Category Archives: 2018 Meet Results

Grip Championships

By Al Myers


Group picture from the 2018 USAWA Grip Championships.

Group picture from the 2018 USAWA Grip Championships.

It was another great year for the USAWA Grip Championships!  The Dino Gym had a full room with 14 lifters in attendance – 12 men and 2 women. Thom Van Vleck of the JWC made the trip from Missouri to Kansas to officiate the event. I plan to keep this meet report short as I need to get the results on the website today.  I apologize for the long delay in this, but it’s been a busy week for me.

First of all, I want to mention Mary Mac and her return to the USAWA.  Mary has been fighting hard against some medical issues this past year, so it was a very special seeing her back in action in the Dino Gym.  And WOW, she still has super strength in those fingers as she did a 155 Ring Fingers Deadlift!

I want to give a big congrats to Tressa for winning Overall Best Womens Lifter of the 2018 USAWA Grip Championships.  She has competed at several Grip Championships, but this was her first time being the Womens Overall.  She now joins a very select group of past Grip Champions (which includes RJ Jackson, Emily Burchett, Mary McConnaughey, and Felecia Simms).

The Mens Division was loaded with grippsters! I won’t go into detail with all the specific GREAT LIFTS, as there were many.  For the first time ever, the Mens Junior Class was extremely competitive. Calvin, Cole, and Jared lifted like seasoned veterans and put up great numbers. All three totaled over 750 pounds, with Calvin just edging out Cole (873 to 860 pts) for Best Junior Lifter. That’s as close as it gets.

Another tight battle was in the 75-79 age group between Dean and Denny.  In the end, Dean just pulled out Best Lifter in the 75-79 by only 11 points!

I was so glad to see Jason again, along with John. I could tell the two of them were having a blast lifting alongside with their sons, and if it wasn’t for that dreaded Ring Finger DL which gave them the fits, they both would have placed much higher overall.

Someone who always gets overlooked in meets within the USAWA (and shouldn’t!!) is the person who puts up the top total of the day. There really should be an award to recognize this accomplishment. At this Grip Championships, this person was Scott Tully who put up the top total at 1197 pounds. Scott also had the top lift in 3 of the 5 events (strict pinch grip 162 lbs., 1 arm VB 200 lbs., and the pinch grip DL of 500 pounds).  Scott becomes the first person to perform a 500 pinch grip deadlift.

Ben has been a consistent player at the Grip Championships through the years. I’m not sure if he has even missed any.   Ben’s a true gentleman lifter, and always super supportive of the other lifters. He is a veteran of the grip, and freely shares training advice.  He finished strong with an overall 4th place finish this year, just slightly behind last years Overall Grip Champ Chad Ullom (988 to 975) who finished 3rd overall.

And finally, for those of you that had to wonder if my dad was going to speak to me the next day after how everything went down between the two of us at the meet.  The answer is YES, he forgave me for edging him out by only 1 point!!


2018 USAWA Grip Championships
Dino Gym
Holland, Kansas
February 10th, 2018

Meet Director: Al Myers

Meet Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Meet Official (1 official system used): Thom Van Vleck

Lifts: Pinch Grip – Strict, Deadlift – Fulton Bar One Arm, Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar 2″ One Hand, Deadlift – Fingers Ring, Pinch Grip Deadlift


Tressa Brooner 56 134 52 75R 80R 65 150 422 569.1
Mary McConnaughey 58 125+ 62 90R 80R 155 190 577 495.3

4th Attempts for Record:
Tressa Brooner: VB DL 2″ Right 85 lbs.
Tressa Brooner: Pinch Grip DL 175 lbs.
Mary McConnaughey: Pinch Grip DL 200 lbs.


