LIfter of the Month -Abe Smith

By Al Myers

The lifter of the month for September goes to Abe Smith. Abe made his return to the USAWA in a big way, winning best lifter in the USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships. The OTSM Championship was hosted and promoted by Eric Todd.  A very strong field of 10 competitors entered this Championship event in the USAWA this year.  Abe has been involved with the USAWA for many years, since he was a teenager.  In his early years he was very involved with meets held in Clark’s Gym.

Congrats Abe on being the USAWA Lifter of the Month!

Dino Gym Challenge

By Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT –

Dino Gym Challenge -“The Triple Deuce”

The Dino Gym Challenge has been a yearly event in the USAWA for many years now.  Each year I try to have a different theme with different lifts. No two Dino Gym Challenges have been the same.  This year it is going to be the “triple deuce”.  Three different groupings of 2 lifts, with each lift using either 2 bars, 2 dumbbells, or 2 pieces of equipment. It will be a truly all round event with pressing, deadlifting, curling, and grip strength involved.

MEET DETAILS:

Meet Director:            Al Myers and the Dino Gym 785-479-2264

Meet Date:                 Saturday, January 14th, 2017  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location:                    Dino Gym, 1126 Eden Road, Abilene, KS 67410

Sanction:                    U.S.A.W.A Membership required to participate.

Weigh-ins:                  9:00-10:00 AM the day of the meet

Divisions:                   Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards:                      None

Entry Form/Fee:        None – but please notify me in advance if attending

Lifts:

Special Equipment Lifts:

Deadlift – 2 Inch Dumbbells
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2 Bars, 2″

Dumbbell Lifts:

Clean and Press – 2 Dumbbells
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat

Bar Lifts:

Reg Park Bench Press
Deadlift – 2 Bars

After the meet and the next day there will be time for record day lifts.

Team Championships

By Al Myers

The 2016 USAWA Team Championships have been rescheduled after the cancellation in September.  This Championship Event has had a continuous run in the USAWA since 2007 – so this marks the 10th year anniversary of the Team Championships.

MEET DETAILS:

Meet Director: Al Myers

Meet Date: Saturday, December 17th, 2016

Meet Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Location: Dino Gym, 1126 Eden Road, Abilene, KS 67410

Sanction: USAWA Membership required

Weigh-Ins: Noon the day of the meet

Divisions: 2-Man, 2-Person (man & woman), and 2-Women

Entry Fee: None

Lifts:

Hackenschmidt Floor Press

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm

Deadlift – Stiff Legged

Registration:  There is no entry form or entry deadline, but please let me know ahead of time if you plan to attend so I can make the proper preparations. I can be reached at amyers@usawa.com

The “Dreaded Red X”

by Thom Van Vleck

Nobody was immune to getting the dreaded Red X from Bill. Even Al got one!

Nobody was immune to getting the dreaded Red X from Bill. Even Al got one!

My roots in the USAWA go way back.  My first meet was a 1979 “Odd Lift” meet put on by the founder of the USAWA, Bill Clark.  But before that my Uncles and their friends often lifted in Clark’s meets going back to the fifties. Clark founded the USAWA but he actually didn’t start the “Odd Lifts”.  That goes back to Ed Zercher, Sr who was a great lifter in the 30’s and after.  But even before Ed was in his first contest he had a buddy in his old neighborhood in St. Louis named John Wille. In the 1920’s they hung out in the same neighborhood and they did acrobatics, lifting whatever was available, and made make shift weights out of scrap metal.

Today we look to the internet.  The USAWA has a great website.  Al Myers does a lot of work to keep this thing going and having regular updates.  But for 50 years it was “Ol’ Clark”.  Bill was old school in an old school way that made a lot of old school stuff seem new!  He never touched a computer.  For 50 years he put out old fashioned newsletters.  For you young guys, that means he typed up the newsletter on a typewriter, then he copied the news letter (on a Mimeograph and later a copy machine), and he would put them in envelopes, actually lick the stamps (because they didn’t just stick on like they do now) and mail them to your actual mailbox (not the “mailbox” that your e-mail comes to).

I remember looking through all the old newsletters my Uncles had.  Reading about the lifts, the lifters, the meets and random thoughts (and sometimes rants) that Clark would have about steroids, improper judging, or whatever he thought was undermining the integrity of the sport.  If you sent him a letter, be careful, he’d put it in the newsletter!

He operated all this on a shoe string budget and his own sweat. He probably spent a lot of his own money.  But he did ask donations.  You could get the newsletter if you sent him even just a few bucks to pay for the stamps!  He would also include in almost every newsletter a little rant about “bucking up” and make jokes about not being a deadbeat.

