Author Archives: Al Myers

Lifter of the Month – LaVerne Myers

By Al Myers

LaVerne Myers in action at the 2016 IAWA World Championships.

LaVerne Myers in action at the 2016 IAWA World Championships.

Congrats to LaVerne Myers for being selected as the USAWA Lifter of the Month for January!!!

I know I’m going back a few months for this recognition, but I intend this year to select a USAWA Lifter of the Month for each month of this year and not miss a month!

LaVerne earned this award because he made it to the Dino Gym Challenge during a blizzard.  The Dino Gym Challenge was the only USAWA competition held in January, and the only other competitor in the Challenge was myself.  I didn’t feel like I earned it because I can walk to the gym.  Pa had to drive a quarter of a mile!

Congrats LaVerne!!!

Trivia Answers

By Al Myers

Hopefully everyone took the trivia contest the other day over the history of the National Championships.  Today I’m going to go over the answers, and since this is a self-graded trivia contest – check your own answers.  If you are brave enough please share your results on the USAWA Discussion Forum. The answers to all these questions can be found in the History Archive here on the website.

1.  What is the year of the first National Championships?

1988.   The first USAWA National Championships was held July 9-10th, 1988 at Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.  It was promoted by John Vernacchio.

2.  Name one lift that has been contested in 10 or more National Championships?

7 lifts have been contested at Nationals 10 or more times. They are the Zercher Lift (16 times), The Deadlift – One Arm (15 times), the Pullover and Push (13 times), The Clean and Press – Heels Together (12 times), The Snatch – One Arm (11 times), The Hip Lift (10 times), and the Neck Lift (10 times).

3.  Only a handful of USAWA meet promoters have promoted 3 or more Championships, Name one.

Actually this list is quite long. Here are possible answers.

John Vernacchio – 1988, 1989, and 2004

Art Montini & John McKean – 1991, 1999, and 2002

Frank Ciavattone – 1996, 1998, and 2016

Denny Habecker – 2000, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2015

Al Myers – 2006, 2009, and 2012

Bill Clark & Joe Garcia – 1995, 1997, and 2001

4.  Name 5 states that have hosted Nationals.

The 7 states that have hosted Nationals are: Pennsylvania (12 times), Ohio (6 times), Massachusetts (4 times), Missouri (4 times), Kansas (2 times), Nevada (1 time), and Illinois (1 time).

5.  The 25th anniversary of the Nationals was held where?

The 25th USAWA Nationals was held in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 30th, 2012.  This year (2017) marked our 30th anniversary of the USAWA National Championships.

6.  Name 3 men lifters who have won Overall Best Lifter at Nationals.

These 16 men have won overall best lifter titles at Nationals: Al Myers (7), Art Montini (4), Bob Hirsh (3), Ed Schock (3), Steve Schmidt (2), Barry Bryan, Joe Ciavattone Sr., Joe Ciavattone Jr., Mike McBride, Bill DiCioccio Sr., John Monk, Denny Habecker, Jim Malloy, Larry Traub, Randy Smith, and Chad Ullom

7.  Name 3 women lifters who have won Overall Best Lifter at Nationals.

These 15 women have won overall best lifter titles at Nationals: Noi Phumchaona (4), Susan Sees (3), Jacqueline Caron/Simonsen (3), Jeanne Burchett (2), Amorkor Ollennuking (2), Amber Glasgow, Cindy Garcia, Cassie Morrison, Kerry Clark, Cara Ciavattone, Su.J. Mason, Rita Hall, Pam Maciolek, Elizabeth Month, and Molly Myers

8.  What month is the most common month Nationals has been held?

June – 21 of the 30 Nationals have been in this month.

9.  Out of our close to 200 official lifts in the USAWA, how many have been contested at prior Nationals.  Multiple choice here. A. Under 25, B. 26-75, C. 76-125, D. Over 126

ANSWER IS B. 55 of our official lifts have been contested at a past National Championships.

10. TRUE/FALSE  The USAWA National Championships has always been a two day meet.

ANSWER IS FALSE.  9 Nationals have been one day events.  However, the first one day Nationals wasn’t till 2006.

Welcome to the Club

By Al Myers

I just got done updating the USAWA Record List with the recent results from the USAWA National Championships. I usually let 2 or 3 meets go by before I update the online record list, but I wanted to get on this quick for one reason.  That’s because I knew Randy Smith was standing at 99 USAWA records for one year (since last years Nationals) and I knew he had to set at least one record at Nationals to make the CENTURY CLUB.

