. Kohl is ONLY 15, and weighing in at 290 pounds, is built like an Offensive Lineman. He is amazingly flexible for his size, which is very important in All-Round Weightlifting.  I have seen his rapid improvement since  Worlds last October, and with a little more time he will be one of the top lifters in the USAWA.  The last person I want to mention is Dennis Mitchell.  This weekend marked the 22nd CONSECUTIVE National Championships that Dennis has competed in. That is a record that probably won’t be broke by anyone EVER.  At the age of 78, Dennis doesn’t appear to be slowing down.  He always performs his lifts with perfection, making his last attempts look like opening attempts.

This year’s Championships was a HUGE success.  I want to mention the three men who lifted the most weight over the weekend – the loaders.  A big THANK YOU goes to these guys – Terry Barlet, Don Brandt, and John Horn. Again, THANKS to Denny and Judy for welcoming the USAWA into their home and treating all of us to a time we will never forget.


2010 USAWA National Championships

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

June 26 & 27, 2010

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Lifts on day 1: Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 2″, one hand, Pullover and Push, Clean and Jerk -One Arm, Trap Bar Deadlift

Lifts on day 2: Snatch – From Hang, Deadlift – One Arm, Clean and Press, Zercher Lift

Officials (3 official system used): Chad Ullom, Scott Schmidt, Barry Bryan, Randy Smith, Dennis Mitchell, Art Montini, Frank Ciavattone

Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker

Loaders: Terry Barlet, Don Brandt, John Horn

Announcers: Denny Habecker, Judy Habecker, and Aidan Habecker

Day 1 Results:

Lifter Age BWT VB-IArm P&P C&J-1arm Trap DL
Al Myers 43 114.7 70-L 170 67.5-R 295
Chad Ullom 38 108.4 80-R 145 55-R 235
Denny Habecker 67 83.5 60-R 110 35-R 155
Randy Smith 55 89.1 80-R 92.5 40-R 165
Scott Schmidt 57 119.7 90-R 102.5 45-R 202.5
Art Montini 82 80.7 41.25-R 65 20-L 110
Kohl Hess 15 131.5 80-R 107.5 47.5-R 235
Dennis Mitchell 78 70.7 41.25-L 37.5 17.5-R 100
Dale Friesz 69 76.6 40-R 45 10-R 100
Barry Bryan 52 88.0 57.5-R 90 35-R 105
Frank Ciavattone Jr. 55 129.2 90-R —— —— 202
Frank Ciavattone III 16 107.4 57.5-R 50 20-R 105

Day 2 Results:

Lifter BWT Cls. Snatch DL-1arm C&P Zercher Total Points
Al Myers 120 87.5 170-R 90 195 1145 939.53
Chad Ullom 110 87.5 185-R 90 200 1077.5 874.93
Denny Habecker 85 50 115-R 70 110 705 858.84
Randy Smith 90 60 110-R 62.5 150 760 795.81
Scott Schmidt 120 70 115-R 100 107.5 832.5 758.66
Art Montini 85 30 90-L 32.5 70 458.75 701.80
Kohl Hess 125+ 60 100-R 65 160 855 663.01
Dennis Mitchell 70 20 80-L 20 80 396.25 625.36
Dale Friesz 80 12.5 92.5-R 12.5 70 382.5 505.88
Barry Bryan 90 35 60-R 50 50 482.5 495.66
Frank Ciavattone Jr. 125+ —– 160-R —– 115 567 489.63
Frank Ciavattone III 110 20 65-R 37.5 50 405 343.65

BWT is bodyweight in kilograms on day 1 weigh-ins.  BWT Cls. is the bodyweight class on day 2 weigh-ins for records only.  All lifts are recorded in kilograms.  R and L designate right and  left hands.  Total is the total weight lifted over two days.  Points is the adjusted points amended for bodyweight and age correction.