He would have a list of people that gave money.  He would even put how much they gave.  I think to give credit to those who gave more than their fair share because they loved the sport.  Those that gave often really valued the information and back then there was no internet and finding out much of anything about weightlifting was about impossible).  He also would “Red X” the guys who hadn’t “paid up” for some time.  He would put what he called the “Dreaded Red X” on the front of your newsletter.  It kind of reminded me how teachers would mark up your papers with red ink when you got something wrong.  The funny part was he would often keep sending guys newsletters for a long time.  Especially so if he knew someone was on hard times.  Like my Uncle Wayne.  Clark could be really nice that way.

In some ways I think Ol’ Clark got vilified a bit for his “Red X” and other things he did when he would call out guys for not following established rules. He sometimes had a way of making a remark about it the next time you would see him to let you know his displeasure….one might even call it a snide remark.

But you know what.  Now that I’m older.  Now that I’ve been in the position of running organizations that get by on shoe string budgets and I’ve put in long hours to run highland games, strongman contests, lifting meets as well as three different weightlifting clubs (Jackson Weightlifting Club, Truman State Irondogs, and the A.T. Still University Osteoblasters) as well as other Church and community organizations that ONLY happen because the people involved reach in their pockets and pull out some cash that includes more than a few drops of sweat…..I get it.

That bring me to present day.  When Ol’ Clark ran that newsletter you saw the stamp.  You knew it cost money.  You knew the paper, the ink, the copies, and all that went into it cost money so I think it was easier to see how much all of it cost.  Well, now Al Myers stepped in and took it over some 8 years ago.  He created a website, then got a better one, and did a lot of work to keep it going and at what cost.  I bet a lot more than the stamps Ol’ Clark used.  At the least, I would say both men work (worked) equally hard.

So what can you do?  Send him a few hundred bucks!  Well, that would be nice but I think the best thing we could do as an organization is support the guys that make it happen.  Not just Al, but our officers, judges, etc.  We do this by following the rules, getting meet results to Al in a timely manner, make sure our meets are as legit as we can, write a good story for the meet results for the website, maybe send Al a good story or anecdote for the website (like how people would send Clark a letter) and he’d put in on the website.  Buy Al a beer, slap him on the back….heck, I bet a thanks would go a long way.

Otherwise, people like Bill and Al get burned out.  They love a sport and after awhile they feel unappreciated and frustrated and next thing you know…..well, let’s just try and do our part and keep the USAWA great.  It’s only as great as the people who run it and the people who are a part of it AND appreciate it!

Double Decathlon

By Al Myers

MEET RESULTS – Bill Clark’s Double Decathlon

Yesterday in the snail mail I received the results from Bill Clark’s meet, the Double Decathlon, which was held on October 10th and 11th. This meet challenged lifters over an array of 20 different odd lifts over 2 consecutive days in the middle of the week with lifting starting at 5 PM each day. Two USAWA registered lifters lifted – Bill Clark and Joe Garcia. Two other non-registered lifters also took part, but are not listed in the official meet results because they are not members of the USAWA.

MEET RESULTS:

Bill Clark’s Double Decathlon
October 10th and 11th, 2016
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, MO

Meet Director: Joe Garcia

Meet Officials: (1-official system used) Joe Garcia and Bill Clark

Lifters:

Joe Garcia  Age 63, BWT Day 1 210 lbs. Day 2 211 lbs.
Bill Clark  Age 84 BWT Day 1 223 lbs. Day 2 224 lbs.

Lifts Day 1  Joe Garcia  Bill Clark
Deadlift, Reeves  235  165
Pinch Grip  100  60
Deadlift-Fulton DB, 1 Arm
Deadlift – Ciavattone  305 165
Deanna  325 235
Anderson Squat  315
VB Deadlift – 2 Bars, 1″  315 215
Kennedy Lift  315 315
Rectangular Fix, Fulton Bar  70  28
Saxon Snatch  75  —
Lifts Day 2
Peoples Deadlift  325 275
Pinch Grip, One Hand  50R  30R
Bearhug  205  80
Dinnie Lift  523  253
Anderson Press  205  —
VB Deadlift – 1 bar, 1″, 1 Hand  210R  180R
Weaver Stick  4.4R  2.5R
Shoulder Drop  65  —
Ziegler Clean  85  —
Piper Squat  45  —
Total Weight  3882.4  1838.5
Adjusted Points  4254.7  2342.9

Note: All lifts recorded in pounds. R and L designate right and left arms.

Extra record day lifts for record:
Bill Clark: Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Left Arm  90 lbs.
Bill Clark: Vertical Bar DL – 1 bar, 1″, Left Arm  180 lbs.
Bill Clark: Hip Lift 725 lbs.

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