Author Archives: Al Myers

Fall Classic RD




Presented by Mark Raymond and Franks Barbell Club
781-801-0947 –

Saturday, January 20th, 2018  10:00am


Frank’s Barbell Club
204 East Street
East Walpole, MA 02032


USAWA Membership Required to participate


9:00am-10:00am the day of the meet


Juniors, Women, Masters & Open


None but please notify Mark in advance if you are coming

Gold Cup

By Al Myers


Group picture from the 2017 IAWA Gold Cup, in Glasgow Scotland.

Group picture from the 2017 IAWA Gold Cup, in Glasgow Scotland.

I just returned from the 2017 IAWA Gold Cup, in Glasgow Scotland, and what a fine event it was!  This was an emotional weekend for all as this meet was done in memory of George Dick who was a great friend to all of us and longtime IAWA lifter and promoter.  George was supposed to be the promoter of this Gold Cup, but fellow Castlemilk Gym members Andy Tomlin and Matthew Finkle took over the promotions and did an outstanding job. They put on a meet that George would have been proud of.   The meet was held in the new facility of the Castlemilk Gym, which is a very fine facility and I know a place where many future IAWA meets will be held.

The turnout for the Gold Cup was unbelieveable – over 40 lifters from Scotland, England, Ireland, Finland, Wales, and the US.  There were so many excellent lifts that I don’t even know where to start.  Every year at the Gold Cup a special award is given to the outstanding lifter based on the Blindt Points.   This year Steve Andrews won the Prechtel Memorial Trophy with an outstanding Shoulder Drop.  Mark Haydock was second and Timo Lauttamus was third.   I would like to close this meet report with some postings from Facebook from lifters that were part of this historic Gold Cup.

A brilliant day! A very big thank you to Steve Gardner for MCing and Platform Management. To Chris Bass for Record Keeping. Andrew Tomlin and Matthew Finkle for organising such a brilliant event. And thanks goes all round to the officials and loaders who without which we wouldn’t have had such a spectacular event! – Paul Barette

Fantastic days lifting by all. Made very special with seeing Janet Dick, Evelyn and Derick Dick at the lifting and as honoured guests at the presentation evening dinner – Nicholas Swain

Gold cup 2017 in Glasgow .what a great turnout of lifters giving their all on a multitude of lifts.followed by a great meal in the evening. Big thanks To Andy Tomlin and Matt Finkle and his team for putting together this great event.also to Steve Gardner for keeping the platforms running smoothly,and Chris Bass for keeping up with all the records and calculations.this was all in fantastic tribute to the great George Dick.was great to have Janet and family there on the day.God bless you George. – Steve Andrews

A fantastic days lifting at the IAWA Gold Cup….. 41 lifters .. amazing.. the lifts performed were all amazing… everyone did great…. it was a joy to have been part of one of the best ever IAWA events…… what would George have thought?….. he would have loved it… cheers big George! – Steve Gardner

What a great weekend well done to all, Some outstanding lifts I think the big man would be proud – Steve Moss

For more reflections and lots of pictures, check out the IAWA(UK) Facebook page.

MEET RESULTSGold Cup 2017 Records1  Gold Cup 2017 Records2

John Vernacchio RD

by Al Myers


It made me feel good to see this sanction request in the mail today.  Our USAWA President Denny Habecker is hosting a memorial meet to a great man and legend in the USAWA – the late John Vernacchio.  During the early years of the USAWA John was very involved as a lifter, coach, club founder, officer, and meet promoter in the USAWA.  He influenced many to become involved in the USAWA and was a mentor to many all rounders.  John V is one person we want to remember in our organization.  Thank you Denny for hosting a record day in his memory!


Meet Promoter: Denny Habecker

Meet Date: December 16th, 2017

Location: Habecker’s Gym, Lebanon, PA

Contact Denny if you plan to attend.


By Al Myers

(Webmasters Note: Over the next month I will be running a series of biography blogs covering all past USAWA Hall of Fame members.  These bios will be added to the history section, under Hall of Fame.)





