by Al Myers
2013 USAWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
HABECKERS PROMOTE ANOTHER FABULOUS NATIONALS
Denny and Judy Habecker put on ANOTHER great USAWA National Championships. The weekend was filled with fun times and great lifting. Denny had planned the championships to be another “tent meet” like the last one he did in 2010 due to the low initial entry list, but this time he had a surge in late entries and ended up with 17 competitors – 4 women and 13 men. Luckily we had great weather all weekend (there was ran in the forecast) and uncharacteristic cool temperatures. Denny set up a big platform covered by a big tent in his backyard for the event which gave us lots of room to lift and move around.
The womens division had 4 entries – the most since the 2004 Nationals where 5 women were entered. This makes this the second most competitive womens class since the first USAWA Nationals was contested. It was also exciting to see two young Junior gals making their first National appearance – Molly Myers and Brianna Ullom. These two lifted outstanding, with both edging past last years Overall Champion Susan Sees. Molly was solid in all lifts, and Bree seemed to get stronger with each attempt she took. Both of these girls have “loads” of natural lifting ability, and if they keep interested in lifting both have very promising lifting careers ahead of them. Susan was great as always, and made MANY fourth attempts for new records. I was glad to see Colleen entered in this meet. Colleen made her USAWA debut at the Heavy Lift Champs in May, so this made two big meets for her in less than two months.
The mens division had several of the “regulars” entered. Going to these meets is like going to a family reunion. You see old friends that you might only see once a year or so. There was plenty of great lifting over the two days. I was especially impressed with the three lifters that were over the age of 80 that competed – Art Montini, Dick Durante, and Dennis Mitchell. These guys are seasoned all rounders who are extremely experienced, and give inspiration to anyone who thinks they are too old to lift weights.
Randy Smith made the long drive from Marquette, Michigan to compete in his 9th USAWA National Championships. Randy lifted exceptional, gathering a fourth place Overall and earning another National Champ award. Randy is a very consistent lifter year to year, having placed in the TOP TEN in each of his National appearances. He’s on track to becoming an eventual hall of famer. Speaking of Hall of Famers, recent HOF award winner Bob Geib made his appearance at the meet. Bob is one of my favorite all round lifters to be around at meets. He is always upbeat, and just seems to always be having a fun time!! He’s also serves a very critical function in keeping lifters ready to lift, as he has his chiro table on sight and does many adjustments on lifters throughout the weekend. Bob mentored under THE LEGEND Howard Prechtel and when Bob is “at work” at a USAWA event it keeps Howard’s memory alive in my mind. Many lifters owe Bob a big thanks for what he does to help out their lifting. Bob also “saved me” over the weekend. I was doing the scorekeeping and announcing in addition to trying to lift, and it seemed I was a little overwhelmed at times during my lifting session. I take great pride in not making any scorekeeping or announcing errors, and I would have made one if it wasn’t for Bob. I accidentally got “out of call order” once, but after talking Bob into changing his attempt to a higher weight, which he agreed to with a smile, it kept my perfect record for the day intact! And he got the lift!!!
James Fuller made his first appearance at a USAWA National Championships. James is an eccentric individual, who is filled with enthusiasm for all round lifting and the USAWA. He kept everyone entertained with his jokes and antics over the course of the weekend, in addition to putting on several strength demos in the evening for us (after a day of lifting!!). He demonstrated unusual all rounds lifts such as the Bent Press, self loaded leg press, Kelly Snatch, and the likes. He just never seems to tire out! I consider James one of the great new additions to the USAWA, and I hope that he keeps himself really involved in the organization. He placed extremely well – fifth place overall in the standings. Several of his lifts really impressed me – his 65 KG One Arm Snatch, the 180 KG Continental to Belt Zercher style, and his 55 KG straight arm pullover.
It’s always a pleasure having the “Ciavattones” at meets. Frank is one of our sports foundation members – and his influence on the USAWA has been huge. Frank still has some BIG LIFTING in him. He did an easy 162.5 KG right arm deadlift and a 202.5 KG Ciavattone Grip Deadlift. Frank was the one who introduced the Ciavattone Grip to the USAWA (overhand grip with NO HOOK). When I explained this to Molly, she had this stunned look on her face as she realized that she had just met the person the lift she was doing was named after! Frank spent a good part of the meet sitting in the head officials chair. Frank is an excellent official – and is very fair in his officiating. I always feel comfortable with him sitting as the head official. Now onto the other two Ciavattones in attendance – Joe Jr. and Joe Sr. I knew announcing I was going to have a problem with these two keeping their names straight in my announcing so I referred to Joe Jr. as Junior most of the day to keep things in order. Junior is a lifter who has LOTS of future potential. Actually, he is stronger than he realizes right now and with just a little more meet experience he will soon capitalize on his untapped strength. I said this when I was presenting his Championship Award, but I would like to mention it here as well. I predict him to be a OVERALL NATIONAL CHAMP in a future Nationals very soon. On top of his gifted natural strength, he has a tough lifting mentality and wants to learn more about the all round lifts. Now a little on Joe Sr., who also lifted excellent. I will say Joe Sr. does not look his age. My wife initially thought both Joes were brothers instead of father-son. Joe Sr. could have had a higher total but he backed off on what he could have lifted in the Ciavattone Deadlift because he didn’t want to erase John Vernacchios National Record off the record list. That’s showing great respect to someone who was a role model and great friend.