Al Myers 51 229 132 175R 195L 170 475 1147 1066.4
LaVerne Myers 73 236 112 175L 180R 171 335 973 1065.4
Chad Ullom 46 241 122 176R 180R 215 450 1143 988.4
Ben Edwards 42 228 142 160R 185R 135 400 1022 875.6
Calvin Heit 16 152 102 100R 135L 135 280 752 873.5
Cole Janzen 16 169 122 151R  140R 80 300 793 860.3
Scott Tully 42 350 162 180R 200R 155 500 1197 833.6
Dean Ross 75 237 67 105R 125L 125 230 652 722.8
Denny Habecker 75 186 67 110R 120R 65 200 562 711.7
Jason Payne 52 325 152 130L  160R 0 400 842 665.3
Jared Payne 16 279 112 130R 150R 95 280 767 633.9
John Janzen 52 297 132 130R  130L 0 330 722 594.9

4th Attempts for Record:
Calvin Heit: VB DL 2″ 1 Bar Left Hand 155 lbs.
Jared Payne: VB DL 2″ 1 Bar Right Hand 160 lbs.
Calvin Heit: DL Ring Fingers 156 lbs.
Dean Ross: DL Ring Fingers 140 lbs.
Calvin Heit: Pinch Grip DL 300 lbs.
Cole Janzen: Pinch Grip DL 330 lbs.
Jason Payne: Pinch Grip DL 420 lbs.
Denny Habecker: Pinch Grip DL 220 lbs.


Womens Best Master – Tressa Brooner
Womens Best Overall Lifter – Tressa Brooner
Mens Best Junior – Calvin Heit
Mens Best 40-44 Age Group – Ben Edwards
Mens Best 45-49 Age Group – Chad Ullom
Mens Best 50-54 Age Group – Al Myers
Mens Best 70-74 Age Group – LaVerne Myers
Mens Best 75-79 Age Group – Dean Ross
Mens Best Overall Lifter – Al Myers


Calvin Heit – 16 Years Old, 151 lbs. BWT
Clean and Push Press: 155 lbs.
Bench Press Reverse Grip: 155 lbs.
Jerk From Rack: 155 lbs.
Vertical Bar DL 1 Bar 1″ Left: 114 lbs.
Bench Press Hands Together: 165 lbs.

Chad Ullom – 46 Years Old, 247 lbs. BWT
Bench Press Feet in Air: 260 lbs.
Roman Chair Sit Up: 90 lbs.
Shoulder Drop: 50 lbs.
Deadlift One Leg: 232 lbs.

Stephen Santangelo – 65 Years Old, 161 lbs. BWT
Finger Lift Right Thumb: 42 lbs.
Finger Lift Left Thumb: 42 lbs.
Finger Lift Right Middle: 130 lbs.
Finger Lift Left Middle: 119 lbs.
Allen Lift: 17 lbs.

LaVerne Myers – 73 Years Old, 238 lbs. BWT
Deadlift Little Fingers: 95 lbs.
Shoulder Drop: 35 lbs.
Deadlift Ciavattone Grip Right Arm: 220 lbs.

Dean Ross – 75 Years Old, 236 lbs. BWT
Deadlift No Thumb Right Arm: 135 lbs.
Clean and Press 2 Dumbbells: 60 lbs.
Bench Press Feet in Air: 185 lbs.
Deadlift 2 Bars: 270 lbs.
Deadlift Little Fingers: 95 lbs.

Denny Habecker – 75 Years Old, 191 lbs. BWT
Clean and Press 2 Dumbbells Heels Together: 90 pounds
Deadlift No Thumb Right Hand: 115 lbs.
Zeigler Clean: 55 lbs.
Clean and Press Behind Neck: 100 lbs.
Holdout Lowered: 45 lbs.

Fall Classic RD

By Mark Raymond


Group picture from the Record Day.

Group picture from the Record Day.

The meet turned out to be a great success. We had 8 lifters, 3 women and 5 men. This meet had been rescheduled from October 21st, 2017. It was held at Kim Lydons Gym. Everyone shined in their lifts. Although the temperatures were cold it didn’t deter the lifters in any way.

One of the highlights of the meet was newcomer Laura Inglis. She demonstrated enthusiasm, good form, and strength in all her lifts. Laura is a mother of 9 children with a 60 plus hours work week. With all that she somehow manages to maintain a dedicated lifting/training schedule.

Kim Lydon continues to better herself with each meet and displayed an outstanding performance.

