Tag Archives: Deanna Springs Meet

Deanna Springs Meet

by Al Myers


Group picture from the 2012 Deanna (left to right): Dean Ross, Rudy Bletscher, Al Myers, Joe Garcia, and Mike Murdock.

This was another great year for the Deanna Meet.  The “same crew” of lifters made their appearance  that have been attending the past few years – Joe, Rudy, Mike, Dean and myself.  Several times throughout the day I felt de-ja vu (a feeling that I’ve experienced this before), which TURNS OUT to be the case.  Same group of lifters, performing the same lifts in the Clark’s Gym, and getting beat rather handily by Joe Garcia!  This makes FOUR YEARS in a row that I have placed second to Joe G in this meet.  I should research this farther back, but it would be depressing as I know there have been many other “seconds” for me in prior years!

Bill Clark - meet director of the Deanna Springs Meet.

This was a BIG DAY for Joe.  This win marks his 11th victory at the Deanna Springs Meet.  The amazing thing is that he scored an adjusted point total of 4196 points, which is the BEST OF ALL TIME.  Congrats Joe!!!!  Joe’s new record erased the previous top point total by Abe Smith in 2005.  I would like to believe that the Daily News Story that I wrote last week on the “top performances at the Deanna Meet” might have inspired Joe to this new record.  After all, my main goal at this meet is to push Joe to lift hard.  If I can make him a little nervous at any point throughout the day, I feel like I have accomplished something.  He is just TOO GOOD at these lifts for me to give him any serious competition once the age and bodyweight corrections are made.   I did put up a 4146 total, which is the 5th best total of ALL TIME in this meet.  Joe tried to top me in this as well with his final Hip Lift, but it was just too much for him.  I thanked him for letting me take home a “moral victory”!  But by the look on his face when I said this to him, it was obvious to me that he wasn’t “letting me” take home anything. If he could have totalled more – he WOULD HAVE regardless of my feelings! 

As Joe and I were having our battle, the “senior lifters” of Rudy, Dean and Mike were having theirs.  Rudy came out on top again this year over his two amigos (I’ve impressed myself here – a little Spanish and French in the SAME story!).  Rudy’s big Hip Lift of 785# sealed the win.  I’ve said this before – I really enjoy watching these guys compete against each other.  They do it for the RIGHT REASONS – as you can tell they are enjoying every minute of it.  

Afterwards, we made our traditional visit to the Golden Corral to fill our rumens.  But unlike prior years where I’m hitting the road right after eating, this year I spent the night in Columbia because of Eric Todd’s meet in Cameron on Sunday.  This was a BIG WEEKEND for the USAWA in Missouri – two meets 150 miles apart!  In closing,  I want to thank Bill for opening his gym up to us again this year by hosting this meet.

Meet Results:

Deanna Springs Meet
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, MO
March 24th, 2012

Meet Director:  Bill Clark

Officials (1 official system used): Bill Clark

Lifts: Crucifix, Curl – Cheat, Deanna Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Hip Lift

LIFTER AGE BWT Cruc Curl Dean H&T Hip Total Points
Joe Garcia 58 210 70 151 535 1400 1900 4056 4196.76
Al Myers 45 247 60 191 805 1285 1805 4146 3507.90
Rudy Bletscher 76 223 50 96 405 485 785 1821 2100.10
Dean Ross 69 264 60 111 405 535 785 1896 1902.83
Mike Murdock 72 234 60 121 285 405 0 871 950.72

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Points are adjusted points for lynch and age correction.


Mike Murdock: Squat – Front 165#

Best Lifting Performances in Past Deanna Springs Meets

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia uses his signature lift, the Hand and Thigh Lift, to lift 1400 pounds to secure his victory at the 2011 Deanna Springs Meet. That win gives Joe 10 ALL TIME wins in this meet, which is the most of any lifter.

The annual Deanna Springs Memorial Meet is coming up this weekend at Clark’s Gym, in Columbia Missouri.  I have been to this meet several times, and it is one that I enjoy.  It provides a unique combination of lifts – Crucifix, Cheat Curl, Deanna Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, and Hip Lift. We always start with the Crucifix and Cheat Curl and then finish with the “heavy stuff”.  These first two events are merely warmups for the serious heavy lift events.  The competition often will come down to the last event of the day, the Hip Lift, to decide who the winner is. 

A couple of years ago Dale Friesz wrote a very nice story summarizing the history of the Deanna Meet.  It is mainly a long list of victories by Joe Garcia, the Clark’s Gym Phenom. Last year at the Deanna Joe won his TENTH Deanna Meet – out of the 16 meets in the history of this long running meet.   Abe Smith has won two (2002 & 2007), John Carter one (1997), Josh Pemberton one (2000), Steve Schmidt one (2006), and myself once (2008).  The only reason I was able to win in 2008 was that I was the only one who showed up that year!!! LOL  Most of the time at this one I’m  sucking up the chalkdust thrown up by Joe after his  big finale Hip Lifts!

Today I want to look back at some of the BEST lifting performances ever done at the Deanna Meet. I am only going to include meets from 1998 on, as that was when the lifts remained constant at the five done today. 


