Tag Archives: Art’s Birthday Bash

Art’s Birthday Bash

by John McKean



What does an original USAWA lifter do when he turns 90? Merely hefts the highest poundage lift of anyone attending his own birthday meet! Yep, ole Art snuck in an easy 450# hip lift to outdo the crowd of one of the most well attended big contests of the year, even besting 4 of the top USAWA record holders present (only one other out of the top 5 was claiming jet lag or some lame excuse, and stayed home!!).

It was a fitting birthday for the glowing Mr. Montini, super cheerful and looking fit and healthy thanks to his large family traveling up and throwing him a huge party the night before! Naturally many of those youngsters enjoyed lifting at the meet on Sunday morning; between the kids & parents milling around, there were more Montinis than cockroaches in the old VFW gym!

Not that generations of Art’s family were the only long distance travelers – Dean Ross was his usual busy self, driving in from Oklahoma, finishing his record setting marathon early, then driving the huge mileage back so he could work on Monday morning! Our hard working president, Denny Habecker, hit the turnpike from across state, bringing with him the ever witty and tremendous long time lifter, Barry Pensyl. And from nearby Cleveland, Ohio, came Scott Schmidt (savior of this year’s National USAWA championships!) and the always dependable Dennis and Flossy Mitchell. Heck, I even coerced my grandson, Andraes, just turned 12, to travel down for the weekend and begin his “official” entrance into the record books (tho’ he actually thought it was merely going to be a donut eating contest between him & Art!).

Despite chalk dust flying, boundless youthful enthusiasm, and many records shattered, the meet wrapped up just around 1 PM. We’ve sponsored great birthday meets in the past, but this one may go down as the most FUN contest of all. As one visiting lifter was so amazed and excited over Art’s lifting & longevity, she requested to take a photo of him while he was so vital and alive; naturally some wag called out “better take it QUICK!”


Duss Ave Ambridge,PA
Ambridge VFW Barbell Club
Oct. 15, 2017

Meet Director: Art Montini

A 3 Official (IAWA/USAWA registered officials used) judged contest. Officials in attendance : Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell, Art Montini, Scott Schmidt,  John McKean

Lifters’ results:

Jason Montini II    bwt 52 K   age 11  (55k, under 13)
teeth lift  25 pounds
crucifix  30 pounds
jerk behind neck from rack  25#
One arm clean & jerk dumbbell right arm  30#
one arm dumbbell clean & press left arm  20 pounds

Dennis Mitchell  bwt 147#  age 85 (70K, 85+)
Left hand deadlift 60K
Right Hand Deadlift 60K
Thumbless deadlift  70K
Straight arm pullover  42.5 Pounds

Barry Pensyl  bwt 150# age 69 (70K, 65+)
hands together bench press  120 pounds
2″ vertical bar lift right arm  99#
dumbbell swing right arm  55#
straight arm pullover  60#
Thor’s Hammer  24#

John McKean  bwt 150 1/2 pounds age  71 ( 70K, 70+ )
right arm dumbbell deadlift  182 pounds
left arm dumbbell deadlift  152#
2″ bar (Fulton) hack lift  178#
2″ bar (Fulton) Jefferson lift  258#
Kennedy lift  410 #

Art Montini  bwt 178#  age 90 ( 85K, 90+)
abdominal raise  30 pounds
Zercher  120#
teeth lift  130#
hand & thigh  300#
Hip lift  450#

Annabelle Montini  bwt 178 1/2 #  age 10 (85K, under 13,female)
trap bar deadlift 165#
Arthur lift  20#
hand&thigh  160#
Right hand clean & jerk (dumbbell) 15#
2 hand deadlift  88#

Andraes McKean  bwt 179#  age 12  (85K,under 13)
left hand dumbbell deadlift  86#
right hand dumbbell deadlift 102#
bentover row (power row)  118 #
2″bar (Fulton) hack lift  108#
2″bar (Fulton) Jefferson lift 128#

Robyn Montini  bwt 179# age 17 ( 85K,16-17,female)
Hand & thigh 180#
Trap bar deadlift 175#
Arthur lift 20#
Dumbbell clean& jerk right arm 35#
2 hand deadlift  154#

