by Al Myers
Yesterday Eric Todd hosted the 2015 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships at his gym in Cameron, Missouri. Actually ET lives outside of Cameron in the boondocks and his address is listed as Turney, MO which I’ve yet to identify. I’m betting it is a collection of deer blinds. (the road leading into his place is Deer Creek!).
But on to the big meet! I’m writing this report because Eric deserves high praise for his efforts yesterday, and I know he is too modest to truly report the day’s events as they unfolded. ET has one of those unique gyms that only hardcore lifters would appreciate. It is a big Quonset shed which he refers to as his “big tin can”. Inside the gym really reflects ET’s personality – all serious heavy duty equipment with loads of strongman stuff, rusty bars and plates, concrete platforms, and a big American Flag hanging on one end. No frills here. It’s a serious place. It provides the perfect training environment for someone who wants to get strong.
I consider the Heavy Lift Championships as one of the premier championships the USAWA hosts every year. It has a rich history, and it’s longevity rivals our USAWA Nationals. We have tried to make this meet a rotational annual event to provide opportunities around the country for participation. This was Eric’s first promotion of the Championships, and he did a superb job! Very few places have the adequate equipment to put on the Heavy Lift Championships, but ET has all the iron anyone needs (I counted 24 100 pound plates laying around!).
A great turnout made the day a great meet. I didn’t lift as I figured I was more needed officiating and scorekeeping. It was great seeing Mary Mac there as well as young Christian. He’s a junior lifter just getting involved in the USAWA and he shows A LOT OF PROMISE! This was his first experience with the chain lifts, and with a little more seasoning will only increase his poundages. Mary has been involved with the USAWA for many years off and on. It is so nice to see her back getting involved this year.
I was so glad to see our Prez Denny back in action. Actually I was a little surprised to see that he was lifting in this meet! It’s so obvious that Denny loves the USAWA! Art made the trip with him and put up great lifts. Sometimes I forget Art’s age – because it’s hard to believe that someone who is 87 would actually being doing a hardcore meet like this!
Of course Dean Ross was here. These past few years there has not been a more active lifter than Dean. Dean lifted great – and even had the energy to do some records afterwards. KCSTRONGMAN gym member Lance Foster made another solid performance.
The big showdown was between ET, Chad, and Joe. I knew this would be an interesting day. All three of these guys looked in great shape, and all three of them are past Heavy Lift Overall Champions. Chad came out of the gate hard (ok….I had to get that horse race joke in there somewhere since the Kentucky Derby was going on at the same time as this meet) with a HUGE personal record Neck Lift of 1020# to put him in the early lead. Then after the Hand and Thigh Lift Joe took over first for a while, even though ET lifted his best H&T ever with a 1510# lift (breaking my record of 1505#). For those of you that have been around a while know that when ET started the USAWA over 10 years ago he put up a 1475# hand and thigh the FIRST TIME he ever tried it. I knew this day was coming that he would break 1500, and I predict that he will go well over 1600 before long.
The last lift of the Heavy Lift Championships is the Hip Lift. I knew this was going to decide who the Overall Champ would be. Chad was conservative with his opener, which gave the advantage to Joe and Eric. I kept waiting for ET to declare his opener and he kept putting it off. Joe came in at 1670#, and then ET declared 1870 to start which put the pressure on Joe. Joe made the big jump with him, but just came up a hair short. Looking back Joe should have jumped to only 1800 which was all he really needed in the end. ET then went on to break the overall record in the 115K class with a 2270# lift and the overall title.
This was one of the best Heavy Lift Championships I have been part of. Lots of great lifters and lots of great lifts. I’ve always been a big fan of the history of the heavy lifts, and in my book this meet put Eric Todd into the group as one of the best heavy lifters in the history of the USAWA.
2015 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships
May 2nd, 2015
Meet Director: Eric Todd
Meet Scorekeeper: Al Myers
Meet Officials ( 3 official system used): Al Myers (head), Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Eric Todd, Joe Garcia, Lance Foster, Chad Ullom
Lifts: Neck Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Hip Lift
Extra for Records:
Mary McConnaughey – Hand and Thigh Lift 500#
Extra Attempts for Records:
Dean Ross – Reeves Deadlift 205#
Dean Ross – Peoples Deadlift 295#
Dean Ross – 12″ Base Deadlift 225#
Dean Ross – Heels Together Deadlift 225#
Dean Ross – 2 Bar Deadlift 200#
Eric Todd – Index Finger Lift Right 135#
Eric Todd – Index Finger Lift Left 120#
Denny Habecker – 12″ Base Deadlift 225#
NOTES: Age is age in years. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.