1 Abe Smith 2005 4111.98
2 Joe Garcia 2011 4018.08
3 Joe Garcia 1999 3876.54
4 Joe Garcia 2009 3711.88
5 Joe Garcia 2006 3655.85
6 Steve Schmidt 2003 3654.37
7 Joe Garcia 2004 3650.87
8 Al Myers 2011 3630.91
9 Joe Garcia 2002 3627.67
10 Abe Smith 2003 3620.00


1  Sam Huff  2005  4700
2  Joe Garcia  1999  4525
3  Al Myers  2011  4385
4  Al Myers  2010  4230
5  Eric Todd  2005  4145
6  Joe Garcia  1998  4140
7  Joe Garcia  2002  4120
8  Abe Smith  2005  4105
9  Eric Todd  2002  4045
10  Joe Garcia  2006  4035

Deanna Springs Meet

by Al Myers

Garcia Wins 2011 Deanna Meet

Group picture from the 2011 Deanna Springs Meet. (left to right): Al Springs, Joe Garcia, Mike Murdock, Al Myers, Rudy Bletscher, Thom Van Vleck, and Dean Ross.

Last weekend at Clark’s Gym at the Deanna Meet a couple of things happened that NEVER HAPPENS. First, Bill was not there to “run the show” as he always is, and second, the meet had a big turnout.  I know –  7 lifters in alot of cases doesn’t constitute a big turnout, but for the type of meets that are hosted at Clark’s Gym – it is.   It was the second highest turnout for the Deanna Meet in its 16 year history (2004 had the most entrants with 10). It didn’t seem quite right having a meet in Clark’s Gym without Bill there.  I have been to MANY meets in Clark’s Gym and this is the first time the “man in charge” was not there.  But Bill had a good excuse – he was in Atlanta getting his shoulder replaced.  Maybe with this new bionic shoulder Ole Clark will get back in competitive shape and surprise us with his new-found pressing strength?  With him – anything is possible.  I hope the surgery was a great success and he will be able to get back into the gym and back to his love of weightlifting.   He was missed, but Joe Garcia took command and did an applaudable job as the interim meet director.  On top of these duties, he defended his Deanna Meet Crown, and won Best Lifter again for the 10th time. YES – that is 10 Deanna Meet victories for Joe, the most of anyone ever.    I tried to give him a little challenge but now that’s he’s lost weight (and he has KEPT his same strength) it was an imposing task which I failed at again this year.  Joe is a great Heavy Lifter (and I consider the Deanna Meet a Heavy Lift Meet) and a well-deserving Champion of this meet.  On top of this Joe turned in his BEST EVER adjusted point total (4018 pts), which is second of all time to Abe Smiths total in 2005 of 4111 adjusted points.  I had my best point total in this meet to date (3630 points) which would have gave me the victory in 9 of the previous Deanna’s, but Joe at age 57 just keeps getting better with each year.    I also got to mention that Joe kept the competition “moving along”.    We started a little before 12:00 and was completely finished by 3.  Joe brought something into Clark’s Gym that I NEVER thought I would see there – a laptop computer!!  He kept the results and used this modern technology to efficiently tally the scores after the meet in quick fashion. 

Is THAT a computer in Clark's Gym????

This meet quickly divided into two competitive groups. In one group – Joe, myself and Thom battled it out, while in the other group Rudy, Mike, Dean and Al Springs lifted together.  This was the main reason we finished so quickly – we divided into two groups and as a result finished in half the time.   These four veterans, all of which are over the age of 65, had quite a competition!  It is a rarity to see 4 lifters of these guys ages together in a meet with the kind of lifting abilities they have.  Beforehand, I had no idea who would win between them. Dean Ross is a MOOSE and has more brute strength than anyone I know his age.  Rudy is the most gifted athletic lifter over the age of 75 that I know.   Mike knows no limits and will push himself harder than anyone I know his age.  He doesn’t give up.  (He ALSO competed in Thom’s Highland Games the day before AND did the USAWA Postal Meet).  Al is a wily veteran of all-round lifting and has the most experience in these lifts.  But in the end Rudy came out on top with his 750 pound Hip Lift.  Mike, being the gamer that he is, took a shot at 850 for the win, but it was not to be on this day.   I sure hope to see plenty more of these matchups between these guys, because I know how competitive and close it will always be between them. 

When we were finishing up the meet, several new lifters in Clark’s Gym showed up to workout.  There had to be close to 20 people in the gym at one time!  This has to be another record of sorts.  It was standing room only.  Clark’s Gym was the happening place on this Sunday afternoon.  I wish Bill could have been there to see it – it would have made him feel good to see the promising future of his gym and the USAWA.  Also, I got to thank Dave and James for loading throughout the day.  Their help really kept things on schedule. Afterwards, we took part in the Deanna Meet tradition of enjoying all we could eat at the Golden Corral while sharing stories and lies. 