Peter Vuono, who has had 4-way bypass surgery and just turned 65 years old, pulled off a record 12″ Base Deadlift at 401 Lbs! AMAZING!

Colleen, Frank, Dave, Tony, and Mark continue to participate and set records.


Fall Classic Record Day
Kim Lydon’s Gym
Canton, Massachusetts
January 20th, 2018

Meet Director: Frank Ciavattone

Host: Kim Lydon

Meet Announcer/Scorekeeper: Frank Ciavattone

Officials (3 official system used): Frank Ciavattone, Rocky Morrisson, Jeff Ciavattone


Kim Lydon Age: 27 Weight: 148 Lbs 70K Class – Open
Bench Press, One Arm, Right 51 Lbs
Bench Press, One Arm, Left 61 Lbs
Clean and Seated Press, 2 Dumbbells 90 Lbs
Abdominal Raise 40 Lbs
Deadlift Dumbbell, One Arm, Left 137 Lbs

Laura Inglis Age:52 Weight: 190 Lbs 90K Class 50+ Masters
Bench Press, Feet In Air 90 Lbs
Bench Press, One Arm, Left 35 Lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift, 1 Bar, 2″, One Hand, Left 90 Lbs
Deadlift, Trap Bar 225 Lbs

Colleen Lane-Richards Age: 61 Weight: 195 Lbs 90K Class 60+ Masters
Bench Press, Feet In Air 80 Lbs
Bench Press, One Arm, Right 25 Lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift, 1 Bar, 2″, One Hand, Right 80 Lbs
Deadlift, Trap Bar 185 Lbs
Weaver Stick, Right 2.5 Lbs


Mark Raymond Age: 54 Weight: 246 Lbs 115K Class 50+ Masters
Deadlift , No Thumbs, Overhand Grip 300 Lbs
Deadlift, No Thumb, One Arm, Right 171 Lbs
Deadlift , No Thumb, One Arm, Left 171 Lbs
Deadlift, Dumbbell, One Arm, Right 192 Lbs
Deadlift, Dumbbell, One Arm, Left 192 Lbs

Tony Patterson Age: 55 Weight: 176 Lbs 80K Class 55+ Masters
Deadlift, Ciavattone Grip 431 Lbs
Deadlift, Ciavattone Grip, One Arm, Right 266 Lbs
Deadlift, No Thumbs, Overhand Grip 401 Lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift, 1 Bar, 2″, One Hand, Right 215 Lbs
Weaver Stick, Right 4 Lbs

Dave Gago Age: 60 Weight: 173 Lbs 80K Class 60+ Masters
Deadlift, Ciavattone Grip 276 Lbs
Deadlift, Trap Bar 295 Lbs
Deadlift, Ciavattone Grip, One Arm, Right 155 Lbs
Deadlift, Ciavattone Grip, One Arm, Left 155 Lbs

Frank Ciavattone Jr. Age: 62 Weight: 292 Lbs 125K Class 60+ Masters
Weaver Stick, Left 7.5 Lbs
Weaver Stick, Right 8.75 Lbs

Peter Vuono Age: 65 Weight: 195 Lbs 90K Class 65+ Masters
Deadlift, 12″Base 401 Lbs

Dino Gym Challenge

By Al Myers


“The Tom Ryan Memorial Meet”

Eric Todd (left) recieved his award from Thom Van Vleck (right) for being the Athlete of the Year Runner Up for last year at the Dino Gym Challenge. Eric went on to win the Overall Best Lifter at the 2018 Dino Gym Challenge.

Eric Todd (left) received his award from Thom Van Vleck (right) for being the USAWA Athlete of the Year Runner Up for last year at the Dino Gym Challenge. Eric went on to win the Overall Best Lifter at the 2018 Dino Gym Challenge.

It was another great year for the Dino Gym Challenge! Eight brave lifters made their way to the platform for an exciting day of lifting, honoring the late Tom Ryan. Many stories were told about Tom throughout the day, along with many great lifts made to honor him.  I hope he was looking down on us throughout the day with a smile on his face.

