by Al Myers
Every year since 2009, the USAWA gives out “Yearly Awards” to selected members of the USAWA for outstanding recognition. These awards are part of the USAWA Awards Program, funded by the organization. These awards are nominated and voted on by the membership. As with our tradition, these special awards are awarded during our National Championships, right after the meet. This year it was extra special as they were given out at York Barbell.
The past year’s winners:
Winner – Steve Santangelo
Runner Up – Jeff Ciavattone
Winner – Art Montini
Runner Up – Dick Durante
Winner – Frank Ciavattone
Runner Up – Dave Glasgow
Winner – Al Myers
Runner Up – Denny Habecker
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Winner – Chad Ullom
Runner Up – Eric Todd
CLUB OF THE YEAR
Winner – Frank’s Barbell Club
Runner Up – Ledaig Athletic Club
by Al Myers
Members of the Dino Gym that were present at the 2014 Nationals to recieve the Club of the Year Award, (left to right): Al Myers, Dean Ross, Chad Ullom. The award was presented by Mike Murdock (right).
At the USAWA National Championships this summer, the USAWA awarded a Club of the Year for the past year. I am extremely proud of the members of my Dino Gym for winning the award! It takes an entire club’s involvement and participation to win this award in our organization. Runner up went to Habecker’s Gym, ran by the USAWA President Denny Habecker. These awards were presented by members of last year’s Club of the Year, the Ledaig HA. Mike Murdock and Logan Kressly had the honors of presenting the awards on behalf of the Ledaig Club.
CLUB OF THE YEAR – DINO GYM
RUNNER CLUB – HABECKER’S GYM
Logan Kressly (left) presenting the Runner Up Club of the Year Award to Denny Habecker (right).
by Al Myers
Tim Piper (left) presenting the Leadership Award to Denny Habecker.
Tim Piper (left) presenting the Runner Up Leadership Award to Thom Van Vleck.
The Leadership Award in the USAWA goes to an individual “that has shown exceptional leadership qualities within the USAWA during the past year. Things that should be looked at are going above the level expected of an Officer position, promoting sanctioned events with emphasis being on promoting National or World Competitions, promoting the USAWA by developing a strong club, writing articles for publications about the USAWA, or through other means.”
The two winner of this award, and very deserving of it, were:
WINNER – DENNY HABECKER
RUNNER UP – THOM VAN VLECK
Both Denny and Thom were on hand to receive their awards at our National Meet Ceremony. But then you would expect that out of them as they are leaders in the organization. Their inputs at our National Championships was vital. Thom served as the Head Official of the entire meet and did not compete because he would rather “give” than “take”. Thom’s contributions of writing for the USAWA Website on a frequent basis has helped ensure it’s success.
Denny has been our USAWA President for many years now. He is the ultimate leader of the USAWA. He attends practically every big event promoted within the USAWA and the IAWA. If a lifter does not know Denny it is because they are not very involved! Denny attends meets all across the country and interacts with the entire USAWA membership. At Nationals he sat in the officials chair WHILE he was lifting just because that duty needed attended to. I think Denny is the best President the USAWA has ever had.
I’m glad to see the USAWA membership recognize these two for their contributions to the organization. They have earned it!
by Al Myers
(Left Picture): Tim Piper presenting the Courage Award to Art Montini. (Right Picture): Tim Piper presenting the Courage Award to Dean Ross.
The Courage Award is described as, “This goes to an individual who shows the courage to overcome an obstacle in order to return to competition. This may be a comeback from an injury, or just having to deal with difficult personal issues, but still shows the courage to compete in the USAWA”.
Since the USAWA Award Program began, NO ONE has been the winner of this award besides Dale Friesz. Dale was the definition of courage, competing up till his final days. He set a standard for lifting courage that will be hard for anyone to duplicate. I often think of this award now as the Dale Frieze Courage Award.
However, there’s another lifter in the USAWA who has plenty of courage as well, and after being last year’s runner up, repeated this year as runner up in the Courage Award by the others in the USAWA this year. That man – who defies the myths of age and weightlifting – is ART MONTINI.
RUNNER UP – ART MONTINI
WINNER – DEAN ROSS
Dean “Hot Foot” Ross was the Winner, and well deserving. His input to the USAWA over these past few years exceeds what most can accomplish in a lifetime of participation in the USAWA. You don’t attend a meet that Dean is at without getting to know him! Everyone knows Dean.
Congrats to Art and Dean for being the winners of the USAWA Courage Award!
by Al Myers
Logan Kressly (right) receiving his USAWA Newcomer Award from 2014 USAWA Meet Promoter Tim Piper (left) at the National Championships.
I always enjoy the USAWA Annual Awards presentation. This program to recognize outstanding accomplishments was started in 2010. The program is funded by the USAWA bank account, and all award winners are chosen by the membership. This means if you win one of these awards – it is because your peers deemed you worthy. That means much more than one individual making the choices, or a selection committee deciding.
The first award given out was the Newcomer Award. This award is defined as, “This award goes to an individual who is new to the USAWA or has become involved again in the organization. It recognizes a lifter who has shown great involvement or outstanding performance throughout the past year. it doesn’t have to be someone in their first year involved in the USAWA. “
Two very deserving lifters earned this award this year –
WINNER – MIKE MCINTYRE
RUNNER UP – LOGAN KRESSLY
Mike, lifting for the JWC, made a big impact in the USAWA during the prior year. He competed in several competitions promoted by Thom Van Vleck, and in my 2013 Dino Gym Challlenge OTSM competition. It was at that meet that Mike caught my attention when he performed a 410 pound Hackenschmidt Floor Press. Last December Mike placed 3rd overall in the USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships, in a very tough field of lifters. I was extremely impressed with his 315 pound Anderson Press in that meet! Mike was not on hand at the Awards ceremony to receive his award so Thom Van Vleck accepted it on his behalf.
Logan, lifting for the Ledaig Heavy Athletics, has shown great improvement over the past year in his lifting. At only 16 years old, his future is bright as lifter. Last year Logan competed in the USAWA Team Championships, and paired with Jera Kressly, to win the overall award in the mixed pairs division. He entered the 2014 Dino Gym Challenge, a tribute to Warren Lincoln Travis, and placed 3rd overall competing against many seasoned all rounders. His 1300# Harness Lift and 1600# Back Lift impressed me the most. You often do not see young lifters put up big lifts in the heavy lifts. At my record day last February he did a 550 pound Dinnie Lift! And at this meet, the 2014 Nationals, he was crowned outstanding Junior Lifter. I would say he has had a great year in the USAWA!
Congrats to both of these guys!