Denny Habecker  bwt 191#  age 75 (90K,75+)
bench press alternate grip  155#
crucifix  50#
Ciavattone deadlift 258#
One Dumbbell press left arm 45#
press behind neck from rack  110#

Benson Montini  bwt 93K  age 13 (95K,13-)
trap bar deadlift 275#
hand & thigh  250#
crucifix 30#
dumbell press right arm 25#
jerk behind neck from rack  50#

Dean Ross  bwt 233#  age 74  (110K,70+)
bent arm pullover  75#
straight arm pullover  55#
one arm hack lift,left hand  80#
half Gardner 18#
good morning 115#

Scott Schmidt  bwt 235# age 64 (110K,60+)
2 hands clean and seated press behind neck 55K
clean&jerk  2 dumbbells 40K
continental clean  72K

Beth Bulebosh  bwt 280# age 49  (130K,45+,female)
Jackson press 75#
Left hand dumbbell press 35#
right hand dumbbell press 35#
2″ vertical bar lift, left hand 114#
2″ vertical bar lift , right hand  114#

Jason Montini  bwt 141.5K  age 38 (145K,open)
2 hand seated dumbbell press  90#
middle fingers hack lift 108#
ring finger hack lift 88#

Christopher Montini  bwt 148.5 K  age 39 ( 150K ,open)
Teeth lift  135#
trap bar deadlift 425#
jerk behind neck from rack  135#

Art’s Birthday Bash

by Al Myers


There is no entry form, but please let Art know ahead of time if you plan to attend his Birthday Bash.  Art can be reached by phone 724-375-2052.


Art’s Birthday Bash
Ambridge VFW BBC
1098 Duss Avenue
Ambridge, PA 15003

DATE: Sunday, October 16th, 2016

LIFTS: Record Day (max 5 lifts)

Art’s Birthday Bash

by John McKean

Art’s 88th birthday & BD Bash

The previous week on his 88th birthday Art Montini won another World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

The previous week on his 88th birthday Art Montini won another World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Not a beautiful Autumn morning like usual, it was SNOWING out side my house! Seemed a bad sign, as I was, unbelievably for me, already in a bad mood, over worrying that attendance would be minimal, since the previous week’s IAWA World Meet had usurped Art’s long standing birthday meet date (next time ,meet directors, if your plans are on or just after Oct 12,suck it up! Art has had claim to this date for 88 years!!!). To bottom out my bad start this morning,our cat upchucked over my nice meet shirt, which was carefully laid out on the kitchen floor for packing!!

Glumly entering the VFW gym, my mood instantly changed and I was immediately inspired seeing the GREAT Dean Ross, all the way from Oklahoma, about to begin a series of finger lifts! Dean had left his home, stopped over in Missouri for a Highlands Games event, then drove without sleep to Ambridge and did his lifts. He then, after his usual hilarious jokes & stories (don’t ever accept a quarter from this guy!!), hit the road again, promising to find sleep in a motel  somewhere hours away, and then get home to OK! “Hey”,he quipped, “I do have to work tomorrow morning!” At 72 years of age and looking as strong as he displays, this is what I call a true IRON MAN !!

Then in bounced a spry Steve Santangelo and his lovely, personable wife, all the way from Kentucky! Steve lifted great and showed us a lift rarely performed in the USAWA meets – a NECK BRIDGE pullover and press! Not bad for  a 63 year old!

Travelers weren’t over, either, as Cleveland and Vermilion, Ohio were represented by the wonderful Schmidt family, Scott and wife Kathy, with Bob Geib and Tony Frasso driving in from V-town. They all promised if we hold an “in-the-works” record day in December (for MY 70th birthday!!) that they’ll brave Dec weather to make the trip again!

We hadn’t seen local boxing coach Andy Root for a few years, as he and wife Angela (of 240# bench press fame at a petite 120 some bw!) have a new baby to take care of (congrats mom&dad!). But Andy did some terrific deadlifting and took some wild stabs at heavy bent pressing (not as easy as it looked,huh Andy?!)

Of course, birthday boy Art, tho still sore from last weekend’s World win, looked fresh as a donut,err, I mean daisy! Not only did he perform his usual great finger lifts, but took a stab at a brand new event -the Dinnie Lift- and discovered he was MADE for this lift!! Yeah, he drove me crazy in making me compute the 75% for the smaller rod each time, but it was worth it to watch the ole boy delight in his own efforts!

We left the gym, and tho cold outside, the sun and brilliant tree colors were now out to make for a great Fall day, after all! Bob Geib was treating Art to a birthday dinner at the famous Ambridge roast beef restaurant, and I’d caught some nice rainbow trout on Friday, which Art will bake for a later bd snack! Yes, Art does the eating even better than he lifts!


Art’s 2015 Birthday Bash Record Day
Ambridge, PA
October 18th, 2015

Judges (3 official system used) – Art Montini, Scott Schmidt, John McKean

Stephen Santangelo BW 162  Class 75 K (60+)  age 63
2″ vertical 2 bars deadlift  292#
2″ Dumbbell deadlift left    130#
2″ Dumbbell deadlift right  130#
Neck bridge pullover and press  80#
No thumb deadlift  280#
No thumb deadlift Ciavattone  265#

John McKean  BW 164.5 Class 75k(65+) age 69
Dinnie Lift  320.5#
Ciavattone2″ bar deadlift 175#
Right arm Ciavattone deadlift 145#
Left arm Ciavattone deadlift 135#
bench press fulton bar  104#
Heels together deadlift  224#
Rectangular fix  65#
Fulton bar rectangular fix 40#
deadlift 12″ heels  224#

Art Montini  BW 173 class 80k (85+) age 88
Left Ciavattone deadlift 2″ bar 60#
clean &press 2″ bar  60#
Index fingers deadlift with olympic bar 75#
Ring fingers deadlift with olympic bar 75#
Dinnie lift  283#

Kathy Schmidt BW 175  class 80k (f 55+) age 58
Left hand 1″ vertical bar deadlift 47.5K
Dumbbell deadlift (L)  47.5K
Ciavattone deadlift 60K

Scott Schmidt bw 234 Class 110K (60+) age 62
Right hand 2″vertical bar deadlift 75K
Left hand 2″vertical bar deadlift 75K
2 hands 2″ vertical bars deadlift 110K
left hand dumbbell press 25K
French Press 40K

Dean Ross bwt 253 class 115 k (70+)age 72
left little finger deadlift 57#
left ring finger lift 67#
left middle finger lift 72#
left index finger lift 72
right little finger lift 57#

Bob Geib bw 258 class 120K (70+) age 72
Dinnie Lift 309#
Fulton deadlift 270#
Straddle deadlift 305#
Stiff leg deadlift 209#

note : all Dinnie lifts were with lighter weight at 75% or slightly less of heavier rod thanks to Al for great rings!!

Art’s Birthday Bash

by John McKean

Group picture from Art's Birthday Bash 2014.

Since it’s impossible to drive to Ambridge from any direction without going through beautiful wooded hills and dense forest lands, our visitors this year were treated to this Fall’s most spectacular leaf colors, on a perfect bluebird sky day! It was almost a shame to have to go indoors to lift weights! HOWEVER, that was immediately corrected as we all left the gym to go OUTDOORS to watch newcomer Steve Freides perform an Inman Mile(!!!) at the high school parking lot across the street!! Of course ,Steve didn’t go a mile (nobody ever has!) but did waddle back & forth with 243# on his back for 114 meters!I teased Steve by saying his efforts cost me 50 bucks-that I’d bet Art he would die if he tried the whole mile!

Back in the gym, Art & I were treated to watch another newcomer to our meets, Stephen Santangelo, perform a terrific Reeves deadlift with 235 pounds! Art & I agreed that neither of us can even reach the plates to perform this dynamic lift!

Denny Habecker, and long time veteran lifter, 82 year old Dick Durante, had a gorgeous drive through the mountains across state to show us their typical strong lifting and always smiling faces!

Of course, in this year’s group of all MASTER competitors, good ole Denmis Mitchell and wife Flossy drove in from Cleveland to charm us with their usual cheerful personalities, and Denny’s well perfected lifting.

Star of the show, birthday boy Art Montini (87) performed 5 world records in fantastic style, and was the usual gracious host to his guests. In an amazing coincidence, the figure on Art’s meet shirt was the comic character Popeye (with Art’ face imposed!) -seems both Art & the famous Popeye were created in the same year!!(and both were sailors!). Art’s only challenge this year was in the donut eating challence where my grandson Draes (just turned 9) may have bested him (we’re never sure as Art gobbles the donuts in hiding!).

It was so great to have always smiling,joke telling Bob Geib and his gal,Susan, attending! Both lifted great and are healthy and happy, soon with a new house to move to. Funny thing,Bob was trying to explain to me where this small town is that he’s been residing at for several years(a mile from his new place), and I had to laugh out loud -it is the vacation town on Lake Erie that our family travels to many time each year and I’ve been going to all my life! I woulda ’bout croaked to run into Bob up there during a morning fishing expedition! Bob brought with him a beautiful plaque that the late,great Howard Prechtel was awarded as a new inductee to the Cleveland Hall of Fame. Howard had passed on his skillful chiropractic maneuvers, which he utilized to tremendous effect on my 35 year old son Rob,who’s had a presistant neck/shoulder pinch (Rob felt so good afterward,that we couldn’t cooerce him into doing any lifts! Thanks,Bob!!).

Even yours truly got into the act- I’d promised Al earlier that if he got the Kennedy lift approved I’d unretire just to do that old “health Lift” ! And figgered ,since I was there, to finally get off my butt and set enough to records to take me over the 300 mark.

As usual, a day well spent with good friends! Onward to training for Art’s 88th!


Art’s Birthday Bash 2014
Oct 12, 2014
Ambridge VFW Barbell Club Ambridge, PA

USAWA officials: Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Dennis Mitchell,  (3 officials used on all record lifts)

SUSAN SEES female age 57 weight 219# div: 55+ F 100K
Deadlift Fulton Ciavattone 160 pounds
Deadlift Fulton bar 170#
Deadlift thumbless 180#
Dumbbell Deadlift right 95#
Dumbbell Deadlift left 95#

DENNIS MITCHELL age 81 weight151# div: 80+ 70K
Thumbless deadlift 170#
One Hand Dumbbell deadlift left 130#
One Hand Dumbbell deadlift right 130#
Seated press behind neck 40#

STEVE FREIDES age 59 weight 152.8# div: 55+ 70K
Steinborn 80 K
Inman Mile 113.79 meters
Hip Lift 1020#
Jefferson 315#
Jefferson Fulton bar 280#
Kennedy lift 405#

ART MONTINI age 87 weight 172# div: 85+ 80K
2″ Vertical Bar lift left 59#
Middle finger deadlift  110#
Ring Finger deadlift     99#
Index finger deadlift   85#
Dumbbell deadlift left 75#

JOHN McKEAN age 68 weight 173.5# div:65+ 80K
Kennedy lift 405#
People’s Deadlift 315#
One arm Dumbbell Ciavattone deadlift right 173#
Fulton bar Ciavattone Deadlift 200#
Strict Curl 55#
Dumbbell Walk 26#
1″ Vertical bar lift right 85#
1″ Vertical bar lift left 85#
1″ Vertical bar lift 2 bars 170#
2 Dumbbell Cheat Curl 70#
right Dumbbell Cheat Curl 35#
Left Dumbbell Cheat Curl 35#
Right arm Fulton Dumbbell deadlift 58#
Left Arm Fulton Bar Deadlift 58#
2 Arm Fulton Dumbbell Deadlift 116#

STEPHEN SANTANGELO  age 62 weight 174# div: 60+ 80K
Reeves Deadlift 235#
One arm Dumbbell deadlift left 170#
One arm Dumbbell Deadlift right 210#
Dumbbell Walk 56#
Kennedy Lift 325#

RICHARD DURANTE  age 82 weight 175# div: 80+ 80K
One arm Deadlift left 95#
One arm Deadlift right 95#
Fulton Bar Deadlift 170#
Strict Curl 55#
Kennedy Lift 225#

DENNY HABECKER age 72 weight 194# div: 70+ 90K
Kennedy Lift 225#
Stiff Leg Deadlift 270 #
Reverse Grip Cheat Curl 119#
Thumbless Grip Deadlift 270#
Dumbbell Press left 50#
Strict Curl 75#

BOB GEIB age 71 weight 219# div: 70+ 100K
Fulton Deadlift Ciavattone 170#
Fulton Deadlift 180#
Thumbless Deadlift 200#
Dumbbell Deadlift right 130#
Dumbbell Deadlift left 130#

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