Meet Results:

Deanna Springs Memorial Meet
March 27th, 2011
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, Missouri


Meet Director:  Joe Garcia

Officials (3 official system used):  Joe Garcia, Al Myers, Thom Van Vleck, Mike Murdock

Loaders:   Dave Beversdorf and James Foster

Lifts:  Crucifix, Curl – Cheat, Deanna Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Hip Lift

Lifter Age BWT Cruc Curl Dean H&T Hip Total Points
Joe Garcia 57 209 60 145 600 1400 1700 3905 4018.08
Al Myers 44 253 90 195 800 1300 2000 4385 3630.91
Thom VanVleck 46 299 70 165 525 675 1400 2835 2205.62
Rudy Bletscher 75 220 60 95 405 515 750 1825 2102.50
Mike Murdock 71 236 70 105 405 515 650 1745 1882.10
Dean Ross 68 275 60 95 405 565 750 1875 1830.99
Al Springs 69 200 40 65 335 375 650 1465 1702.05

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  Total is total pounds lifted.  All lifts recorded in pounds.  Points are adjusted points for bodyweight correction and age adjustment.


Dean Ross – 455# Deanna Lift

Dean Ross – 875# Hip Lift

Deanna Springs Meet

Garcia Wins Deanna Springs Memorial  Meet

by Al Myers

Deanna Meet Participants (left to right) in front of the Heavy Bar Al Myers, Joe Garcia and Thom Van Vleck

A slimmed down Joe Garcia still shows he has the mastery of the Heavy Lifts, and won this year’s Deanna Springs Memorial Meet. Joe has won this meet hosted annually by Bill Clark numerous times in the past. He had two challengers – Thom Van Vleck of the JWC and myself of the Dino Gym. The meet was about canceled this year due to lack of entries, but when Bill found out there were interested participants he graciously opened his gym up to another year of the challenging lifts contested in the “Deanna Meet”. Missing this year was Al Springs, who often attends in memory of Deanna.

Joe has been busy with starting his new business, but it was obvious he hasn’t let his training slack and looked in great shape. This was Thom’s first exposure to the Chain Lifts and did quite well his first time out – and with time no doubt will become very proficient in them. The meet started out with the Crucifix and I had the top lift, matching my personal best of 90 pounds. The next event was the Cheat Curl and Thom ended up with the top Cheat Curl at 195 pounds. I usually consider these first two events as warmups because at this point the Heavy Lifts start – and it’s time to get serious. The next event is the Deanna Lift – which was invented and named after Deanna Springs. It is the meet’s signature event – and has never been contested outside of this meet. It combines two of Deanna’s favorite lifts – the Zercher Lift and the Hand and Thigh Lift. This lift is very painful as it involves the Hand and Thigh bar positioned on the arms like a Zercher Lift, but with MUCH more weight involved. I had the top lift at 775 pounds.

The fourth event was the Hand and Thigh Lift. It is always a great privilege to compete in this event against the ALL-TIME record holder Joe Garcia. Everything I know about the Hand and Thigh Lift I have learned from Joe. Well, the years of tutelage finally paid off for me as I put it all together in this lift and broke 1500 pounds for the first time. My final lift was 1505 pounds, which broke Joe’s overall record in the 115K class. Joe was a class act about me breaking one of his Hand and Thigh records (not that he doesn’t have many others!!!) and sincerely congratulated me on my efforts. This meant a lot to me, and even more when Joe said, “this is the first time in 20 years that I have been beaten in a meet in the Hand and Thigh and I am glad that it is by you”. He then reminded me that he was at his Hand and Thigh peak when he was 43 years old (the same age I am now)! I’m still trying to figure out what he meant by that – but regardless, thanks Joe for all the help you have been to me in this lift!!

The meet ended with the Hip Lift. Thom got an easy 1205# lift (and had MUCH more in him) and Joe and I both ended at 1685 pounds. We were both capable of much more, but I made a huge jump on my last attempt as a strategic move to put the pressure on Joe for the overall. He made the jump with me but this big jump was just too much for both of us on this day. When it comes to a meet like this, that includes an assortment of Heavy Lifts, Joe is about impossible to beat. I was just glad to be able to push him a little on this day – something I haven’t done in previous Deanna Meets.

We concluded the day by filling up on the buffet at the Golden Corral – a Clark’s Gym post meet tradition. I also want to mention the All-Round celebrity guest we had in attendance – Wayne Jackson. Wayne is Thom’s Uncle, and one of the founders of the Jackson Weightlifting Club. Wayne told me that he first met Bill in 1962 while attending a meet hosted by Bill. They both enjoyed “reminiscing about the old days”. I want thank Bill for putting this meet on – EVERYONE had a great time!!

Below is the full meet results:

Deanna Springs Memorial Meet
Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri
March 28th, 2010

Meet Director:  Bill Clark

Official (one used):  Bill Clark

Lifts:  Crucifix, Cheat Curl, Deanna Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, and Hip Lift


Lifter Age BWT Crucifix Curl Deanna H&T Hip Total Adj. Points
Joe Garcia
56 215 70 155 575 1285 1685 3770 3611.64
Al Myers
43 251 90 175 775 1505 1685 4230 3487.68
Thom Van Vleck
45 299 80 195 485 885 1205 2850 2196.57

BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  Total is total pounds lifted.  Adj. Points is adjusted Lynch Points for age and bodyweight.