My training bud Chad Ullom has had a busy past 6 weeks of competition. The week he left for Nationals he just got back from a very busy competition schedule in Scotland and Germany (I’ll save the details of that for another story). He lifted beyond what I expected of him, considering the travel lag he had to be feeling and the lack of contest preparation. Chad was “nip and tuck” with Denny in the overall till his last lift, which he needed to get to secure a second place overall in the meet. He pulled a Personal Record 210 KGs in the Ciavattone Deadlift to edge Denny out by only 1 point! Denny was sitting in the Head Officials chair at the time so I waited till after Chad’s successful lift to inform him that Chad just nipped him! LOL
There are still several more stories of this meet that I could tell in this meet report, but I’ll cut it off here (I’ll save my “wordiness” for the writeup of the meetings minutes). But before I end, I have to mention the work and hospitality done by Judy. Judy prepared meals for EVERYONE both days – including breakfast!!! I sorta embarrassed myself when I didn’t announce the plans for Sunday night’s banquet until reminded, but I assumed the big delicious meal that Judy served us Saturday night was the banquet meal instead!! Judy goes way beyond anything expected with her hospitality. I hope everyone who attended takes the time to write her (and Denny!) a personal thank you card thanking them for the weekend.
I want to mention the outstanding efforts by the officials over the course of the weekend. The head officials (Frank, Scott, Barry, and Denny) were top notch. Also, the loaders were outstanding (Terry Barlet and John Horn). These guys DID NOT make a misload all weekend. I want to thank my wife Leslie and daughter Kate for taking lots of pictures of the lifting (625 to be precise). These pictures will be available on the USAWA facebook page for all the view (and download if wanted). But above all – thanks to the lifters who showed up and supported the USAWA!
2013 USAWA National Championships
June 29th & 30th, 2013
Meet Director: Denny Habecker
Announcer and Scorekeeper: Al Myers
Caterer & Host: Judy Habecker
Photographers: Leslie Myers & Kate Myers
Loaders: Terry Barlet and John Horn
Officials (3 official system used): Scott Schmidt, Barry Bryan, Frank Ciavattone, Chad Ullom, Joe Ciavattone Sr., Dennis Mitchell, Denny Habecker
Lifts Day 1: Deadlift – One Arm, Clean and Press – 12″ Base, Pullover – Straight Arm, Continental to Belt
Lifts Day 2: Snatch – One Arm, Pullover and Push, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip
EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD
Brianna Ullom: Deadlift – Right Arm 60
Susan Sees: Deadlift – Right Arm 60
Colleen Lane: Deadlift – Right Arm 65
Susan Sees: Clean and Press, 12″ Base 40
Susan Sees: Pullover-Straight Arm 15
Molly Myers: Continental to Belt 80
Susan Sees: Continental to Belt 75
EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD
Susan Sees: Snatch – Right Arm 20
Susan Sees: Pullover and Push 43.5
Molly Myers: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 92.5
Brianna Ullom: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 85
Susan Sees: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 96
|Joe Ciavattone Jr.||20||229||137.5-R||100||40||180|
|Joe Ciavattone Sr.||44||217||120-R||77.5||30||155|
EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD
Denny Habecker: Clean and Press, 12″ Base 70
Denny Habecker: Pullover-Straight Arm 40
Denny Habecker: Continental to Belt 130
James Fuller: Deadlift – Right Arm 155
Joe Ciavattone Sr.: Deadlift – Right Arm 137.5
Dennis Mitchell: Deadlift – Left Arm 60.5
Dennis Mitchell: Continental to Belt 52.5
Bob Geib: Continental to Belt 90
|Joe Ciavattone Jr.||228||47.5-R||140||192.5||838||695.2||695.2|
|Joe Ciavattone Sr.||219||42.5-L||126||150||701||597.7||627.6|
EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD
Bob Geib: Snatch – Right Arm 25
Dennis Mitchell: Pullover and Push 38
Dennis Mitchell: Deadlift- Ciavattone Grip 95
Bob Geib: Pullover and Push 46
Bob Geib: Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip 140
NOTES: AGE is age in years. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in kilograms. TOT is total kilograms lifted. LYN is adjusted Lynch Points. PTS is adjusted points for age correction. R and L designate arm used.
BEST LIFTER AWARDS
Best Womens Junior: Molly Myers
Best Womens Master: Susan Sees
Best Women Overall: Molly Myers
Best Mens Senior 20-39: Joe Ciavattone Jr.
Best Mens Master 40-44: Chad Ullom
Best Mens Master 45-49: Al Myers
Best Mens Master 55-59: Randy Smith
Best Mens Master 60-64: Scott Schmidt
Best Mens Master 70-74: Denny Habecker
Best Mens Master 80-84: Dick Durante
Best Mens Master 85-89: Art Montini
Best Mens Master Overall: Al Myers
Best Mens Overall: Al Myers
Best Club: Dino Gym (Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Molly Myers, Brianna Ullom)
Best Club Runner Up: Joe’s Gym (Joe Ciavattone Sr., Joe Ciavattone Jr.)