Dino Strongman Challenge
by Al Myers
MEET RESULTS –
THE DINO GYM’S OLD-TIME STRONGMAN CHALLENGE
WOW!!!! That sums up this past weekend. I have to admit – I was a little nervous before this meet – and not because I was competing, but because I wanted this meet to be a big success considering it was the FIRST EVER Old-time Strongman Competition sanctioned by the USAWA. I feel VERY relieved now. The competition exceeded my expectations by far. The field of competitors consisted of 18 athletes determined to take on this challenge issued by the Dino Gym. There have been only a handful of USAWA competitions in the last 10 years that have had more than this number of competitors entered. I want to thank everyone who showed up to compete, officiate, or help. Without this group effort, this event would never have been the successful event it was. We also have to thank Mother Nature for sending the snow days earlier in the week as to avoid any travel complications.
Where do I start with this report? So much happened over the weekend that it will be impossible to cover everything. The lifting performances were UNREAL. The women’s class had only one entrant – Felecia Simms. Felecia is primarily a Highland Game athlete who decided to give All-Round Weightlifting a try in her off-season. In her USAWA debut, she definitely turned some heads! She hit 90# in the Cyr Press, with two close misses with a 100# dumbbell. Both times she had the 100# overhead but just couldn’t hold the lockout. I have two broken 100# dumbbells to attest to this fact! Don’t let this bother you Felecia – because the two broken dumbbells are worth the story I’m going to tell about this from now one! I’ll even have them fixed by the next time you are at the Dino Gym and I’ll let you try that 100# dumbbell again.
I was very pleased to have two teenagers enter in the Junior Class. These two very strong 16 year olds, Cody Lokken and Nolan Berry, showed great promise as all-rounders. This was the first time either of them had seen these events, but they picked up on things pretty darn fast! Cody edged out Nolan by 15 pounds in the total to take the overall Junior Title. They both seemed to get stronger as the meet went along, and both finished with strong lifts in the Dinnie Lift (355 pounds) and the Goerner Stroll (270 pounds). Hopefully, I can keep them interested in the All-Rounds because I know with a little more specific event training they will have great success. Young lifters like these guys are the future of our sport, and when you see potential like what they have, you need to encourage it.
The over 60 mens masters class was hotly contested. Three VERY STRONG lifting elders duked it out – Rudy Bletscher, Mike Murdock, and Dean Ross. Dean (the youngest of the bunch at 68) pulled out the victory in the end with his great performance in the Dinnie Lift and the Goerner Stroll. His 425# Dinnie Lift was tops in the group as well as his 270# Goerner Stroll. Mike ended up in second place, and in the process avenged his loss to Rudy at the Goerner Deadlift last month. I am sure there will be more match-ups between Rudy and Mike in the future, and I just love watching these two guys push each other. Dean is not a newcomer to the USAWA as he has competed in several of my Dino Challenges in the past. Dean would do well in ANY all-round competition anywhere. He has overall body strength and doesn’t appear to have any strength weaknesses.
The over 40 mens masters class also was a tough one. Seven very seasoned strength athletes were in this group, all with different strength backgrounds. Before it started, it would have been a guess as to who would win. I was able to get the victory, mainly on the performance of my Goerner Stroll as the last event. I didn’t get what I wanted on the Dinnie Lift, so I had to EXCEED what I wanted on the Goerner Stroll (I finished with 550#). John O’Brien had the next highest total in the group (1570#), but when the scoring was tabulated John ended up in third place behind Joe Garcia. These Oldtime Strongman meets will use USAWA scoring, which gives adjusted points for age and bodyweight, and with Joe being higher than John in the age department and less in the weight department, edged him out. I want to stress that John had an EXCEPTIONAL day, and had the TOP lift amongst this group in 3 of the 5 events, and if traditional strongman scoring was being used, he would have been the top athlete. John impressed the crowd by using my Apollon Axel Replica instead of a loaded Fulton Bar like the rest of the lifters used (which is WAY harder to clean because of the fixed wheels and the fight against rotation), yet he ended up with the BEST Apollon’s Lift at 300 pounds. I consider this lift of his as one the highlight lifts of the meet. Joe really surprised me with his performance. I didn’t know for sure how Joe would do with these strongman events, and whether his back would hold up. (haha – just kiddin you Joe!). But he finished with a 560# Dinnie Lift and on a fourth extra attempt got 600 pounds! Fourth place went to the 2009 USAWA Newcomer of the Year Dave Glasgow. Dave was solid in every event and is showing progress as an All-Rounder. Fifth place went to D.J. Satterfield, and 6th place went to Richard “Vince” Vincent. Both of these guys made the trip together from Omaha, Nebraska and I can just imagine the good natured banter between them over this on the way home! These two made the competition in our group lots of fun – as both seemed to really enjoy themselves and it spilled over to the rest of us throughout the day! Thanks D.J. and Vince! You guys are great! Rounding out the group was Lance Foster. Lance is a great guy, and has attended EVERY competition the Dino Gym has held over the past few years. His outstanding work ethic and training spirit inspires me – so much I asked him if he would be a Dino Gym Member which he agreed to. Thanks Lance!