Dale Friesz  – Deadlift, Little Fingers 100.6 pounds

Dale Friesz – Deadlift, Index Fingers 151.8 pounds


Best Lifter Overall – Al Myers

Best Lifter Master – Al Myers

Best Lifter Open – Chad Ullom

Best Lifter Teen – Kohl Hess

Best Lifter 40-44 Age Group – Al Myers

Best Lifter 50-54 Age Group – Barry Bryan

Best Lifter 55-59 Age Group – Randy Smith

Best Lifter 65-69 Age Group – Denny Habecker

Best Lifter 75-79 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell

Best Lifter 80-84 Age Group – Art Montini


The USAWA National Championships were held this past weekend in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.  The meet was hosted and directed by Denny and Judy Habecker.  The top five placings were as follows:

1.  Al Myers, Kansas –  939 points

2.  Chad Ullom, Kansas – 874 points

3.  Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania – 858 points

4.  Randy Smith, Michigan – 795 points

5.  Scott Schmidt, Ohio – 758 points

The full meet results and meet writeup will be available tomorrow in the USAWA Daily News.

Summary of Heavy Lift Competitions

by Dale E. Friesz

Men’s Division

Event Winner Harness Hip H&T Neck Back Total
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2009-5/16 Lebanon, PA

Al Myers

Age 42 BWT 254

NC 1845 1204 405 NC 3454
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2008-11/15 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 53 BWT 224

3000 2020 1300 355 2750 9425
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2007-11/09 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 52 BWT 224

2885 2000 1300 315 2705 9345
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2006-11/12 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 51 BWT 223

2700 2100 1200 355 2805 9160
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2005-11/13 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 50 BWT 218

3010 1900 1300 400 2705 9315
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

2005-8/27 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 50 BWT 270

2200 1900 1200 702 1800 7802
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2004-11/14 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 49 BWT 220

3110 2105 1400 415 2615 9645
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2004-8/28 Lebanon, PA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 49 BWT 267

NC 1902 1203 653 NC 3758
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon & USAWA Heavy Lift Meet

2003-11/09 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 48 BWT 208

2900 2000 1300 405 2700 9305
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2002-11/10 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 47 BWT 209

3005 2050 1000 400 2600 9055
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2002-10/19 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 47 BWT 263

2000 2005 1450 650 2000 8105
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2001-11/10 Columbia, MO

Dale Spry

Age 41 BWT 196

2005 1400 625 335 1000 5365
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2000-11/05 Columbia, MO

John Monk

Age 35 BWT 152

1685 1325 1005 555 1305 5875
Steve Schmidt’s Backbreaker

1999-10/31 Columbia, MO

James Foster

Age 30 BWT 204

1400 1200 1005 505 1500 5610
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1999-9/11 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 44 BWT 278

2400 1750 1400 650 NC 6200
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1998-12/05 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 43 BWT 273

2350 1800 1200 550 NC 5900
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1998-11/01 Columbia, MO

Joe Garcia

Age 45 BWT 222

1680 1475 1275 475 1670 6575
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1997-11/01 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 39 BWT 229

3405 2305 1275 400 2000 9385
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1996-10/27 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 38 BWT 226

3015 2335 1205 400 2300 9255
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1995-10/29 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 37 BWT 222

2905 2305 1105 400 2600 9315
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1994-10/30 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 36 BWT 215

2500 2525 910 400 2300 8635
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1993-10/24 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 35 BWT 208

2505 2310 900 400 2205 8320
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1992-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 37 BWT 209

3315 2390 1100 502 2912 10219
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1991-10/20 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 36 BWT 220

3515 2420 1013 547 2902 10377
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1990-10/21 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 35 BWT 219

2867 2350 1124 506 2800 9647
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1989-10/22 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 34 BWT 220

