by Tim Piper
“Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet- Press Release
The Macomb Salvation Army hosted the “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet on July 27. “Joe the Turk” was Macomb Illinois’ original “strongman” and holds a unique and special place in the history of the Macomb Salvation Army. At the turn of the 2o th century Joe the Turk was in Macomb for a short time helping clean up the town of crooked laymen and henchmen. He did so by being unafraid of their tactics and standing steadfast in his belief that good would prevail. While he only spent a short time in Macomb it seemed fitting to name the United States All-round Weightlifting Association (USAWA) sanctioned meet in his honor.
The USAWA was formed over 25 years ago to continue the longstanding tradition of old-time weightlifters like Eugene Sandow, Louis Cyr, Apollon, Paul Anderson, and countless others. The organization hosts meets throughout the country and is a member of the International All-round Weightlifting Association (IAWA). The lifts contested in USAWA meets are often based upon lifts that were performed in traveling circus performance acts, side shows, and festivals. Many bear the name of the old-time strongman who made them most famous. The lifts are quite atypical, involve often unseen variations of squats, deadlifts, and overhead movements, employing primarily simple bars and plates without the benefit of spotters. Like the old-time strongman, the lifter is tested for maximum strength while maintaining control of the barbell at all times. This was a small but exciting meet with all lifters setting numerous national records.
The meet was held outside the Salvation Army gym in the warm sun. The first lift was the Apollon’s lift which involves taking a 2 inch barbell overhead in any manner the lifter chooses. Twelve year old, 79 pound, Whitney Piper did well setting new records for teenage and open womens divisions with a lift of 33pounds. Traveling from Pennsylvania 85 year old, 176 pound Art Montini lifted 66 pounds, setting a new master record. Also from Pennsylvania, 70 year old, 185 pound Denny Habecker set a new master record of 132 pounds. Weighing in at 202 pounds, 43 year old Tim Piper set a new master record of 198 pounds. 41 year old Chad Ullom of Kansas weighed in 252 pounds and finished up the Apollon’s lift with 253 pounds.
The next lift was the Dumbbell to shoulder which is nothing more than bringing a heavy dumbbell to shoulder height and displaying control before getting a down signal from the judge. Whitney lifted 28 pounds for a new womens and teenage record. Montini lifted 46 pounds, Habecker lifted 112, and Ullom lifted 244 pounds, all good for a new master records. Piper lifted 189 pounds for a new national and master record.
The next lift was the Anderson squat, named after the late Paul Anderson. This lift consists of a partial squat with the barbell starting at 2/3 the individuals standing height. Whitney lifted 110 pounds for new teenage and open national records. Montini did well with 198 pounds. Habecker set a new master record with 308 pounds. Piper set new master and open records with a 507 pound lift. Ullom topped the field for the day at 793 pounds, just 7 pounds off his the national record of 800 pounds.
The final lift of the day was the Peoples deadlift, named after Tennessee powerlifter Bob Peoples, and is a deadlift that starts with the barbell at 18 inches off the ground. Whitney lifter 165 pounds for new teenage and open national records. Montini pulled 319 pounds, Habecker lifted 374, and Piper lifted 407, all good enough to set new national records. Chad Ullom was the strongest in this lift with 639 pounds setting new master and open records.
The scoring for USAWA meets consists of adjustments made for age and weight to equalize for fair scoring of the best pound-for-pound lifters. After all calculations were done Chad Ullom was determined to be the best overall lifter for the day. All lifters received commemorative “Joe the Turk” mugs. For his efforts the best overall lifter Chad Ullom received a set of Indian clubs similar to the sort that Joe might have recognized in his days in Macomb. The meet was a success and plans are already starting for next years “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman meet as well as the USAWA National meet, both to be held in Macomb Illinois.
Joe the Turk OTSM Meet
July 27th, 2013
Salvation Army Gym
Meet Director: Tim Piper
Announcer/Scorekeeper: Al Myers
Head Official/Timekeeper (1 official system used): Thom Van Vleck
Lifts: Apollon Lift, Anderson Squat, Dumbbell to Shoulder, Peoples Deadlift
NOTES: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in kilograms. TOT is total kilograms lifted. PTS are adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight.