The 1964 Missouri State Champ!

by Thom Van Vleck

Wayne Gardner holding the 1964 State Champ trophy and a copy of the Obituary of his good friend Wayne Smith.

Wayne Gardner holding the 1964 State Champ trophy and a copy of the Obituary of his good friend Wayne Smith.

Recently I visited an old friend and member of the JWC, Wayne Gardner.  Wayne had been a member of the Jackson Weightlifting Club in the 1960’s and had them moved away for a job in Kansas City.  Wayne continued to lift competitively into his 50’s and lifted often in the old Odd Lifting days that preceded the USAWA.

I was looking at all of Gardner’s trophies and he told me there was one that was extra special to him.  It was one that he didn’t win but was given to him because he should have won it.  It was for the 165lb weight class of the 1964 Missouri State Championships.

The story goes like this.  When I was growing up there was a club member (and a former USAWA member and odd lifter) named Wayne Smith.  Smith lifted with the JWC and was on the two time State Team Champs.  Now, no disrespect to Smith as he was a great lifter and chin up champ.  But Olympic lifting was not his best area of lifting.  Gardner was a great Oly lifter and in 1964 they ended up in the same weight class.

Gardner had won the previous year.  He was the favorite to repeat.  As the meet progressed a funny thing happened.  Everyone bombed out except Gardner and Smith!  Going into the last lift, the Clean & Jerk, Gardner needed only a 135lbs to seal his second stated championship.  Smith came up and told him to take it a seal the win.  Gardner didn’t like the idea of taking such a light weight so he stuck with his original opener of 240lbs.  Smith finished his C&J’s and then waited on Gardner.  Who promptly BOMBED OUT!

Smith ended up with his only state championship.  He was pretty happy about it even if the other members kidded him for years about it being by default.  Many times I remember Smith retorting with, “Yeah, but I did what I had to do…to bad those other guys didn’t”!

Close up of the trophy

Close up of the trophy

Over the years Gardner and Smith remained great friends and then a few years ago Smith passed away.  It was a sad day for the JWC.  Gardner went to Smith’s family and asked if he could have that trophy and promised to give it a good home.  So they did and now after all these years it was in Gardner’s hands.

As Gardner recounted the story to me that I’ve heard a hundred times it took on a new meaning.  It was obvious to me this was more about friendship and less about a piece of metal mounted on wood.  A tear came to his eye as he finished knowing that Smith is no longer around to share in the moment.  Which considering Gardner was a Marine and one of the toughest guys I’ve ever known was saying much about how much it meant to him.  I’m pretty sure knowing him all my life I never saw him shed a tear before.

So that’s the story of a long forgotten state championship upon which a lifetime of friendship was built!

National Championships

by Al Myers



Meet Details:

Schedule of  Events

Venue: York Barbell
3300 Board Road
York, Pa.

Meet Promoter: Denny Habecker

Competition Date: Saturday – June 20th, 2015

Weigh-ins: 7:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M
Starts: 9:30 A.M.

Lifts :

One Hand Snatch
Reverse Grip Cheat Curl
One Hand Deadlift
Pullover and Push
Ciavattone Deadlift

Entry Fee – $55.00

T-Shirt Included

First, Second and Third in each Age/Weight Class based on total poundage lifted.
Age  divisions for Masters, Juniors, and Women
Best Lifter Awards for each age group in Masters, Juniors, Senior [20-39], and Women by Formula

ENTRY FORM (PDF) –2015 USAWA Nationals Entry

Clark’s Spring RD

by Al Myers


Clark’s Championship Gym was an active day for 2 lifters – Joe Garcia and David Emslie – and 1 busy official Bill Clark. When the Deanna Springs Meet was cancelled due to lack of interest,  Bill turned the day meet sanction into a full fledged record day. Bill stated in his summary letter that Al Springs intended to compete in the Deanna but injured his wrist and could not participate. Let’s all hope Al gets his wrist healed up and back in competition soon.  After entering these 2 guys long list of new USAWA records in this meet results,  I have to wonder if any time in the day was left for the Golden Corral! It is interesting the broad array of different lifts that they set their records in. The USAWA is full of lifting challenges, and Joe and David did their part in taking this challenge on!

Meet Results:

Clark’s Gym Spring Record Day
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, MO
March 28th, 2015

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials: Bill Clark and Joe Garcia
(Lifter David Emslie used 2 officials, Joe Garcia used 1 official)

Lifts: Record Day

Joe Garcia – Age 61, Bodyweight 206#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 220#
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 185#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 155#
Bench Press – Right Arm: 85#
Bench Press – Left Arm: 75#
Clean and Jerk – Right Arm: 75#
Clean and Press – 2 Dumbbells: 120#
Cyr Press: 80#
Reeves Deadlift: 241#
Deadlift – Left Leg: 135#
Bench Dip: 150#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 128#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 128#
Deadlift – 2 Inch Dumbbells: 236#
Pinch Grip: 130#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 85#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 70#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 120#
Abdominal Raise: 22#