We had a celebrity official present, Thom Van Vleck.  Thom made the long drive to the Dino Gym from Kirksville, MO  just to officiate the Dino Gym Challenge.  I can’t express my thanks to him for doing this as it allowed my dad and I to participate. Usually one of us has to sit it out to judge. I picked lifts for this meet which were Tom Ryan’s favorites, and it was quite the variety! We started the meet off with the Weaver Stick. LaVerne showed us AGAIN his mighty grip by having the top lift in the Weaver Stick at 6 pounds.  I think he could have got 7 pounds, but when asked if he wanted a fourth attempt at record he said he would pass, as Tom Ryan has the top Weaver Stick record in the USAWA at 7 pounds and he wanted to let Tom keep that All Time record to himself (at least on this day!).

The next lift was the Rectangular Fix.  The youngest member in attendance, Calvin, did a fantastic lift of 80 pounds. Chad did 105 in competition and then did 120 as a fourth attempt which was easier than his 105! That was the top Rectangular Fix of the meet.

We then moved onto the One handed thumbless grip deadlift. Tom Ryan excelled at this lift, having done 254 pounds.  No one came close to that!  Dad must have still felt the sting from the loss to me in this lift at the Gold Cup last fall as he called for (and did) 201 pounds right after I did 200 pounds on my second attempt. Well, if I was a good son I probably should have just let him have his revenge victory and passed my last attempt but NOPE, I called for 202 pounds for a successfull third lift just to let everyone know that it wasn’t a fluke I beat him in this lift at the Gold Cup!

Next up was the Reeves Deadlift. Big John Douglas and Chad both hit 300 pounds for the top Reeves Deadlift of the day. It was at this point of the meet that I got a call for a work emergency, and I had to leave to take care of it and missed the rest of the meet.  I checked over the scorekeepers report and noticed that LaVerne was leading after 4 events and ET was standing in 7th place. I had a feeling that this wasn’t going to be the case after the final event, the Hip Lift. Well, when I got back and NOT TO MY SURPRISE Eric put up a HUGE hip lift of 2010 pounds to seal the victory in the Dino Gym Challenge. Chad came in second, and Calvin finished third for an outstanding finish in this tough field of all rounders.

I want to really thank everyone who attended, as it means alot to me when lifters show up to support my promotions. It was a great day of fun, and a fitting tribute to Tom Ryan.

Meet Results:

2018 Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
Saturday, January 27th, 2018

Meet Director: Al Myers

Meet Scorekeeper: Al Myers and Chad Ullom

Official (1-official system used): Thom Van Vleck

Lifts: Weaver Stick, Rectangular Fix, Deadlift – No Thumb One Hand, Reeves Deadlift, Hip Lift


Eric Todd 43 260 3R 90 185R 265 2010 2553 2065.2
Chad Ullom 46 245 5R 105 195R 300 1540 2145 1839.6
Calvin Heit 15 150 3R 80 150R 180 940 1353 1657.4
John Douglas 54 315 5R 95 175R 300 1220 1795 1467.5
LaVerne Myers 73 234 6L 76 201L 230 520 1033 1136.0
Dean Ross 75 236 3R 70 135L 200 520 928 1031.3
Al Myers 51 230 5R 90 202R 280 —– 577 535.2
Lance Foster 52 330 4R 85 135R 200 —– 424 332.7


Chad Ullom Rectangular Fix 120 lbs.

Notes: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. R and L designate right and left arms. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight.


Al Myers – Age 51, Bodyweight 230 pounds
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 210 pounds
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 185 pounds
Saxon Snatch: 76 pounds
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 130 pounds
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 130 pounds

LaVerne Myers – Age 73, Bodyweight 236 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip: 250 pounds
Scott Lift: 70 pounds
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 255 pounds
Jefferson Lift – Fulton Bar: 255 pounds

Thom Van Vleck – Age 53, Bodyweight 280 pounds
Reeves Deadlift: 235 pounds
Deadlift – Ring Fingers: 165 pounds
Thors Hammer: 51 pounds
Snatch – Dumbbell, Right: 105 pounds
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left: 95 pounds