Tag Archives: HOF


By Al Myers

(Webmasters Note: Over the next month I will be running a series of biography blogs covering all past USAWA Hall of Fame members.  These bios will be added to the history section, under Hall of Fame.)





Dennis Mitchell was born February 15th, 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio. He still lives in Cleveland. He was “raised” in the family business of photography, and worked in the family business part time during High School and College. After returning home from two years in the Army, Dennis worked full time with his father until his father retired in 1961. Dennis continued the family’s photography business until he retired in 1995. Dennis has been married to his wife Flossy for over 50 years. They have two daughters and four grand children. Dennis started lifting in May of 1943. He started out with bodybuilding and some Olympic lifting training. He got involved with the USAWA in 1989. Dennis is very involved Mitchell-VB1Hin other sports. He also has competed in running, swimming, and Judo. He still competes in Olympic Weightlifting and Masters Swimming. Howard Prechtel, who Dennis has known since 1949, introduced him to All-Round Weightlifting. Dennis remarked, “I’ve always been interested in training the odd lifts, and being part of the USAWA allowed me to enter competitions where these lifts are contested.” During the 1940’s and the 1950’s, Dennis trained at Joe Raymond’s A.C. He now trains at home and has a very complete home gym which is set up for All-Round Weightlifting training. Dennis is a member of the Ohio Olympic Weightlifting committee. He is chairman of the IAWA World All-Round Technical Committee. He has held that position for several years. Dennis is also a very active official, having judged at many local, National, and World meets. Dennis was the Co-Meet Director of the 2008 National Championships in Columbus Ohio. He also has helped organize the local portion for six All-Round World Postal Meets. The chain lifts and the Bent Press are his favorite lifts. Dennis has competed in 20 National Meets, 19 World Meets, and 6 World Postal Meets. He has lifted in many states, and overseas in England, Scotland, Australia, and New Zealand. Dennis has won his weight and age class in 20 National Meets, 17 World Meets, and 6 World Postal Meets. When asked what he likes about All-Round Weightlifting, he replied, “One of the best parts of being involved in the All-Rounds is the people. They are just a super group.”


By Al Myers

(Webmasters Note: Over the next month I will be running a series of biography blogs covering all past USAWA Hall of Fame members.  These bios will be added to the history section, under Hall of Fame.)




Montini-DL1Art Montini was in the inaugural class of Hall of Fame inductees – and rightfully so. Art is the most decorated all-rounder in USAWA history, having won overall best lifter at four National Championships (1991, 1992, 1993, and 1995). He was born October 11th, 1927 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. After graduating from High School, Art joined the Navy in 1945 and served our country in WWII aboard a naval ship. After his military service, he went to work in a steel mill in which he continued until retirement. Art’s early sport activities included playing “sandlot” baseball, and even some semi-pro football. Art started lifting weights when he was 20 years old. At first, he competed in Olympic Weightllifting. But once he got started competing in all-round weightlifting that was his focus from then on. Art’s favorite lifts are the Steinborn and all of the chain lifts. However, he trains all of the all-round lifts at different times in his workouts. Art is one of only three lifters that has over 400 USAWA records!! Art is a member of the Ambridge V.F.W. Barbell Club and does all of his training there. He has competed in over 100 all-round weightlifting meets!!!! You can always count on Art being at the National Championships. He has even been involved in the promotion of the National Championships, being the Co-Meet Director of the Nationals in 1991 and 1999 in Ambridge. Art is an outstanding official as well, both at the National level and at the World level. Art was the first elected Vice President of the USAWA, elected in 1989 and serving in that position till 2007.  Art has been the recipient of many USAWA Yearly Awards – Courage Award 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012 and Sportsmanship Award 2015, 2011, and 2009. In 2010 Art was awarded the IAWA Award of Merit.  This prestigious Award has only been presented to four IAWA members ever.  In 2012, Art received the “25 Year Participation Award” at the National Championships, an award given to him based on his outstanding participation in the USAWA National Championships throughout the 25 year history of the USAWA.


When asked what he enjoys about the USAWA, he replied, “I really enjoy competing with other lifters. I’ve made many great friends at all of the meets.” In 1988, Art was selected to the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. Today, Art lives in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and still competes in all-round weightlifting meets even though he is over 80 years of age!! He even celebrates his birthday every year by hosting Art’s Birthday Bash, an all-round weightlifting meet, on his birthday.

HOF History

By Al Myers

Being nominated and inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame is the highest honor one can receive in the USAWA.  The HOF program has been in place almost since the beginning of the USAWA, and has several inductees.  The list of these HOF members is always available on the website, under the top page header “History”.

This week in the USAWA Discussion Forum (and if you’re not following the discussion forum, you should, as this is where active daily discussion is occurring involving the organization) there was a post started by Eric Todd asking why the HOF application did not include some of the Championship Events in the USAWA receiving points.  First of all, I was really impressed that ET had noticed this.  He’s obviously been studying the website.  I’m glad he pointed this out as it’s something that needed attended to, and something that I have been overlooking.

The Hall of Fame Program was started by Chris Waterman.  Chris is a fellow Hall of Famer in the USAWA (and just made his COMEBACK to the USAWA at Nationals), and deserves the credit for setting up the original parameters (of earning points) to be inducted into the HOF. This started in 1997. He was the chairman of the committee that included Frank Ciavattone, Denny Habecker, and John Vernacchio. At that time Chris oversaw the program and kept track of everyone’s points, and once you broke the 1000 point mark you would be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Before that the HOF members were nominated and voted on at the National Meeting.  In 2010 the HOF program was placed under the direction of the newly formed position of the USAWA Awards Director, in which I have been the director since then.  At that time the USAWA made a few minor changes in how points could be earned, but pretty much followed the exact outline that Chris and the committee developed originally.  As time goes on things change in the organization and those changes need to be reflected in the application.

However, after developing the new HOF application in 2010 and getting it approved by the membership it has not been amended SINCE that time. And things have continued to change!  One of those changes has been the development of the many great Championship Events in the USAWA that we have now.  Many of these Championship Events were not included in the HOF application, and obviously I agree with Eric that they should be.  I made this change and with unanimous vote by the Executive Board the HOF application now includes these new events.  During the EB’s discussion on this it was also pointed out that being a certified USAWA official should be included. So that was added as well!

The new updated Hall of Fame Application is now available under the main header “About Us” and the page “Forms and Applications”.