David Emslie – Age 74, Bodyweight 174.75#
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 130#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 125#
Bench Press – Right Arm: 45#
Bench Press – Left Arm: 45#
Bench Press – Roman Chair: 75#
Roman Chair Situp: 90#
Abdominal Raise – Roman Chair: 32#
Clean and Press – Behind Neck: 80#
Clean and Press – Alternate Grip: 95#
Clean and Press – Reverse Grip: 100#
French Press: 65#
Clean and Seated Press: 90#
Clean and Seated Press – Behind Neck: 75#
Clean and Press – On Knees: 100#
Snatch – On Knees: 100#
Curl – Reverse Grip: 85#
Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip: 90#
Rectangular Fix: 85#
Miller Clean and Jerk: 75#
Clean and Press – Middle Fingers: 75#
Good Morning: 100#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 150#
Bear Hug: 210#
Reeves Deadlift: 226#
Bench Dip: 100#
Abdominal Raise: 22#
Clean and Press – Fulton Bar: 100#
Deadlift – 3″ Bar: 235#
Pinch Grip: 120#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 103#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 103#
Deadlift – 2 Inch Dumbbells: 196#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2″, Right Hand: 125#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2″, Left Hand: 125#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 50#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 50#
Pullover and Press: 135#
Pullover and Push: 150#

Dino Gym RD

by Al Myers


Meet Results:

Dino Gym Record Day
February 15th, 2015
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas

Officials (1-official system used): Al Myers & LaVerne Myers

Casey Barten – Age 35, Bodyweight 190#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 80#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 80#

Al Myers – Age 48, Bodyweight 235#
Abdominal Raise – Roman Chair: 70#
Bench Press – Roman Chair: 210#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 140#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 130#
Pinch Grip – Right Hand: 88#

Stephen Santangelo – Age 62, Bodyweight 157#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2 Bars, 1″: 305#
Weaver Stick: 2.5#
Thor’s Hammer: 50#
Saxon Snatch: 60#
Kelly Snatch: 40#

LaVerne Myers – Age 70, Bodyweight 241#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 140#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 140#
Weaver Stick: 5#
Pinch Grip – Right Hand: 88#
Finger Lift – Little, Left: 64#

Dean Ross – Age 72, Bodyweight 261#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 203#
Weaver Stick: 2.5#
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 165#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right: 145#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left: 145#

Grip Championships

by Al Myers


Group picture from the 2015 USAWA Grip Championships.

Group picture from the 2015 USAWA Grip Championships.

I know the reporting of this is a little late – but with the recent website upgrade in process many things have been delayed in getting reported. I am working hard to get everything “caught up”, but I only have a couple of extra hours per day to work on this project.  So this report will be extremely brief.

This had to be one of the best USAWA Grip Championships the USAWA has ever had.  There was lots of excitement in the Dino Gym all day long.  Veteran lifter Mary McConnaughey made her return to the USAWA after a few years of absence.  It was a great pleasure having her at the meet, as meets when Mary is present make for a fun time.  She is so full of enthusiasm and encouragement that it seems everyone lifts better.  She brought along young Christian for his first USAWA meet, and he lifted outstanding placing 4th overall.

Seasoned grip master LaVerne Myers topped the field of great lifters in total points in an extremely tough group of grip lifters.  He lifted superb – and had the top total lift of the day in two lifts. His 116# Index Finger Lift and his 182# one arm Fulton Bar Deadlift were the top lifts.  A newcomer from the Dino Gym, Kyle Jones, placed second overall. Kyle had the top Bearhug with a very great lift of 305 pounds.  Scott Tully was the only lifter to exceed 400 pounds in the VB deadlift with a best of 404 pounds. Ben Edwards placed third overall and was at the top of the list in each lift.

It is always great to see new lifters. Young Calvin Heit also made his USAWA debut.  Calvin is only 13 years old but shows great promise as a lifter. It was nice to see the mixture of new lifters with the mix of veterans such as Dave Glasgow, Chad Ullom, and Dean Ross.

Meet Results:

2015 USAWA Grip Championships
February 14th, 2015
Dino Gym
Abilene, KS 67410

Meet Promoter: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifts: Finger Lift – Index (Right and Left), Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm, Bearhug, Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2 Bars, 2″


 Lifter  Age  BWT  FingerR  FingerL DLFB1  Bear VBDL2 TOT PTS
 Mary McConnaughey 55  300  75  80  83R  130  184


 Lifter  Age  BWT FingerR  FingerL DLFB1 Bear  VBDL2  TOT PTS
 LaVerne Myers  70 241  116  110  172R  200 274  872  923,2
 Kyle Jones  27  238  115  115  165R  305  354 1054  857.5
 Ben Edwards  39  229  115  105  154R  255  354  983  815.9
 Christian Schimpf  16  149  75  75  93R  180  254 677  797.2
 Dave Glasgow  61  260  110  105  143R  185  294  837  794.2
 Alan English  31  230  115  115  154R  205  364  953  789.2
Chad Ullom  43 258 110 100 166R 205 364 945 767.4
Dean Ross  72 258 65 75 113R 205 254 712 739.4
 Scott Tully  39  343  110  100  176R  205  404  995  678.9
 Calvin Heit  13  128  55  55  53R  105  134  402  598.9
 Lance Foster  49  317  90  90  121R  185  274  760  591.4


Christian Schimpf: Finger Lift -Index, Right 80#
Christian Schimpf: Finger Lift – Index, Left 80#
Mary McConnaughey: Finger Lift – Index, Left 90#
LaVerne Myers: Deadlift-Fulton Bar, Right Arm 182#
Calvin Heit: Bearhug 130#
Alan English: Bearhug 255#

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

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