by Al Myers
After updating the Century Club this week I want to reflect on it some. The Century Club is the elite club of record holders in the USAWA – for those who hold over 100 USAWA Records. I started this several years ago to showcase the super lifting talent in our organization.
I get very excited when the Century Club gets a new member, like this time with the addition of Susan Sees. As you look down the list you see a line up of current USAWA Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers. Some of the lifters competed many years before while some are still very active lifters today. A handful have competed during the entire reign of the USAWA – lifters like Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Frank Ciavattone, Joe Garcia, John McKean, Bill Clark, and Dennis Mitchell.
I keep a list of their numbers from the previous count so you can tell who is currently the most active. These lifters have increased their record count the most since the previous count:
1. Dean Ross +28
2. Frank Ciavattone +12
3. LaVerne Myers +9
4. Bill Clark +8
5. Al Myers +7
Dean Ross has been on “feeding frenzy” these past couple of years setting and breaking new USAWA records. Every list he jumps a lifter or two. He now sits in the number 6th spot. Dean has accomplished this by competing EVERYWHERE and OFTEN across the country at practically every USAWA event. If you don’t know Dean Ross and you’re in the USAWA you must be hiding under a rock.
Our Prez Denny Habecker still leads the list with 542 USAWA Records. He has a commanding lead and is the only lifter over 500. At one time I thought 500 records was unrealistic for anyone to reach. But again – Denny has always been extremely active in the USAWA, and the more competitions you attend the more record opportunities you get. Who knows – Denny may reach 1000 before he’s done!
A few superstars of the past stay constant in their numbers. Anyone who break’s a Bob Hirsh, John Monk, Chris Waterman, or a Ed Schock record is really accomplishing something. Those guys set their records high.
Now who’s gonna be next to make the Century Club? I have always been pretty good at predicting this. There are several lifter’s getting pretty close. My bet is on Dave Glasgow (now at 96) and Jeff Ciavattone (at 86) to be the first to get there. An outside bet would go to Joe Ciavattone Jr. (at 82) and Eric Todd (at 83). Two lifters who have reemerged in the USAWA this past year have chances if they keep after competitions – Abe Smith (at 91) and Barry Pensyl (82).
There’s one lifter who will make it but it will take him a year. That is Randy Smith. Randy now stands at 99 USAWA Records! Randy has earned his records the hardest way possible by only setting them at the USAWA National Championships which has been the only yearly USAWA competition Randy has been doing lately. This says alot about Randy as only the main core lifts are contested at Nationals so he’s not picking up easy obscure lift records at record day meets. He’s getting his records on the BIG STAGE.
But with all this excitement there is one thing that makes me a little sad about the Century Club. That is when lifters fall out of it. The late Mike “Murdo” Murdock is standing now at 101 (down 3) and probably will be off the list by next count. Several others have been (or would have been if the Century Club was started sooner) but are not on it now because they have died. I really feel there should be a honorary designation for these past great lifters. I can think of several here – John Vernacchio, Rex Monahan, and Joe McCoy. This is something Dean Ross proposed to me and I agree with him on it. I would like a little support from the organization on this idea. If I get 5 lifters telling me it’s a good idea I’ll make it happen!