And that he did, so welcome to the CENTURY CLUB Randy Smith.  And then to my surprise Eric Todd has now made it as well.  Congrats ET as I know you have working at this for a long, long time.  Eric’s first USAWA competition was over 15 years ago in which he first set a USAWA record. With the addition of Randy and Eric to the CENTURY CLUB, the Men’s Club now stands at 23 members.  Not much changed in the Men’s overall ranking.  Denny still holds a commanding lead, over Art and myself.  John McKean stills solid at number 4, and Joe Garcia and Dean Ross are tied at the number 5 spot.  These 5 lifters are the only ones over the 300 record mark. Other changes include Scott Schmidt climbing a spot (past fellow Cleveland native the legendary Howard Prechtel) to number 12, and LaVerne Myers moving from number 16 to 14.  Chris Waterman’s return at Nationals allowed him to add several records to his count, thus moving him up to a tie for 17th.

In the Women’s Century Club, there was a BIG CHANGE.  RJ has finally overtaken Noi for the number one spot, with 271 records.  Many consider Noi as the most decorated women’s lifter in the history of the USAWA, so this is a major accomplishment for RJ.   Congrats RJ as I know you have worked very hard to achieve this. Mary Mac and Susan Sees round out the Women’s Century Club.

(The Trivia Answers blog will be ran tomorrow as I’m still getting responses from those who have taken the quiz)

National Meet Trivia

By Al Myers

I have just finished updating the history archives with the new “history” from our recent National Championships.  I don’t know if anyone really ever looks at this history archive except me, but it’s something I think is important to our organization – to preserve the history of the USAWA.  The late Dale Friesz was always a big help to me with this as he was a history buff, as I often referred to him as the unofficial historian of the USAWA.  I promised myself that I would keep our history archive going (even though at times it is time consuming) just because I know Dale would have wanted it that way.

So today I’m going to do a little history test, based on information from our history archives. Please take the test yourself and see how you do (without looking up the answers of course!!!) If you score over 75% that means you are a Dale qualified historian or just long in the tooth.  Scoring over 50% should be everyone’s goal, as that means you know a thing or two about the USAWA.  If you are under 25% you should spend some time studying our history archive!!!  Now let the trivia test begin!!!! (Answers will be the topic of tomorrow’s story)

1.  What is the year of the first National Championships?

2.  Name one lift that has been contested in 10 or more National Championships?

3.  Only a handful of USAWA meet promoters have promoted 3 or more Championships, Name one.

4.  Name 5 states that have hosted Nationals.

5.  The 25th anniversary of the Nationals was held where?

6.  Name 3 men lifters who have won Overall Best Lifter at Nationals.

7.  Name 3 women lifters who have won Overall Best Lifter at Nationals.

8.  What month is the most common month Nationals has been held?

9.  Out of our close to 200 official lifts in the USAWA, how many have been contested at prior Nationals.  Multiple choice here. A. Under 25, B. 26-75, C. 76-125, D. Over 126