Dennis Mitchell was born February 15th, 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio. He still lives in Cleveland. He was “raised” in the family business of photography, and worked in the family business part time during High School and College. After returning home from two years in the Army, Dennis worked full time with his father until his father retired in 1961. Dennis continued the family’s photography business until he retired in 1995. Dennis has been married to his wife Flossy for over 50 years. They have two daughters and four grand children. Dennis started lifting in May of 1943. He started out with bodybuilding and some Olympic lifting training. He got involved with the USAWA in 1989. Dennis is very involved Mitchell-VB1Hin other sports. He also has competed in running, swimming, and Judo. He still competes in Olympic Weightlifting and Masters Swimming. Howard Prechtel, who Dennis has known since 1949, introduced him to All-Round Weightlifting. Dennis remarked, “I’ve always been interested in training the odd lifts, and being part of the USAWA allowed me to enter competitions where these lifts are contested.” During the 1940’s and the 1950’s, Dennis trained at Joe Raymond’s A.C. He now trains at home and has a very complete home gym which is set up for All-Round Weightlifting training. Dennis is a member of the Ohio Olympic Weightlifting committee. He is chairman of the IAWA World All-Round Technical Committee. He has held that position for several years. Dennis is also a very active official, having judged at many local, National, and World meets. Dennis was the Co-Meet Director of the 2008 National Championships in Columbus Ohio. He also has helped organize the local portion for six All-Round World Postal Meets. The chain lifts and the Bent Press are his favorite lifts. Dennis has competed in 20 National Meets, 19 World Meets, and 6 World Postal Meets. He has lifted in many states, and overseas in England, Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand. Dennis has won his weight and age class in 20 National Meets, 17 World Meets, and 6 World Postal Meets. When asked what he likes about All-Round Weightlifting, he replied, “One of the best parts of being involved in the All-Rounds is the people. They are just a super group.”

Take the Test!!

By Eric Todd

There was a time, many moons ago when it was permissible for unqualified, uncertified, inexperienced individuals to officiate USAWA meets. At the time of my first USAWA meet, I had done one bench press meet and 2-3 strongman meets.  I was unqualified, uncertified and inexperienced.  Technically, I could have walked into Clark’s Gym and served in the capacity of an official for the 2003 Deanna Springs Memorial.  I was not called upon to do so, as we had two competent officials in Hall of Fame members Bill Clark and Joe Garcia.  However, as there was no official’s certification process at the time, it was fully permissible for any derelict off the street munching on a handful of licorice whips to step in and sit in the official’s chair

Fast forward a few years, and an initial rules test was drafted by Bill Clark. With the exception of those who were grandfathered in as a USAWA official for their vast experience in officiating these meets, anyone wishing to become a certified official would have to take and pass this examination.  This was certainly a step forward in cementing the credibility of the USAWA organization.  I believe I was one of the first to take, and pass this original test.

Since that time the rules test has been revamped by Al Myers and his confederates. It is a good test that requires you to have a decent foundation of knowledge of the rules, or at least the capacity to look them up in the rule book, as it is an open book exam.  Once you have taken the test, you send your answers into Joe Garcia, who is our USAWA Officials Director.  Then wait to find out if you have passed.  If you do not pass the first time, you can take it until you pass.

The next step I am taking directly from the website. You can find all of this information here: :

After passing the Open Book Rules Test, the next step is to complete three practical training sessions. This process requires an applicant to officiate unofficially alongside a Level 2 official in the One Official System, or judge officially in the Three Official System in three competitions within a year. A combination of using either of these two systems is allowed in order to fulfill the three practical training sessions. If judging as part of the Three Official System is used, the other two officials must be certified officials, of which one must be a Level 2 official.  A practical training session form will be available for the applicant to document this process.  A Level 2 official must provide authorization that the applicant was competent as an official by signing the form after each event. The same Level 2 official may provide authorization on all practical training sessions for an applicant.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit this form to the Officials Director Joe Garcia once completed in order to apply for official certification.

At this point, you are considered a level 1 official. As a level one official, you must retake the rules test every three years to maintain your status as an official in good standing in the USAWA.  Once you have documented officiating in at least 25 all-round events, you are considered a level 2 official, and you are an official for life in the USAWA.

So, that is the process by which you would proceed in becoming and staying a USAWA official. Maybe it sounds like a lengthy, complicated process?  I can assure you, it is not.  I, for one, always reference the rule book when preparing for a meet that I am competing in or officiating in to be sure I have full understanding of the lifts we are contesting.  You see, as we have so many lifts in our organization, it is difficult for any one person to memorize the minute details of all the lifts within it.  So, I reference the rule book to know what I am lifting or what I am judging.  That being said, it is valuable for any member to peruse the rule book from time to time.  And that is pretty much all you do while taking the test.

As far as the practical training sessions, it is a minimal expectation. Our organization is such that lifters are often called to the officials chair during a meet.  It is part of pulling your weight at these meets.  So, just ask to be a part of that at meets you are competing to get those training sessions in.  All the promoters I know would be glad to have the help, and all the officials I know would love to help you out.

We, the USAWA, are a small organization with an important purpose – to keep the non oly and non powerlifting lifts alive. With our small numbers, we each must do our best to be a contributing member.  So, while not all of us have what it takes to be president, secretary or on the executive board, we can all lift, load, and sit in the officials’ chair.  So, take that first step.  Print off the test.  Open up the rules book and answer some questions.  You certainly do not have to do it at one setting.  I, for one, did not.  Answer some more in a few days.  When you come to one you cannot find or do not understand, holler at one of us.  I find discussion of the rules is just as valuable learning took as reading through the rule book.  At the end of it all, you will be proud to know you are helping out to make the USAWA the best organization it can be.

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