by Al Myers
I was quite surprised by the turnout at this year’s Dino Gym Challenge. On Saturday 8 brave lifters showed up to take on some of the favorite lifts of the famous old time strongman Warren Lincoln Travis. I decided to have this meet in tribute to WLT – as he has always been one of my favorite old time strongmen.
The teeth lift was the first lift up – and as to the best of my knowledge has never been contested before in a USAWA competition (all USAWA records have been set at record days). All of us had really no idea of what our capabilities were in this – but ET and myself ended up with the best lifts at 175 pounds. I felt “maxed out” but ET has much more in him. Doug Kressly took his third attempt at 95 pounds, and then a fourth record attempt at 155 pounds which he got! Dean Ross about lost a tooth. Larry Traub had the mouthpiece in backwards and cut up his chin with the connecting bolts. Lance Foster was the smartest by saying “no can do”.
We then moved onto the finger lift with the middle finger using a ring. It wasn’t really anyone’s favorite – but the lifting surprised me. Eric Todd had the best lift at 200 pounds, and Doug Kressly had a solid 180. Several pulled skin off the favorite finger – with Dave Glasgow shedding the most blood. I thought I was going to have to get my hot iron to cauterize his wound for a while.
The Kennedy Lift was next on the agenda. This is an exhibition lift (not an official USAWA lift) which follows the rules of the Peoples Deadlift except includes a straddle stance on the bar. It was very well received. I had the top lift at 750 pounds, followed by Larry’s 675. Young Logan Kressly was extremely impressive with his record attempt at 500 pounds. Everyone seemed to enjoy this lift, and by the positive response I got I’m going to propose it as a new OTSM lift.
Now time for the BIG STUFF. The Harness Lift and Back Lift were a couple of Travis’s favorites. We started with the Harness. It took a while to get everyone to figure out how to get the harness’s on, but once they did the lifting was outstanding! I had the top harness at 2400. Other impressive harness lifts were Doug’s at 1800, Larry at 1750, and Dave at 1200. Lance gave an exceptional effort at 1605 to break a 20 year plus record held the one and only Tom Ryan who had held the record at 1600 from the 91 Zercher. I told Lance I would make sure to tell Mr. Ryan that his harness lift record was no more.
The back lift very rarely gets the chance to be in meets (mainly because it requires a specialized machine!). I had the top at 2200, followed by Doug at 2000. However, the youngster Logan really impressed us the most with his 1600. I told him he may be the best junior in the USAWA right now – and I expect him to be at Nationals to prove it! Dean Ross came into the day sporting a new pair of fire resistant lifting shoes – and used them to good use to go over 1000 pounds in both the Harness and Back. I don’t know of anyone else who has fire resistant lifting shoes, but then again, Ross the Boss tends to burn up the platform when he lifts!
I got to thank my dad LaVerne for “sitting in the chair” as head official all day. He did a marvelous job and no one really gave him any crap. He judged everyone very fairly, and didn’t give me any breaks either because I’m his sonny boy. I was very impressed by the help the lifters provided in loading and putting stuff away afterwards. We had a nice awards ceremony with each lifter getting a Dino Gym Tshirt and a hand made award by me featuring a metal cut-out of Warren Lincoln Travis. It will be an award that will stand out in everyone’s trophy case (or should I say stand up?). I know I had lots of fun at this meet – and like I commented on Facebook – “Days like today make me realize how much I like my USAWA family!”
Dino Gym Challenge
January 18th, 2014
Meet Director: Al Myers
Official (1-official system used): LaVerne Myers
Scorekeeper: Al Myers
Lifts: Teeth Lift, Finger Lift – Middle, Kennedy Lift, Harness Lift, Back Lift
EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD:
Logan Kressly: Teeth Lift 115#
Logan Kressly: Middle Finger Lift 105#
Logan Kressly: Kennedy Lift 500#
Logan Kressly: Harness Lift 1300#
Logan Kressly: Back Lift 1600#
Doug Kressly: Teeth Lift 155#
Lance Foster: Middle Finger Lift 170#
NOTES: All lifts recorded in pounds. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All Middle Finger Lifts done with right hand. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.