Monthly Archives: June 2011

National Championships

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.

MEET RESULTS

RESULTS:

2011  USAWA National Championships
Kirksville, Missouri
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

WOMENS RESULTS

Lifter Age BWT Snat Crl P&P Con DL Zer Total Points
Amber Glasgow 32 142 45-R 75 110 85 240 155 710.0 784.8
Susan Sees 48 197 40-R 90 90 80 210 100 610.0 599.4
Helen Kahn 59 163 25-R 60 55 60 170 95 465.0 562.2

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#

MENS RESULTS

Lifter Age BWT Snat Crl P&P Con DL Zer Total Points
Larry Traub 57 203 90-R 190 235 195 560 325 1595 1668.7
Eric Todd 36 248 130-R 215 425 340 560 420 2090 1665.1
Chad Ullom 39 250 140-R 215 355 320 550 445 2025 1606.8
Sam Cox 22 215 130-R 185 325 315 505 405 1865 1601.7
Sammy Ibrahim 17 172 105-L 175 300 220 425 345 1570 1563.1
Randy Smith 56 196 90-R 170 225 225 405 300 1415 1495.5
John O’Brien 42 290 140-R 240 250 340 475 365 1810 1375.5
Dave Glasgow 57 248 90-R 175 245 195 440 300 1445 1356.7
Denny Habecker 68 194 70-R 120 235 150 325 231 1131 1327.2
Joe Garcia 57 209 90-R 150 225 200 315 225 1205 1239.9
Dean Ross 68 276 70-R 125 175 125 350 225 1070 1043.2
Mike Murdock 71 230 50-R 120 95 125 275 200 865 945.9
Rudy Bletscher 75 215 45-R 90 100 110 275 150 770 899.3
Dennis Mitchell 79 156 27.5-R 76 80 60 210 185 638.5 881.6
Bob Geib 68 268 50-R 115 115 85 300 225 890 880.2

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

NEWS FLASH – NATIONALS RESULTS

by Al Myers

I just got home from one of the BEST USAWA Nationals that I have ever been to!  It was a weekend packed with fun, great lifting, and camaraderie.  Eighteen lifters took part in this elite National Competition sanctioned by the USAWA, and hosted by meet director Thom Van Vleck of the JWC.  Thom did an extraordinary job as the meets director and provided amenities beyond what is expected.  We owe Thom a big “pat on the back” for his efforts.  This is not intended to be a meet report (I’ll leave that to Thom to write) but instead just a NEWS FLASH of the meet results.  A full report with full meet results will be available in a day or two.  The following are the top three women lifters and the top ten men lifters based on amended totals.

TOP 3 WOMEN LIFTERS

1.  Amber Glasgow – 784.8 points
2.  Susan Sees – 599.4 points
3.  Helen Kahn – 562.2 points

TOP 10 MEN LIFTERS

1.  Larry Traub –  1668.7 Points
2.  Eric Todd –  1665.1 Points
3.  Chad Ullom – 1606.8 Points
4.  Sam Cox – 1601.7 Points
5.  Sammy Ibrahim – 1563.1 Points
6.  Randy Smith –  1495.5 Points
7.  John O’Brien – 1375.5 Points
8.  Dave Glasgow – 1356.7 Points
9.  Denny Habecker – 1327.2 Points
10.  Joe Garcia – 1239.9 Points

TEAM CHAMPIONS - Ledaig Heavy Athletics

Old School Meet in Old School Gym: USAWA Nationals Location Change!

 by Thom Van Vleck

Attention: This article contains important information on a change in venue for the 2011 USAWA Nationals!

No School like the Old School: Williard Elementary, new location for the USAWA Nationals!!!

My Uncle Phil once told me, “Through no fault of your own….you always seem to have the worst luck”.  I guess he was saying that while I do most everything right the variables I can’t control seem to often conspire against me.  However, I have always believed that when the world gives you lemons make lemonade and then grill a nice steak to go with it!

I was notified today that the local National Guard Unit is being activated due to flooding in Missouri.  Their home is the Rieger Armory and since they are being activated we have lost that location as the meet site.   I was told this was the first time since 1993 this had happened!  This caused me to take off from work and search frantically for a new meet location!  I did NOT want anyone to be disappointed when they showed up!  As a result, I tried to be picky….but on short notice “beggars can’t be choosers”.  However, I think the location I have found will work out even better!

It is the old Williard School.  Just a few blocks away from the downtown square and the Dukum Inn where our banquet will be held.  The address is 707 N Centennial Street, Kirksville, MO 63501.  This is an old elementary school built about 80 years ago that has been converted into a private daycare.  A good friend of mine runs it and was willing to let us use the location.  The building is on the corner of Centennial and Cottonwood streets and the gym entrance is on the South side of the building (the Cottonwood street side).

This gym is straight out of the 1950’s and since we are an “old school” type lifting organization I thought it was pretty fitting that we end up in an “old school” for our meet.