3505 2200 1005 505 2822 10037
Strongman Pentathlon

1988-10/16 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 33 BWT 223

3500 2200 1200 475 2850 10231
Schmidt’s Pentathlon

1987-10/11 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 32 BWT 218

3300 2400 1225 470 2805 10200
Strongman Pentathlon

1986-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 31 BWT 224

3000 2135 1150 435 2610 9330

Women’s Division

Event Winner Harness Hip H&T Neck Back Total
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

2005-8/27 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 33 BWT 205

920 900 390 250 378 2788
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2002-10/19 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 30 BWT 240

800 880 600 250 1000 3530
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1998-12/05 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 26 BWT 187

1000 600 600 250 NC 2450
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1997-11/01 Columbia, MO

Amy Burks

Age 19 BWT 125

1085 885 465 175 850 3470
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1995-10/29 Columbia, MO

Emily Gordon

Age 12 BWT 77

450 300 165 85 250 1250
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1994-10/30 Columbia, MO

Kerry Clark

Age 30 BWT 165

1075 1055 450 345 1360 4285
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1993-10/24 Columbia, MO

Kerry Clark

Age 29 BWT 163

1305 1125 525 325 1210 4490
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1992-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Deanne Hartwig

Age 43 BWT 135

900 701 352 167 706 2826
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1989-10/22 Sullivan, MO

Cindy Garcia

Age 36 BWT 152

850 700 450 185 1000 3185
Strongman Pentathlon

1988-10/16 Sullivan, MO

Ruth Thrasher

Age 24 BWT 113

860 700 280 215 750 2805

BWT – bodyweight

NC – Lift Not Contested at Meet

Lifts: Harness Lift, Hip Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Neck Lift, Back Lift

The One and Only Steve Schmidt

There is only one SUPER HEAVY LIFT LIFTER:


by Dale E. Friesz

Steve Schmidt set many Back Lift records using his custom-built Back Lift Apparatus.

What follows is a history of the male and female winners of what has progressed, in name only, from the STRONGMAN PENTATHLON, to the SCHMIDT’S PENTATHLON, to the SCHMIDT’S BACKBREAKER PENTATHLON, to the USAWA NATIONAL HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS, to the STEVE SCHMIDT’S BACKBREAKER, and to the USAWA HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS.  The data source is our former organization’s newsletter written by Bill Clark, the STRENGTH JOURNAL.  I believe it is safe to assume that Bill Clark was involved in the meet name changes.  The same five lifts have been contested since the first meet on 11/25-1986 – the lifts are the NECK LIFT, the HAND & THIGH, the HIP LIFT, the HARNESS LIFT, and the BACKLIFT.  It seems that Steve Schmidt, together with Bill Clark, conceived of the meet as it contains the four chain lifts and the biggest lift of all the USAWA – the BACKLIFT.  Steve has competed in 14 of these meets since the first in 1986 in his yard and barn in Sullivan, Missouri. He is UNDEFEATED!  The small table that follows shows how Steve has managed to cheat father time:

10377 1991 Sullivan 220 36
10231 1988 Sullivan 223 33
10219 1992 Sullivan 209 37
10200 1987 Sullivan 218 32
10037 1989 Sullivan 220 34
9647 1990 Sullivan 219 35
9645 2004 Columbia 220 49
9415 2008 Columbia 224 53
9345 2007 Columbia 224 52
9330 1986 Sullivan 224 31
9315 2005 Columbia 218 50
9305 2003 Columbia 208 48
9160 2006 Columbia 223 51
9055 2002 Columbia 209 47

I have enjoyed the recent forum discussions that Steve’s apparatus and large diameter heavy bar made it possible for him to lift such “unreal” poundages. Also, as he aged he was not able to lift as much weight.  I point out that no one has been able to beat him regardless of the equipment used.  Also, that after nearly a quarter century of training he cracked the 3000 pound backlift ceiling twice in one meet, maxing at 3050 pounds.  Big Al was very much present when it was done as it took place in his gym, using his state of the art backlift equipment.

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