10. TRUE/FALSE  The USAWA National Championships has always been a two day meet.

Minutes 2017 AGM

By Al Myers, USAWA Secretary

2017 Annual General Meeting Minutes

The 2017 Annual Meeting of the USAWA was called to order by USAWA President Denny Habecker at 4:30 PM on June 24th, 2017 at the West Park YMCA in Cleveland following the days lifting.  Roll call was taken with these members in attendance: Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Dennis Mitchell, Cale Dunlap, Cody Lokken, Brandon Rein, Frank Ciavattone, Kathy Schmidt, Scott Schmidt, Roger LaPointe, Jackson LaPointe, Bob Geib, Susan Sees, LaVerne Myers, Tim Moore, Judy Habecker, and Randy Smith. Previous years minutes were read by Al Myers, Secretary. Frank moved to accept the minutes with a second by Judy.  It passed unanimously. The treasurers report was given by Al Myers, Treasurer. A break even year was reported for the USAWA in 2017. Frank moved to accept the report, with a second by Bob, and it passed unanimously. Next a report from website director Al Myers was given. A long listing of things the website provides was given. Judy moved to accept, a second was made by Frank, and it passed with unanimous vote. The report from the Awards Director Al Myers was given next, which included the function of the awards program and the presentation of the annual awards. Frank moved to accept the report, a second was given by Randy, and it passed unanimously. The report from Records Director Al Myers was given next which included how the record list is now online, that a sort function by Rocky Morrison was added to help sort and identify records, and a call to the membership if errors are noticed please notify the director so errors can be fixed.  Frank moved to accept, a second was given by Bob, and it passed unanimously. The Drug Enforcement Director report was given next.  Chad Ullom was not in attendance but prepared a report for Al Myers to give on his behalf. Close to 20 drug tests in over 10 competitions were done during the past year, with all negative results.  Intentions are to do the same number of tests during the next year.  Frank moved to accept, with a second by Judy, and it passed with unanimous vote.  The next agenda item was the Officials Report.  The USAWA Officials Director is Joe Garcia, who was not in attendance and had not forwarded his report to anyone to give on his behalf, so no Officials Report was given.  Al Myers commented that giving a Directors Report is expected of a USAWA Director, and not giving one is not fulfilling the expectations of the position.  Denny Habecker, the Postal Meet Director, gave his report next. Denny explained how the postal meets function, with one every quarter.  He made a call to the membership for more participation.  Frank moved to accept the report, a second was made by Scott, and it passed with unanimous vote.  The report from the IAWA Technical Committee Chairman Dennis Mitchell was given next. Dennis commented that no complaints have been made to the committee and nothing new has been presented. Frank moved to accept the report, a second was made by Bob, and it passed unanimously. The presentation of three new proposed lifts were the next agenda item. The rule of the  first lift, the Clark Lift proposed by Bill Clark, was read to the membership by Al Myers. All new proposed lifts must first be reviewed and voted on by the Executive Board in order to be presented to the membership for vote. Discussion included Randy Smith asking about the height of the bar at the lifters 1/3rd height being used, and wondered if a set height like the Peoples Deadlift should be used instead.  Al Myers commented that a fraction of a person’s height has been used in other lifts like the Anderson Squat and Anderson Press.  Randy then asked if the Clark Lift has every been done in competiton as an exhibition lift to see how it went.  No one in attendance had a comment on this question. The general concensus of the members in attendance felt that it should be tried out first as an exhibition lift before being passed as a new official lift of the USAWA.  Bob moved to table the vote, a second was made by Randy, and it passed unanimously. The next proposed lifts were the Pinch Grip Deadlift and the Pinch Grip Strict, proposed and presented by Al Myers. I read the new proposed rules of each. I explained how the current rules for the Pinch Grip have been lacking in description, and that the lift has turned into a Pinch Grip Deadlift with the excessive front hang being used. The proposal was to rename the current Pinch Grip as the Pinch Grip Deadlift with some minor rule changes so current records would not be lost, and the introduction of a new Stict Pinch Grip which would not allow fronthang/backhang which was the original intent of the Pinch Grip Lift. There was no discussion amongst the membership. Frank moved to accept these two new lifts with a second by Bob, and it passed with unanimous vote.  Discussion and vote on some rule changes was next. The first rule change was the addition of the Thumb Lift to the rule book as it had been previously passed years ago as a official lift but never added to the Rulebook.  Frank moved to accept, with a second by Bob, and it passed unanimously. The second rule change was to add the word “strict” to the name of the Reverse Curl for clarification of the lift.  Bob moved to accept, a second was made by Scott, and it passed with unanimous vote.  New Business was the next agenda item. There was no new business.  Election of officers were next.  A call by the President to current officers if they wanted to remain in office was made.  Frank Ciavattone requested that he not run for re-election. All other officers agreed to run again for their current position. Frank nominated Rocky Morrison to the Executive Board to replace his position. No other nominations were made by any member in attendance. A vote was taken to retain the current officers and Rocky to the Executive Board as all officers/executive board members were running unopposed.  It passed with unanimous vote. The officers of the USAWA for the next two years are: President Denny Habecker, Vice President Chad Ullom, Secretary/Treasurer Al Myers, At Large Executive Board Members Dennis Mitchell and Rocky Morrison. Nationals meet director Bob Geib then gave a short report on the weekends events and the upcoming banquet.  Bob thanked Scott for his help in planning the Nationals.  Bob then moved to adjourn the meeting with a second by Frank, and it passed unanimously.  The meeting ended at 4:55 PM making it the shortest Annual Meeting of the USAWA in history, which was a good thing as we had to be out of the facility by 5:00PM.

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