If you have any questions on the location, just let me know.  I will have me cell phone on me that day and if you attend the annual meeting the night before we will tell you how to get to the meet.  Cottonwood actually intersects with Highway 63, which is the major North/South highway in town so it is actually only involves one turn to get there from the highway!  Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Zercher Lift: A Missouri Original

 by Thom Van Vleck

Denny Habecker completing the Zercher Lift. Denny will be at the 2011 USAWA Nationals where this lift will be contested

When I was selecting lifts for the 2011 USAWA Nationals to be held June 25 in Kirksville, Missouri I very carefully selected my lifts.  I was trying to get a good mix from each of the major categories.  I wanted a thick bar lift (Continental to Chest), a dumbbell lift/one arm lift (DB Snatch), a power type lift (Deadlift 12″ base), a miscellaneous lift (Cheat Curl), a pressing movement (Pull over and Press), and a squat movement.  For the squat movement I picked the Zercher!  I also wanted all the lift to come off the floor so that the meet could move along quickly and I was not sure how many spotters I would have.

While the list was then passed on the USAWA board to approve and they did approve it the only one that was questioned was the Zercher.  Not because it’s a “bad’ lift, but because it’s been used several times before and there was just some thought that maybe we should “mix it up” a little.  The problem for me was this was the ONE lift I felt I HAD to have in my meet.  The reason:  The Zercher was named after Ed Zercher and he’s a true MISSOURI born strongman!

The man himself: ED ZERCHER, one of Missouri's greatest strength athletes!

One of the things I like about the USAWA is it’s respect for history and the desire to make sure many of these lifts from bygone years are remembered and practiced.  Many of them have real merit and are often “rediscovered” in modern times.  Look at Kettlebell lifting!  My grandfather used to do Kettlebell training when I first stared lifting in the 1970’s and I remember thinking how “old fashioned” that was and he needed to get “modern” if he wanted to get strong!  How naive I was!   The Zercher has made a bit of a comeback for that same reason……in a way!

Many modern lifters have begun to do what they call “Zerk’s” or Zercher Squats.  They take a weight out of low squat rack or power rack, squat with the bar in the crooks of the arms, and then reload it on the rack.  This has become a variation that some lifters use in a mix with front and back squats but it is also one that guys have added that have trouble holding the bar in the front squat position or some other injury the precludes regular type squats.  But of course, as “Ol’ Clark” himself would tell you…..THIS IS NOT A ZERCHER!  Now, there’s nothing wrong with doing “Zerks” and they are a fine exercise to anyone’s repertoire of lifts.

There were some guys recently discussing “Zerks” on a message board and I got on there and pointed out the difference in what I thought was a polite, informative way.  One of them blew up!  He thought I was being petty bringing up the difference.  But to me, Ed Zercher developed that lift and we need to honor the man by keeping things straight!  With that said, here’s the rules for the Zercher lift:

C8.  Zercher Lift
The bar starts on the platform and at the lifter’s discretion the bar is deadlifted to a position where it may be supported on the knees or thighs.
Feet placement is optional, but the feet must be in line with the torso. The lifter will then bend down, with the bar resting on the legs, to a position in which the lifter is able to secure the bar in the crooks of the elbows. The lifter will then stand erect with the arms bent and the bar fixed at the articulation of the upper and lower arms.  The lifter’s arms may be inside or outside of the legs. The hands may be locked together. Once the bar is
motionless, the legs straight, the body erect with shoulders upright, an official will give a command to lower the bar. The bar must be returned to the platform under control for the lift to be complete. It is acceptable to drop the bar once it is below the level of the knees provided that the hands follow the bar to the platform.

So, come to Nationals and help me honor one of Missouri’s greatest Strongmen!  Let’s Zercher!

Deadlift – 12″ Base

 by Thom Van Vleck

Wilbur Miller doing a partial deadlift, but still demonstrating the proper foot placement for the 12" base dead lift

Let’s talk about the 12″ Base Deadlift.   This lift will be contested in the upcoming USAWA 2011 Nationals held by the Jackson Weightlifting Club in Kirksville, Missouri on June 28th.  Make sure you know the rules!

The USAWA Rule Book says:

B1.  Deadlift – 12 inch Base
The rules of the Deadlift apply except that the maximum width of foot placing must not exceed 12 inches between the inside of the lifter’s heels. It is recommended that a 12 inch space be marked on the platform by a drawn line or tape.
Now, just to cover all the bases, let’s cover the rules for the Deadlift just to be sure we all understand it:
A.   Deadlift
The bar will be placed on the platform at the lifter’s feet, directly in front of the lifter. The lifter will grip the bar with both hands with any grip and any hand spacing. The lifter may use an alternate grip in which the palms of the hands are opposed. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion.  The bar may be uneven during the ascent, but it must finish evenly.  The bar may touch the legs during the ascent, but must not be rested on the legs, bounced, hitched, or lowered. Width of feet placement is optional, but the feet must be parallel and in line with the torso. Heels and toes may rise during the lift, but foot placing must not change.  No substance of any kind may be applied to the legs. When the legs are straight, the arms are straight, the shoulders erect, the bar motionless, the lifter will receive a command from an official to lower the bar.  The bar must be returned to the platform under control for the lift to be complete.

Pretty straight forward!  At the Nationals this year we WILL have tape on the floor to help the lifters and judges make the call.

1 2 3 5