The Open Class turned out the be “THE SHOW”. Again, a very tough field of 5 athletes were in attendance – Eric “ET” Todd, Chris Anderson, Sam Cox, Chris Walter, and Chad Ullom. I knew it would be a battle before it even started. When the chalk had finally settled and the last event was completed, the top four placings were decided by less than 15 points!! It couldn’t have been any closer than this. All four of these guys deserved to win. Sam Cox ended up the victor by only a five point margin over Eric Todd. Sam had a great day – 280# Apollon’s Lift, 150# Cyr Press, and a 655# Dinnie Lift, all of this at only 22 years of age and 212 pounds bodyweight. Sam – aren’t you glad I talked you into competing in this competition last week in the gym? I TOLD YOU that you had a good chance to win it! ET placed second, but in the process put up some UNBELIEVABLE Lifts! He had the top Apollon’s Lift of the entire day at 325 pounds, and the top Cyr press of 190 pounds. Yes – that’s 190 POUNDS and not a typo! A lift like that you have to see to believe. Chad came in third, and had the top Goerner Stroll of the entire meet at 560 pounds. He only picked that number to exceed what I did. (I’m glad for ya Champ!). After the meet was over, Chad wanted to try more in the Dinnie Lift as he knew he used up his attempts before he reached his max in the competition. Can you believe he proceeded to lift 785 pounds in the Dinnie Lift?? If he would have done that in the meet he would have won the overall! Fourth place went to Chris Anderson. Chris trains with Eric, and in the process has picked up some of Eric’s traits. The main one is that he is not afraid of ANY WEIGHT. The weights fear him. He had the top Saxon Snatch of the entire meet at 105 pounds, and tied for the top Dinnie Lift of the entire meet at 735 pounds. Also worth mentioning is his 170 pound Cyr Press. If it wasn’t for ET’s mind-blowing 190 we would be talking about Chris’s 170. Fifth place went to Chris Walter. This was Chris’s first time to the Dino Gym and did quite well, and I hope he is not discouraged by running up against these other four phenoms. Anywhere else he would have been a top placer.
Events like this are not successful unless there is “help behind the scenes”. I want to thank the officials – Scott Tully, Mark Mitchell, and Thom Van Vleck. Their judging was superb. I also want to thank the loaders – Bill Cookson and Ryan Batchmen. These two guys SHOULD have been competing, but it is really nice to have a couple of very strong guys like them to help load. It makes everything go smoother. I want to thank my daughters Katie and Molly with helping at the scoretable and organizing the silent auction to benefit the Friends of the Salina Animal Shelter. I plan to do another story about that in a few days. I also want to thank Wilbur Miller for attending this meet as a spectator. Wilbur – you are a legend in the all-rounds and you have no idea how much it means to us that you attend these competitions at the Dino Gym!
Well, I hope I covered everything! But to sum things up – this meet will go down in history as one of the best of ALL-TIME in the USAWA.
Dino Gym Old-Time Strongman Challenge
January 15th, 2011
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
Meet Director: Al Myers
Officials: Scott Tully, Mark Mitchell, and Thom Van Vleck
Loaders: Ryan Batchman & Bill Cookson
Events: Saxon Snatch, Apollon’s Lift, Cyr Press, Dinnie Lift, and Goerner Stroll
Men’s Junior Class
Men’s 60+ Mens Master Class
Men’s 40+ Mens Master Class
Men’s Open Class
BWT is bodyweight in pounds. Total is adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight.